Policies and procedures
The Sutton Writers Constitution was revised in June 2018 and approved at the Annual General Meeting on 13th July 2018.
It was first drawn up at a Committee meeting on 17th November 1987 and amended after decisions taken at the AGM on 9th June 1989, and at the AGM on 13th July 1990.
Future amendments to the Constitution may be made by the Committee, by a unanimous vote of attending Committee Members, and reported to the Members at the next AGM.
The following definitions apply in this Constitution.
A member must have paid a current annual fee. This gives free attendance to regular monthly meetings and workshops (unless the workshop is in a location where a fee is charged), and a member is entitled to enter competitions, nominate Committee Members, vote at the AGM, and request an EGM is called (see later 6 – meetings). The several grades of Members are described in 3 – Members.
The Committee consists of the officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) and other committee members, all elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), unless co-opted by a simple majority of a quorum of committee members. A maximum of two committee members may be co-opted in any one year.
Where put to the vote, committee meeting decisions will be taken by a simple majority. If the vote is tied the Chair will have the casting vote.
Visitors are not members, and do not have members’ rights, but may attend regular monthly meetings, or workshops, in accordance with the conditions set out in this constitution, and subject to payment of the visitors fee (or any other fee levied) in place at the time.
Regular monthly meetings will usually take place on the second Friday of each month, although this date may be altered if necessary.
The name of the organisation is SUTTON WRITERS.
The object of Sutton Writers is to encourage members in the writing craft by means of regular monthly meetings, workshops and other related activities. Sutton Writers will also support and encourage writing in the wider community
Membership will be Full, Country, Honorary or any other additional grade which might be approved by the committee.
Full members pay the annual fee in place at the time, which is due for payment on the anniversary of their joining Sutton Writers.
Country members, who may not be able to enjoy the full benefits of membership, pay half the annual fee, due for payment on the anniversary of their joining Sutton Writers.
Membership will be subject to the approval of the committee, by a majority vote. This decision will be final.
Honorary membership is for life. No membership fee is payable by honorary members. Their membership can only be terminated by the committee, which must state its reasons in writing. Any such termination may be appealed against.
Members may apply to join workshops. Visitors may also apply to attend workshops; each time they attend they will be required to pay the visitor’s fee in place at the time.
If a workshop is held at a private house, the host will be entitled to refuse any attendee. There will be no formal process for appeal; however, a committee member should attempt to resolve the issue with both parties.
If a workshop is held in a location where a fee is charged, it will be the responsibility of the members of that workshop to cover any such cost, without subsidy from Sutton Writers’ funds.
The committee will have the power to withdraw membership from anyone whose conduct renders him or her unsuitable. Any such complaint will be considered by the committee. Any member whose membership is withdrawn will have the right of appeal to the committee.
Any outstanding subscription will not be refundable.
A copy of the current Sutton Writers constitution will be displayed on the Sutton Writers website.
Subscriptions and fees
Full and country members must pay their annual subscription, in force at that time, either in full at the July meeting or on the anniversary of their joining. Members who are unable to pay should approach the Treasurer and the matter will be dealt with, in confidence, by the committee.
There is no annual subscription for honorary members.
The annual subscription will be decided at an Annual General Meeting. The committee may recommend changes in subscriptions; such changes to be duly approved at an AGM.
Visitors may attend their first regular monthly meeting free of charge. The visitor’s fee in place at the time will be charged for a second and any subsequent regular meetings attended, and if a workshop is attended. There is no limit to the number of visitor attendances any person may make.
Visitors do not have members rights.
The officers and committee will be elected at each Annual General Meeting.
The Committee will consist of:
- The Officers, namely the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, together with a minimum of three other committee members.
- Four members of the committee will form a quorum.
- Committee members will serve for not more than three consecutive years but will then be eligible for re-election after an interval of one year, unless otherwise approved by the AGM.
- The Chair will serve for not more than three consecutive years in that office but will be eligible for re-election after an interval of one year, unless otherwise approved by the AGM.
- The committee will have the power to fill up to two vacancies during the year by co-opting a member, who will then have full committee rights.
An honorary auditor will be elected at the AGM but will not be a committee member.
Regular membership meetings will normally be held on the second Friday of each month.
The Annual General Meeting will be held in July of each year. The minimum notice to members will be 14 days before the meeting with an agenda and the minutes of the previous year’s meeting distributed by that time.
The business of the Annual General Meeting will include:
- The Chair’s address
- Reports from the Secretary and Treasurer
- The election of officers and committee, nominations for which must be received by the Secretary at least seven days before the meeting. All such nominations to be proposed and seconded by two members.
- Any amendment to the constitution agreed by the committee since the last Annual General meeting.
- Any proposed changes to subscriptions.
- Any other business decided by the committee.
One-fourth of the total membership will constitute a quorum for the meeting, and any subsequent vote, to be valid.
All decisions will be taken by a simple majority vote of the members present.
Committee meetings will normally be convened by the Chair. Two other officers, or one officer and one ordinary committee member, may call a special committee meeting.
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by the Chair, or the committee, on the receipt by the Secretary of a requisition stating the purpose of such a meeting. An EGM may also be called on the receipt of a similar requisition signed by at least one-fourth of the members (all grades) of Sutton Writers.
Fourteen days’ notice of an EGM must be given to members stating its purpose, and the business will be confined to this purpose only. One-fourth of the total membership need to attend to constitute a quorum for the meeting, and any subsequent vote, to be valid.
Votes will be decided by a simple majority. If the vote is tied, the Chair will have the casting vote.
Members will be advised of the club activities by the Sutton Writers website, by email, by social media, or any other method agreed by the committee.
Members are encouraged to monitor these sources for information of future events.
Income and property will be applied solely to the promotion of the objects of Sutton Writers, as approved by the committee.
Dissolution or amalgamation
Sutton Writers will not be dissolved or amalgamated except by a resolution at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting.
In this event, the remaining assets, after payment of all liabilities, will be devoted to objects similar to those of Sutton Writers, which objects will have the consent of HMRC.
These matters will be decided by calling an EGM, under the EGM rules above.
Amendment to the Constitution (October 2019)
Membership is open to anyone over the age of 16.
However, if the person is under 18 they must be accompanied to any Sutton Writers event by a parent or other responsible adult, until they have reached their 18th birthday.
If they are not a member, they must pay the Visitors’ fee in place at the time. The accompanying adult will be admitted free but will not be permitted to participate in the event.
There is no age limit for admission, however anyone under 16 will only be allowed entry, with the express permission of a committee member, each time they wish to attend.
Any member of the committee, acting for the elected committee, will have the authority to refuse entry, or to request a person to leave, if their behaviour is unacceptable. This will apply to anyone, member or not, irrespective of age.