Byelaws

1. Officers

1.1

The officers of the Society shall consist of a Chairman, a General Secretary, a Treasurer, a Membership Secretary, a Journal Manager, a Shop Manager, an Area Groups Co-ordinator, a Society Display Unit Manager, a Trade Liaison Officer, a Webmaster, and not more than three additional Officers for named specific purposes as is deemed necessary.

1.2

Post Holders, who shall not be members of the Committee, shall consist of a Publicity Officer, a Helpline Co-ordinator, a Membership Enquiry Officer, a Mini Stand Manager, a Wagon Kit Project Officer, a Librarian, a Back Number Service Officer, an Annual Model Making Competition Co-ordinator, and any other named person for a specific purpose as is deemed necessary.

1.3

The officers, who shall be members of the Society, including family members, life members, and honorary life members, over 18 years of age, who have enjoyed voting rights for a continuous period of at least two years, shall be appointed, or re-appointed, subject to having been previously elected by the membership, at an Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.

1.4

Post Holders, who shall be members of the Society, including family members, life members, honorary members and honorary life members, over the age of 18 years, shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.

1.5

In the event of death, resignation or removal from office of an officer, the Committee may appoint a member of the Committee or another member of the Society, to fill the vacancy so created, to serve until the next Annual General Meeting of the Society.

1.6

As and when it is deemed necessary to create one of the three additional officers, the Committee may co-opt another member of the Society to serve until the next Annual General Meeting of the Society.

1.7

All officers, prior to election, and Post Holders, prior to appointment, are to be informed, in writing, of the responsibilities and duties entailed in the position to which they are offering their services. It is expected that having accepted the position they will abide by the requirements of the job as set out in that document. The responsibilities and duties may be amended by the agreement of the Officers/Post Holder and Committee as circumstances demand. These documents will always be made available for inspection and retention by any member of the Society on application to the General Secretary.

1.8

All newly elected officers and appointees on taking up office will be required to sign a certificate acknowledging receipt of and agreeing to abide by the Notes of Guidance for Committee and Appointed Officers.

1.9

The Committee shall have the power, by a 2/3rds majority decision, to suspend or remove from office any officer upon proper cause being shown that such action appears to be in the best interests of the Society as a whole. Any person being so suspended or removed by the decision of the Committee may have a right of appeal to the Annual General Meeting of the Society, when the consideration of the Committee and the statement of appeal will be considered by the members present. A minimum of 75% of the members present at that meeting must be in favour of the proposal for it to be carried.

1.10

The General Secretary shall at all times ensure that all actions by the Society, its officers and Post Holders comply with all United Kingdom and European Union laws, acts, regulations and directives. Any fine or penalty imposed on the Society shall be explained as a note to the annual accounts and the Committee action explained.

2. Management Committee

2.1

A Management Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) shall be appointed, or re-appointed, subject to having been previously elected by the membership, at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, to organise its affairs and generally to promote the interests of the Society and its members.

2.2

The Committee shall consist of the officers of the Society. Each member of the Management Committee shall be entitled to one vote only on any proposal placed before the meeting. In the event of the number of votes on any proposal being equal, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

2.3

No member who is the proprietor, or who is in full time employment in, or is dependent upon the model railway trade for their principle income, may be elected to any position on the Committee that enjoys voting rights.

2.4

No officer whose membership has been withdrawn or suspended, may continue to hold such office or Committee membership, unless he/she is re-instated to membership at an Annual General Meeting and re-elected to office.

2.5

The Committee shall have powers to co-opt members for general or specific purposes but such members shall have no voting powers within the Committee and shall cease membership of the Committee at the conclusion of the purpose for which they were co-opted or at the next Annual General Meeting.

2.6

The Committee shall meet at least three times in each year, in addition to the Annual General Meeting of the Society, and shall report upon its activities and of any special event or such of interest to members, at each Annual General Meeting.

2.7

A quorum for all meetings of the Committee shall be 2/3rds of the membership eligible to vote, or four members, whichever is the greater. In the event of a quorum not being present the meeting shall not be held, but any important/urgent matters may be dealt with, subject to ratification by the next full meeting of the Committee at which a quorum is present.

