Our Constitution

Name
The name of the club shall be The Black Pear Gardening Club.
Objectives
The objectives of the club shall be to promote good horticultural practices among its members by:
  • Holding regular meetings for lectures, discussions and demonstrations to encourage members of all ages
  • Arranging visits to gardens and other sites to observe gardening in practice, to encourage gardening which restores biodiversity and the production of healthy fruit and vegetables.
  • Holding horticultural shows and competitions
Membership
Membership of the club shall be open to anyone interested in gardening.  The committee may, from time to time, confer honorary membership on individuals considered worthy of special recognition by the club.
Conduct of the Club's Affairs
The affairs of the club shall be conducted by a committee comprising the officers of the club and nine other members.  This committee may appoint one or more sub-committees comprising elected members of the committee and/or other members of the club to perform specific tasks, such as the running of the club's Gardeners' Market.
Officers of the Club
The officers of the club shall be the chairman, treasurer and secretary and such other officers as shall be deemed necessary; no one individual shall hold more than one office at the same time.
Election of Officers
The officers shall be elected at the AGM of the club and shall hold office until the end of the next AGM.
Ordinary Members of the Committee
The ordinary members of the committee elected at the formation of the club shall serve for the period to the first AGM (maximum one year) but be eligible for re-election at the AGM.

The ordinary members of the committee elected at the AGM shall serve for one year but be eligible for re-election at the AGM.
Resignation or Death of Committee Member
If any member of the committee should die or resign before the expiration of their term of office the committee may fill the vacancy if they see fit, but the person so appointed shall retire at the time when their predecessor would have retired.
Appointment of Vice Chairman
The committee shall appoint one of its number as vice chairman.

Absence of the Chairman
Meetings of the committee shall be chaired by the chairman of the club.  In the event that the chairman is absent at any meeting of the committee the vice chairman shall take the chair.  In the event that neither the chairman nor the vice chairman is able to attend a meeting the committee members present shall elect one of their number to take the chair for that meeting.
Co-opted Members
The committee may co-opt up to two members to serve as full committee members until the next AGM.
Honorary President, Patrons and Vice Presidents
The committee may appoint distinguished individuals to the honorary position of president, patrons or non-executive vice presidents.
Dates of Committee Meetings
The committee shall meet in accordance with the dates agreed by the committee prior to the start of each financial year or on such dates as shall be agreed by the chairman, the vice chairman or the committee.
Ordinary Meetings of the Club
The ordinary meetings of the club shall be held in accordance with a programme for the year which shall be drawn up by the committee and/or its sub-committee and issued to all members of the Club.  No members of policy shall be agreed at an ordinary meeting of the club.
Annual General Meeting
An AGM of the club shall be held within two months of the date of the financial year-end for the purpose of:
  1. Approving the committees' annual report of the work of the club during the previous financial year.
  2. Electing officers for the forthcoming year and the committee members who have retired, or resigned or are no longer members.
  3. Approving financial statements signed by a competent person who is not a member of the committee.
  4. Considering any motion which has been notified to the secretary of the club at least 28 calendar days prior to the date of the AGM and which has been circulated to all members.
  5. Noting any other matters for consideration by the committee.
Extraordinary General Meeting
The committee has the power to convene an EGM of the club at any time and must do so within twenty eight days of receiving a written request signed by 30% of the membership. Notice in writing must be sent to all members not less than fourteen calendar days before such a meeting, informing them of the date, time, venue and purpose of the meeting.  No business other than that detailed in the notice shall be transacted at an EGM.
Chairman of an Ordinary Meeting or an AGM or an EGM
The president of the club or, in his absence, the chairman of the club or in the absence of both of them the vice chairman of the committee shall act as chairman at an ordinary meeting or AGM or EGM of the club.  In the event of none of these being available the committee members present shall elect one of their number to chair the meeting.
Quorum
No matter of policy shall be agreed at an AGM or an EGM or at a committee meeting unless a quorum is present.  The quorum of an AGM or an EGM shall be 25% of the membership (unless otherwise required by these rules) and the quorum of a committee meeting shall consist of four members.  The quorum of any sub-committee shall be decided by the committee when appointing it.  In the event of a quorum not being present the meeting shall be adjourned to a day, time and place decided by the chairman of the meeting.
Entitlement to Vote
Only members whose subscription is fully paid or those holding honorary membership of the club shall be entitled to vote at an AGM or an EGM or at a meeting of any committee or sub-committee.
Method of Voting
Voting at all meetings shall be by a show of hands unless the chairman directs that a secret ballot be taken.  All matters shall be decided by a simple majority of those present and voting.
Chairman's Casting Vote
The chairman at an AGM, EGM or at any meeting of the committee may not participate in the initial voting at any meeting, but in the event of a tie shall have a casting vote,
Subscription
The annual subscription for each “membership period” 1st October to 30th September is payable within 30 days. Members joining the Club after the due date shall pay their annual subscription on joining except that members joining after July1st shall be deemed to have paid their subscription up to the end of the next following membership period.( 30th September.)
Non-payment of Subscription
Any member required to pay a subscription and whose subscription remains unpaid after 30th November shall cease to be a member of the club from that date.  The committee may require any person wishing to rejoin the club, whose membership has lapsed because of non-payment of subscription, to pay the full subscription for the current membership period.  Failure or refusal by the treasurer and the committee to collect subscriptions shall not disbar members from further participation in the club's affairs.
Privileges of Membership
Membership privileges shall be decided by the committee and shall be reviewed in advance of each AGM.


The Club's Funds
All subscriptions and other moneys received by the club shall be passed to the treasurer, who shall be responsible for all the club's funds, for keeping accounting records thereof and presenting the accounts for approval at the end of the financial year.  All sums received by the treasurer on the club's behalf shall be paid into the club's back account and all cheques drawn on that account shall be signed by two nominated officers, one of whom shall be the treasurer.  The funds of the club shall be used solely to further the objectives of the club and only in ways approved by the committee.
Financial Year
The club's financial year shall end on 30th September.
Alteration of Constitution
This constitution may only be amended at an AGM or EGM and then only if notice of the proposed amendment has been notified to all members not fewer than fourteen calendar days before the meeting.
Winding up of the Club
A decision to wind-up the club shall only be taken at an AGM or an EGM that is attended by a minimum of half of the total membership.  There must be a majority vote in favour of the proposal to wind-up the club by those attending the meeting.  In the event that the decision to wind-up the club is agreed, the meeting shall then go on to appoint a committee of not fewer than three and not more than seven individuals to oversee the disposal of the club's assets.  The meeting shall give a clear indication to that committee of the use to which any remaining funds should be put.  The committee appointed to oversee the disposal of the club's assets shall abide as closely as possible to the wishes expressed at the meeting which appointed it.
Other Matters
Any matters for which provision is not made in this constitution shall be decided by the committee at its discretion and shall be reported to the next AGM for endorsement or further direction.