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MAIDENHEAD WOMEN'S GROUP FOR EUROPEAN FRIENDSHIP

CONSTITUTION

1.0 AIMS

The Group will be known as “Maidenhead Women’s Group for European Friendship”. The purpose of the Group, established in Maidenhead in 1965, is to foster friendship between its Members, drawn from the Maidenhead area, and, through the wider Circle, to encourage and develop knowledge of Europe and friendship with the sister Groups of St Cloud in France, Bad Godesberg in Germany, Frascati in Italy, Kortrijk in Belgium – all twin towns with Maidenhead, and also Salzburg in Austria.

The Group is for women and is entirely inclusive, non-politically partisan and non-sectarian; anyone with a desire for friendship and a wish to extend her knowledge of all and any aspects of Europe is welcome to join. There is no pre-requisite to have any knowledge of foreign languages.

This Constitution complies with the broad framework of the European Circle Charter, signed in Frascati in 2010 and amended in Kortrijk in February 2013.

2.0 PROCEDURE

2.1 ORGANISATION OF THE GROUP

The Group will be organised and run by a President and Vice President, a Secretary, a Programme Secretary, a Treasurer and a Committee of 6 Members.

Terms of Office – By Election

  • President – 3 years, with option of a further 3 years (total 6 years only)
  • Vice President – as for President
  • Secretary – 1 year, renewable
  • Programme Secretary – 1 year, renewable
  • Treasurer – 1 year, renewable
  • Committee – 6 members, each serving 3 years, elected 2 each year to ensure a ‘rolling rota of 2,2,2’ and continuity of experience.

Elections will be by secret ballot.

  • When there is an election, for any post, the Secretary will organise the necessary papers.
  • The counting will take place at the meeting when elections take place.
  • Counting of votes will be by 3 Members of the Committee.
  • Results of the election will be announced at that meeting.
  • Any Member who wishes to do so may have access to the voting papers.

There will also be a further post of President’s Assistant, which will run for one year. The President’s Assistant will be appointed by the President and will be a member of the Committee for her year of office. If a serving member of the Committee is appointed, her year as President’s Assistant will count as one of her three years on the Committee.

2.2 MEETINGS

a)   The Group will meet monthly from September to June (inclusively) on the second Wednesday afternoon of the month, when there will be lectures on any subject related, as far as possible, to Europe, planned to improve our knowledge and understanding:- culturally, historically, socially, geographically or politically.

b)   The two summer months, July and August, will be devoted to social meetings. Throughout the year there may be further ad hoc outings/visits/lectures, etc. organised for social and fund-raising purposes. Any profits will be added to the funds of the Group.

c)    The Annual General Meeting will be held in March when reports will be given on the past year by the President, Secretary and Treasurer, who will present audited accounts for the year, prepared by an approved Auditor. At that meeting elections will be held for any vacancies on the Committee, or for Officers.

d)   Special Interest Groups (formerly known as Subgroups). In addition to the monthly meetings there will be scope for voluntary Special Interest Groups to be formed under the umbrella of MWGEF. The Special Interest Groups will be headed by a volunteer convenor from the Membership. The Special Interest Groups shall be run on an informal basis and be open to all members.

2.3 SUBSCRIPTIONS and MEMBERSHIP

There will be an Annual Subscription to be paid by all Members at the Annual General Meeting in March, with a reduced fee for new Members who join the Group later in the year.

a)   Membership is open to any woman in Maidenhead or the surrounding area.

b)   The year will be from April to March.

c)   Subscriptions must be paid by the end of April.

d)   New Members who join from September onwards will pay half the annual subscription for the remaining months.

e)   Membership List. This will be compiled annually ready for distribution in May. All paid-up Members will be on this List.

f)   All personal membership information will be managed in accordance with National Data Protection guidelines.

2.4 EXCHANGE VISITS

Each year the six Member Groups of the Circle will, on an organised rota, visit one another. These visits will mainly take place in the Spring and Autumn, but there should be flexibility.

Every three years there will be a European Circle Presidents’ Meeting, when the President & Vice President from each Group in the Circle meet together, in each country in turn. The host Group will make all arrangements for all visiting Presidents. All Circle Groups will contribute to the cost of the Presidents’ Meeting.

The purpose of the Presidents’ Meeting will be to discuss matters of mutual interest or concern, as well as to socialise. The Presidents will have the responsibility of representing the views of their Group. It is important that decisions reached are formalised and finalised by the Host Group, and all such decisions circulated to the other Groups, in their own language.

When Maidenhead receives visits from the other Circle Groups we will plan a programme which will include meals together, a Presentation by the visiting Group, outings to places of interest and an opportunity for our guests to meet informally with their friends in Maidenhead. We will provide all the transport necessary and our guests will stay with us in our homes. Apart from the cost of travel to England, which will be met by our visitors, we will pay for our guests for all meals, visits etc. from the Group’s funds. Hostesses will pay their own costs and Members who are not hostesses will also pay theirs on outings, etc.

When we go to visit the other countries, upon receiving the invitation with the date and number of people invited, the President will circulate to all Members of the Group a form inviting them to submit their names for inclusion in the visit. The President will then decide who will go, looking to achieve a balance of long-standing and newer members. She will also take into account the contributions of the Member to the Group by, for example:

  • good attendance at meetings and other social occasions,
  • giving talks, European Reports, vote of thanks, etc.,
  • helping at social gatherings and behind the scenes,
  • giving coffee mornings,
  • serving on the committee, etc.

The President's decision will be final.

We will have a Presentation to give to the other Group, if possible in the host language.

Group travel will be organised and each Member will pay her share of the costs. We all participate as a Group in the activities provided for us by our hosts.

2.5 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Any amendments or additions to the Constitution may be made, as deemed necessary, by the membership through discussion and democratic decisions taken at the Annual General Meetings. If such alterations need to be made in the interim, an Extraordinary General meeting may be called by the Committee.

The EGM may be called on giving 14 days’ notice either by the Committee or on a special written notice given to the Secretary signed by 10 members, such notice specifying, in the form of a resolution, the subject to be discussed.

A copy of the resolution to be circulated to ALL Members, giving the time and date of the EGM. The discussion to be strictly confined to the resolution specified. At least 60% of Members must be present and no resolution shall be carried unless it contains the concurrence of at least two-thirds of those voting.

If the required number of Members is not present within half-an-hour of the time fixed for the EGM, the Meeting shall be dissolved.

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The above Constitution was reviewed and amended by Linda Johnston, Michaela Howard, Anne Home, Iris Belsten & Rita Ashmore on 13th November 2012. Further amendments were made to accommodate Committee views and to reflect The European Circle Charter amendments agreed in Kortrijk in February 2013. The Committee approved the above Constitution on 6th March 2013 and it was ratified by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 13th March 2013.

 

President

Linda Johnston

Committee:

Pauline Sparkes, Norma Herdson, Mya Allport, Ella Grey, Mary Stockton and Barbara Anthony

Vice President

Michaela Howard

Secretary

Anne Home

Treasurer

Maria Kinch

 

 




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