2.8

At its first meeting, following the Annual General Meeting, the Committee shall elect one of its members as the Vice Chairman, who shall chair all meetings of that Committee in the absence of the elected Chairman.

3. Elections

3.1

Members seeking election to the Committee of the Society shall state their intention to do so in writing to the Returning Officer, who shall be a Vice President nominated by the Committee, by the date specified in the Society Journal, following which he/she shall secure a proposer and seconder and submit a short autobiography on the proforma provided. In the interests of continuity the posts of Chairman, General Secretary and Treasurer should ideally be filled by a member with very recent Committee experience. All nominations shall be signed by the proposer and seconder and counter-signed by the member nominated signifying his/her consent to nomination. All nominations and autobiographies shall be sent to the Returning Officer.

3.2

In the event of more than one nomination for office, the General Secretary shall arrange for voting papers to be distributed to members not less than thirty days before the date of the Annual General Meeting and sent to the last known address of each member. Voting papers of members, to be eligible for counting, shall be returned to the appointed Returning Officer, to be in his/her hands five days prior to the Annual General Meeting. The count shall be conducted by the Returning Officer in order that the result may be announced at the Annual General Meeting. In the event of a tie, the Chairman of the meeting will exercise a casting vote. The completed voting papers will be made available at the Annual General Meeting for any member wishing to check the validity of the results.

4. Finance

4.1

A Treasurer shall be appointed for each financial year. The financial affairs of the Society shall be under the direction of the Treasurer. The Treasurer will be required to ensure that proper account records, commensurate with the standard of the U.K. Accounting Standards Board for member societies, are kept.

4.2

Within the annual accounts there shall be a separate item for members subscriptions. There shall be separate accounts for the Society Shop or similar trading facility, which shall be maintained by the Shop Manager and presented to the Treasurer. The Shop account shall be sub-divided to show income and expenditure for model kits or other items promoted by the Society.

4.3

Bank accounts shall only be opened with the specific authority of the Committee and recorded in the minutes of the Committee. Authorisation of signatures for cheques shall be confirmed by the Committee. Any cheque over the value of £750 must be signed by any two of the authorised signatories. The Committee may at its discretion, alter this limit as circumstances demand.

4.4

The Society shall only hold its financial reserves in a bank or other financial institution which guarantees those assets under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, provided that the total amount deposited with such a bank or financial institution does not exceed the limit of that compensation. The Society may hold several accounts with different banks or financial institutions. The names of the banks/financial institutions and the type of accounts shall be published in the annual accounts.

4.5

If a member or officer of the Society requires an imprest account this will be allowed at the discretion of the Committee. Moneys in the Imprest Account must be accounted for to the Treasurer each month. At no time is the balance to exceed £500.

4.6

Expenses claims will be made not more than 3 monthly and submitted to the Treasurer no later than ten days after the end of the relevant quarter.

4.7

It shall be the Treasurer’s responsibility to ensure that one month before the end of the financial year a proper physical check be made of all the assets owned by the Society and a certified list be made available for inspection.

4.8

Any records, schedules, or accounts must be kept in any recognised hard copy, and/or microfilm, as well as electronically where appropriate.

4.9

The accounts of the Society shall be made up to the 31st December each year. The accounts shall be audited by a person who has a recognised competency to carry out an audit, who is not a member of the Committee. The auditors report shall be published in full along with the accounts in the Journal within 9 months of the end of the financial year. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to ensure the accounts are printed in the Journal.

4.10

The financial affairs of Groups will be maintained on a local basis subject to the general approval of the Committee of the Society.

4.11

The annual subscription shall be paid on joining and thereafter on the first day of the month during which the anniversary date falls and shall be of such amount as may be determined by the Committee from time to time. The subscription shall be commensurate with, but adequate to meet, the legitimate needs and expenses of the Society. The Committee may authorise varying subscriptions for different classes of membership. Any new subscription rates determined by the Committee, and approved by the membership present at the Annual General Meeting, shall apply from 1st January following the Annual General Meeting.

