Constitution

1. The Organisation

The constitution set out below is that of “Farndon Archaeological Research and Investigations”, commonly known as “FARI” and/or “FARI Archaeology”. It amends and replaces any previous constitution and was adopted by the membership as of the date at the foot of this document

2. Aims & Objectives

To investigate and record the archaeological heritage of Farndon and the surrounding area as agreed by the membership.

To train members in all aspects of archaeology and archaeological techniques to a proficiency sufficient to allow them to undertake investigations to a professional standard.

To promote public interest in such archaeological heritage, particularly amongst the local community, through educational and other activities.

3. Membership

3.1. Full Membership

Membership is open to whoever wishes to fulfil the above aims and is prepared to adhere to the constitution, spirit, and any rules or codes of conduct of the organisation as agreed by the membership. Membership is by application and is at the discretion of the serving officers of the organisation who may decide to put the application to the membership at a meeting.

A full member is defined as someone who, having been granted membership, has paid their subscription for the current period and is not subject to disciplinary action of any kind. Full members are entitled to vote on issues affecting the organisation and to hold any office within the club subject to election at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Anyone carrying out activities detrimental to the good name of the organisation can have their membership reviewed by the elected officers. Such activities shall include trespass, damage to (or removal from) archaeological sites, of materials, artefacts, finds, or other items, without consent, and/or any unlawful activity. Once the officers have reviewed the situation they should take the action they deem necessary to resolve the problem and restore the good name of the organisation. This may include the expulsion, or suspension, of the member and, in the case of unlawful activity, informing the relevant authority.

3.2. Honorary Membership

Members may elect, or award, the status of “Honorary Member” to previous or retiring members to mark past service. Honorary membership may also be awarded to persons outside the organisation who have assisted the development of the organisation and/or its wider aims and objectives.

Honorary members may be elected at an AGM or EGM or, if required, at any other time subject to confirmation at the next AGM or EGM, which must be held within 90 days. Honorary members pay no annual subscription and the position carries no voting rights. All honorary members are subject to re-election annually, at the AGM, and the total number of honorary members should not exceed a figure equivalent to 15% of full members.

Where honorary members attend regular meetings of the organisation they should pay the members rate for that meeting, unless invited as a guest of the Officers. They should not become involved in the business of the organisation unless invited so to do by the person chairing that meeting. Should an honorary member wish to become active within the organisation, or take office, they must take up full membership.

4. Subscriptions & Charges

The subscription year will run for 12 months from a date agreed at the AGM, currently 1 April to 31 March each calendar year.

4.1. Annual Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions will be levied at the rate agreed by the membership at an AGM or EGM. The annual subscription is designed to underpin the finances, insurance, communication, administration, storage, and other main expenditure incurred in the running of the organisation. Subscriptions should be paid in full within 28 days of the start of the subscription year or date determined at an AGM or EGM. Where circumstances dictate, and at the discretion of the Treasurer, members may opt to pay in two instalments, six months apart.

Members joining during the year will be charged on a pro rata basis.

4.2. Charges

Other charges will be levied for routine meeting, outings, and various activities of the organisation. For routine (weekly) meetings there will be two charging levels, a lower level for members and a higher level for non-members. The charge levels (currently £1 and £2.50 for routine meetings) may be varied according to the meeting and/or event costs. This charge can be set by the Officers depending on the event.

5. Club Officers

Annually, at the AGM, the following office holders will be elected by the membership to serve for one year, after which they may stand for re-election for a subsequent term of office, whether in the same position or as a different office holder. All officers must serve the aims and objectives of the organisation, abide by the constitution, and attend meetings on a regular basis.

5.1. Chairperson

Responsible for the overall organisation of the Institute. Unless delegated to other members, this includes the recording and collation of finds, the management of field operations, the oversight of reports, and the general management of the organisation including project prioritisation., etc.

5.2. Secretary

Responsible for the dissemination of information within the organisation and externally, including the production of programmes, meeting agendas, minutes, newsletters, updates, maintaining up-to-date membership information, etc. Where necessary, the Secretary will assist the Chairperson in the general management of the organisation and will chair meetings if required.

