The name of the Society shall be The Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society hereinafter called the Society.
a) The Aims of the Society shall be:-
i) To promote and encourage the public study of British family history, genealogy, heraldry and local history.
ii) To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archival material.
b) In the furtherance of the above aims, but not further or otherwise, the Society shall have the following powers:-
i) To promote and engage in educational activities including the issue of a regular Journal and the publication and sale of other appropriate material in physical or electronic format;
ii) To hold lectures and discussions both in person and online and organise research visits for members and interested members of the general public;
iii) The option to establish and maintain a library of documents in physical and electronic formats for the use of members and others;
iv) To preserve, transcribe and publish in physical or electronic format, original source materials including documents and monumental inscriptions;
v) To collaborate with other organisations such as churches, libraries, record offices, businesses and educational establishments;
vi) To support where appropriate the activities of other societies and organisations in their pursuit of these and similar aims.
c) The Executive Committee, set up as in clause 5a, shall have the power to establish Branches for the furtherance of the Society's aims. Each Branch so established shall comply with and be subject to the following regulations:-
i) Any Branch so established shall act in accordance with this constitution and shall be subject to such conditions as shall from time to time be laid down by the Society's Executive Committee.
ii) Representation of Branches on the Society's Executive Committee shall be as determined in clause 5a(iii) below.
iii) The Society may provide funds to a Branch appropriate to its size and activities connected with its regular meetings and running expenses. No Branch may levy its own Branch membership subscription.
iv) A Branch may, with the prior agreement of the Executive Committee, open a bank account which shall be run in accordance with the Policy laid down by the Society. Any monies in the Branch bank account which remain from the above funds after the above expenses have been met shall remain at all times the monies of the Society. The Branch shall keep accounts in such a form as shall be laid down by the Society's Executive Committee and shall be subject to annual audit or independent examination.
v) All material, either printed or stored on microform or electronically, and any other assets purchased by the Branch shall be assets of the Society. In the event of disbandment of a Branch, where any assets of the Branch are currently held for inspection by their members at a location other than the Society Headquarters, then the Society's Executive Committee will endeavour to administer such assets in their current location pending any possible re-establishment of the Branch.
vi) A Branch may be suspended at any time by the Executive Committee and closed by a vote at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting called by a resolution of the Executive Committee of the Society. Upon suspension the monies and assets of the Branch shall be treated in accordance with the provisions laid out above.
The Society shall have the option of becoming a member of or affiliate with other organisations whose aims are deemed compatible and mutually supportive. If any of these organisations shall be or become a Company Limited by Guarantee the Society's Executive Committee may guarantee such an amount or amounts as required providing that such an amount does not exceed £1 for any such company.
a) Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons showing a genuine interest in support of the Society's aims.
b) Classes of membership and voting rights shall be determined by the Executive Committee of the Society. Classes include such categories as Single, Family, Overseas and such other categories as Executive Committee may consider appropriate.
c) Subscriptions appropriate to each class of membership shall be payable at the time and rate determined by the Executive Committee of the Society.
d) The Executive Committee may, subject to a vote of the Executive Committee members present, refuse an application for membership, refuse an application to renew membership or suspend from membership any person whose activities or behaviour, in its opinion, are prejudicial to the Society or in contravention of the Society's Code of Conduct. Suspended Members shall have the right to present their case directly to the Executive Committee in writing or in person, accompanied by a friend, and shall have the right of final appeal at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened by the Executive Committee in accordance with the procedure outlined in clause 6b below.
a) The Officers of the Society, who shall be fully paid-up members of the Society, shall be the Chairman, the Vice-chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer.
The Society shall be administered by an Executive Committee with the following membership:-
i) The Officers;
ii) A minimum of two and a maximum of six Elected Members of the Executive Committee who shall be fully paid-up members of the Society;
iii) One member of the committee of each Branch set up under the provisions in clause 2c above, chosen by the Branch committee to serve as a Branch Representative to represent the interests of the Branch on the Executive Committee.
b) There shall be a quorum when at least one third of the membership of the Executive Committee for the time being or three Members of the Executive Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at a meeting. One of those present shall be an officer who will chair the meeting.
c) The Officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected annually by those members present at the Annual General Meeting and their terms of office shall commence at the conclusion of the meeting.
d) The Elected Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a three-year term of office by those members present at the Annual General Meeting and their terms of office shall commence at the conclusion of the meeting.
e) Nominations for Officers and Elected Members of the Executive Committee should be submitted in writing to the Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting is to take place. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by paid-up members of the Society. If insufficient nominations have been received to fill the vacancies, the Presiding Chairman of the meeting may at his/her discretion, admit suitably proposed and seconded nominations from the floor.
f) Officers and Elected Members of the Executive Committee shall, on completion of their terms of office, be eligible for re-election subject to the following conditions:
i) No Officer of the Executive Committee shall serve more than seven consecutive years in one capacity. The eligibility for re-election of any Officer or Elected Member may be extended at the invitation of the Executive Committee only in the event that a vacant position has been properly advertised and that no nominations have been received to fill the vacant position. Previous service as an Officer in an acting capacity shall not be counted towards service for the purpose of this requirement.