5. Annual General Meeting

5.1

An Annual General Meeting of all members of the Society shall be held not later than 31st July in each year. At such meeting, the Committee shall present a report on its activities and those of the Society since the last Annual General Meeting. Officers and other appointments for the ensuing year shall be elected as detailed in bye-law No.3, and they shall take up office at the close of the Annual General Meeting.

5.2

Alterations and amendments to the Constitution, if any, shall be submitted to those present as detailed in Article 6 of the Constitution.

5.3

The Committee shall present any general proposals made by the members throughout the year for discussion and subsequent action, which shall be for the benefit and well being of the Society and its members. Other competent business shall be conducted as may be detailed on the agenda for the meeting.

6. Property

6.1

The Society may from time to time purchase or acquire items connected with the hobby of N Gauge modelling and may dispose of such items at its discretion.

6.2

Any item of rolling stock, equipment, materials, publications, pamphlets or other article sent to or handed to any member of the Society by a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, publisher or importer for examination, criticism or comment shall be deemed to be the property of the Society. All such items shall be handed, without delay, to the Trade Liaison Officer for registration. Failure to hand such items over to the Trade Liaison Officer shall be considered a breach of duty and the member so failing shall be liable to expulsion from the Society forthwith.

6.3

The Trade Liaison Officer as the duly elected representative of the Society shall upon receipt, enter the said item in his/her register and maintain a complete record of its progress from receipt, through review, to final disposal through the second hand lists of the Society shop, priced at 50% of its recommended retail price. Any book submitted will upon disposal become the property of the Society library.

7. Cessation of Membership

7.1

The Committee shall have power by majority decisions to refuse membership, reject renewal of membership, or suspend or expel a member upon proper cause being shown that such action appears to be in the best interests of the Society as a whole. Any person being so refused, rejected, suspended or expelled, by the decision of the Committee may have a right to appeal to the Annual General Meeting of the Society, when the consideration of the Committee and the statement of appeal will be considered by the members present. A minimum of 75% of the members present at that meeting must be in favour of the proposal, for it to be carried.

8. General

8.1

The Society shall be permitted to set up Special Groups, Working Parties and Sub-Committees, who will report on their activities or researches as may be determined by their terms of reference.

8.2

The Society may join together with other societies and organisations having similar aims for the promotion of N Gauge modelling or for the promotion of hobbies generally.

8.3

The Society may affiliate with, or accept affiliation from, other societies and organisations upon such terms as the Committee may deem appropriate for the benefit of the Society.

9. Amendments to Bye-Laws

9.1

Any amendment to these Bye-Laws shall be submitted in writing to the General Secretary of the Society. The Committee shall examine such amendments and subsequently make changes to the Bye-Laws as and if it sees fit, notifying the members via the Society Journal. If, in the opinion of the Committee, any particular amendment requires full Society approval, it shall be submitted to a postal vote as detailed by Bye-Law No.10.

10. Postal Voting

10.1

Each member, including family members, life members, honorary members and honorary life members, shall be entitled to one vote in respect of each proposal.

10.2

The General Secretary shall conduct a referendum for amendments to the Constitution as detailed in Article 6 of the Constitution.

10.3

The nominated Returning Officer, shall conduct a postal vote for the election of officers as detailed in Bye-Law No.3.

10.4

The General Secretary shall conduct a postal vote when, in the opinion of the Committee, certain Bye-Law amendments or proposals discussed at the Annual General Meeting require full Society approval. A simple majority of votes returned within sixty days of voting forms being issued shall determine their acceptance or rejection. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall exercise a casting vote.

11. Area Groups

11.1

No Area Group shall enter into any agreement, or contract, either expressed or implied, or incur expenses on behalf of the Society without the prior written authority of the Management Committee.

11.2

Membership of an Area Group is restricted to members of the N Gauge Society. A list of those members should be advised to the Area Groups Co-ordinator. Guests may attend meetings but they shall have no voting rights.

11.3

All Area Groups must follow the guidelines set down by the Area Groups Co-ordinator.

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