The secretary will be assisted by an Assistant Secretary, as elected. The Secretary and Assistant Secretary will agree the division of their workload to suit and the Assistant Secretary will stand in for the Secretary when the latter is unavailable. Some aspects of the secretarial role may be delegated to other members.

5.3. Treasurer

Responsible for the management of the finances of the organisation. This will include the maintenance of accurate accounts of the organisation, banking, the collection of subscriptions, meeting charges, payment from funds of any amounts owing, insurances, affiliation fee, etc. It will be the responsibility of the Treasurer to prepare an annual summary of the accounts of the organisation for presentation at the AGM.

All the above offices are honorary though the organisation will reimburse the office holder for costs which are directly occurred in carrying out their duties, save for time and routine travel within the area.

6. Routine Meetings

Subject to determination at the AGM, routine activity meetings will be held weekly, throughout the year, unless agreed otherwise. The routine meeting night is currently Wednesday at the Memorial Hall, Farndon.

Business meetings are held no less often than bimonthly, on the normal (Wednesday) meeting night, unless agreed otherwise. Business meetings will cover the management of the organisation and keep members informed of activities. The business meeting may not be the only topic of the evening.

Routine meetings may be suspended, where appropriate, should the organisation join with others to run training or similar programmes.

7. Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting shall be held prior to the end of each subscription year and no later than 90 days after the beginning of the following subscription year. This will normally be on the last routine meeting date of each year prior to the 1 April start of the new year and serve as both the AGM and hand-over meeting. The ability to delay the meeting for a period is to allow for certain activities which may make it difficult to keep to the proposed date. Any delay should only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and should be agreed by the membership at any business meeting.

The AGM should:

  • receive and agree the reports of the outgoing officers
  • receive and agree the accounts for the year.
  • elect officers to serve for the following year
  • elect honorary member
  • receive the proposals of incoming officers
  • agree the subscriptions for the following year
  • agree any changes to the constitution

7.1. Notice of Annual General Meetings

All full members must receive 28 days notice of the AGM, together with a draft agenda of the meeting. Members have 7 days to inform the Secretary or Chairman of any additions to the agenda which, if they occur, must be notified to all members no less than 14 days before the date of the meeting.

Only items listed on the agenda of the AGM may be voted on at that meeting. Any other items raised may not be voted on at the AGM although the meeting may vote to call an Extraordinary General Meeting should the meeting agree that those items need urgent attention. This is to ensure that all members are given the required notice of major decisions.

7.2. Quorum

Any AGM (or EGM) shall only be considered quorate if at least 2 (two) officers and at least one third of full members are present to validate any decisions. If such a quorum is not present a further meeting shall be called within one calendar month of the original date. The number of members present at any subsequent meeting shall be deemed to constitute a quorum.

Voting by proxy is not allowed and all voting shall be by show of hands.

8. Extraordinary General Meetings

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called if the Chairperson, or two other officers, or three full members, make such a request.

An EGM may be called to consider one or more issues relating to the election or suitability of officers, subscriptions, constitution, honorary membership, or any other issue considered by the caller(s) [see above] to be outside the remit of routine business meetings.

An EGM should be chaired, where possible, by the Chairperson unless the circumstances of the meeting make that inappropriate. In such circumstances an alternative officer, or one of the full members calling for the EGM, should take the chair.

As with an AGM, only items listed on the agenda and notified to the membership in accordance with the rules set out in previous section, may be determined at any EGM.

Where emergency decisions are deemed necessary by a majority of the serving officers, those officers may make such decisions subject to the confirmation of an EGM or AGM within 60 days. Any such move should be taken with the agreement of a business meeting.

9. Dissolution

Any decision to dissolve the organisation can only be taken by an AGM or EGM. Notice of any such meeting must be in accordance with the notice period as set out above.

If an AGM or EGM agrees to dissolve the organisation, any assets remaining, once outstanding debts have been met, will be donated to the local branch of the Young Archaeologists of the Council of British Archaeology, either as tangible assets or as cash.

10. Adoption of Constitution

The above constitution was adopted by the members at the AGM/EGM* on 26th March 2011

Signed: Richard Tyndall (Chairperson) 26th March 2011