ii) Elected Members of the Executive Committee may serve a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. Previous service on the Executive Committee as a co-opted member as described in clause 5g below shall not be counted towards service for the purposes of this requirement.
iii) If a Member of the Executive Committee or Branch Representative is subsequently elected as an Officer of the Executive Committee, his/her previous service as a Member shall not be counted as a part of the seven-year term described in (i) above.
iv) An Officer or Elected Member of the Executive Committee who has stood down under the terms of (i) or (ii) above will not be eligible for re-election or to be co-opted as described in 5g below until at least one year following his/her standing down.
g) The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt a paid-up Society member to serve as a Member of the Executive Committee, but the selected individual shall be subject to any restriction specified in clause 5f above. No one may be co-opted as a Member of the Executive Committee if, as a result, more than one third of the Members of the Executive Committee would be co-opted Members. A Member of the Executive Committee co-opted shall remain in this position only until the next Annual General Meeting.
h) The Society may create an unlimited number of Fellowships. Nominations for Fellowship may be made by the Society's Executive Committee and awards will be subject to confirmation by a vote at the next Annual General Meeting following nomination. Fellowships may be bestowed upon any member of the Society who, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, has made a substantial contribution to the advancement of the Society and its aims. Fellows shall be entitled to receive such benefits as the Executive Committee shall from time to time determine.
i) Trustees are persons having the general control, responsibility and management of the administration of the Society. The Officers, Elected Members, Branch Representatives and, those co-opted to the Executive Committee under 5g above, are the Trustees of the Society.
In the following clauses, the term 'meeting' may refer to either a physical gathering of members in one place or to a tele-conference or to a combination of the two. The term 'show of hands' shall include electronic voting where the member is participating by tele-conference.
a) An Annual General Meeting will be held, at which officers shall present their reports and elections shall take place as set out in 5c to 5f above. Notification of this meeting and of any vacancies for Officers or Elected Members of the Executive Committee will be given to members at least 28 days prior to the event.
b) An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened at the request of the Executive Committee or at the request of 20 or more paid-up members of the Society or at the request of a member subject to suspension as described in clause 4d above. Notice of the meeting, setting out the business to be discussed, shall be given to all members at least 28 days prior to the meeting.
c) A quorum at any General Meeting shall consist of not less than 30 paid-up members.
d) Only paid-up members of the Society present at General Meetings shall be entitled to vote.
e) Each member of the Society shall be entitled to a single vote. Membership classes which include more than one individual shall only be entitled to a single vote.
f) Voting for the election of Officers and Members of the Executive Committee at Annual General Meetings shall be by a show of hands, or at the discretion of the Presiding Chairman, by secret ballot. In the event of equality of votes, the election shall be decided by drawing lots.
g) Voting on resolutions at General Meetings shall be by show of hands, or at the discretion of the Presiding Chairman voting may be conducted by secret ballot. If there is no majority, the Presiding Chairman of the meeting shall have the casting vote. Decisions shall be by simple majority except in the case of amendments to the constitution set out in clause 7 or dissolution as set out in clause 9 below.
h) One or more Auditors or Independent Examiners shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting to carry out the duties referred to in clause 8c below.
This Constitution can only be amended or altered at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting for which proper notice has been given and then only if the proposed alteration or amendment receives at least two thirds of the votes of those members present and eligible to vote at the meeting under clause 4b. No such alteration or amendment shall cause the Society to cease to be a Charity at law. In particular, no alteration may be made to clause 2a (i) and (ii) which define the aims of the Society or to clause 9 which relates to dissolution of the Society without the approval of the Charity Commissioners. Proposals for amendments to this Constitution must be submitted to the Executive Committee at least 56 days prior to the first day of the month in which the Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting is to be held.
a) All income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the aims of the Society as defined in clause 2 above. No portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly to any Member of the Executive Committee. Nothing herein, however, shall prevent the reimbursement of reasonable and proper out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.
b) The Society shall cause proper records and accounts to be kept with respect to all sums of money received and expended by the Society and the matters in respect of which those receipts and expenditures take place. Such records and accounts may be stored and administered electronically with the use of approved accounting computer software.
c) The Society's accounts shall be prepared annually and shall be subject to Audit or Independent Examination. A copy of the accounts, appropriately certified, shall be made available to all paid-up members of the Society. A copy shall also be sent to the Charity Commissioners in compliance with charity legislation.
d) The Executive Committee may exercise the power, subject to any consents required by the law, to borrow money and to charge all or any part of the property of the Charity with repayment of the money so borrowed.
The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by not less than three quarters of the members with voting rights present at an Extraordinary General Meeting called for the purpose and for which 28 days notice has been given in writing. Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets or monies held by the Society after all debts and liabilities have been met, the balance left being transferred to some other charitable institution having the same or similar aims to those of the Society.
Agreed at the Society AGM on 10 May 2023