Adopted on 23 ApriI 1997.
Amended by the Extraordinary General Meetings of 2 May 2000 and 8 February 2004;
Amended on written notice from the National Trust dd 31 January 2008, communicated at the Annual General Meeting of 19 April 2008
The Steering Committee is currently updating our constitution (2018), for presentation of a new amended version at the AGM of April 2019
The name of this unincorporated association is Association of National Trust Members in Belgium.
The Association’s objects (“the Objects”) are actively to promote and prosper the work of the National Trust (registered charity number 205846) and to promote social activities to make membership of the National Trust more enjoyable.
1. “Association”: A National Trust member’s group, whether an Association, Centre or Club.
2. “Association Member”: A member of the Association for the time being (Clause E)
3. “Committee”: The main Committee of the Association for the time being (Clause G)
4. “Committee Member”: A member of the Committee for the time being (Clauses F, G and H)
5. “AGM” An Annual General Meeting of Association Members (Clause M)
6. “EGM”: An Extraordinary General Meeting of Association Members (Clause N)
7. “GM”: An AGM or EGM
8. “Officers”: The Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and any President (Clause F)
9. “Financial Year: “The Financial Year of the Association, which shall run from 1 January to 31 December (Clauses L and M)
10. “National Trust Volunteer”: A person who holds a currently valid National Trust volunteer card or an admission card issued by the Trust in recognition of voluntary work undertaken by them on Trust working holidays and/or on other residential projects.
D. POWERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
To further the Objects in Clause B only the Committee shall have power:
to raise funds for the good working of the Association;
to invite contributions to the National Trust (including donations, legacies and bequests);
to organise or enlist voluntary support and assistance;
to promote and publicise the National Trust and enrol new National Trust members;
to establish or support any charity formed for all or any of the Objects;
to arrange meetings, courses, lectures and other events and produce newsletters, films, tapes and publicity in any media;
to arrange related social activities, travel and refreshments;
to co-operate with other organisations (including charities, voluntary bodies, private and public sector organisations) and exchange information and advice with them for mutual benefit;
to take out and arrange insurance and other security provisions;
to do all other lawful things as may further the achievement of the Objects
Membership of the Association shall be open to any person who:
is a fully paid-up member of the National Trust; or
is a fully paid-up member or non-member of an affiliated overseas organisation; or
is a member of National Trust staff; and
is interested in furthering the Objects; and
is admitted to membership having completed any application procedures required by the Committee; and
pays any relevant subscription within 60 days of it falling due.
The Committee may decline to accept any person as an Association Member by a two thirds majority of all Committee Members and need not give reasons but shall always make its decisions objectively and fairly.
Every Association Member shall be entitled to attend and vote at every GM and be eligible to serve on the Committee.
Any Association Member’s membership may be terminated for a fair and proper reason by a two thirds majority of all Committee Members provided that the individual is informed of the reason and given the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made. That decision may be appealed at a GM if the individual concerned requests this in writing to the Chair or Secretary within 14 days.
Where any subscription is not paid within 60 days of it falling due, the relevant Association Member shall automatically cease to hold (but may reapply for) membership.
If membership is terminated or resigned no part of any membership subscription paid shall be reimbursable.
The Committee may recommend categories and levels of annual membership subscription for approval at each AGM.
If any Association Member ceases to be a fully paid-up member of the National Trust, s/he may remain an Association Member (subject to the discretion of the Committee) at a subscription determined under Clause 7 above.
At the AGM Association Members shall elect from amongst themselves the Officers to hold office from the end of the AGM until the end of the next AGM. One person may hold more than one office.
G. THE COMMITTEE
The Association shall be organised and managed by the Committee in accordance with this Constitution.
The Committee shall consist of:
the four Officers (excluding any President); and
not less than five other Committee Members (the number being determined by the Committee) to be elected at the AGM from amongst the Association Members to hold office from the end of that AGM until the end of the next AGM; and
up to a quarter more Committee Members co-opted at the Committee’s discretion from amongst the Association Members.
The Committee may also fill a vacancy or temporary absence among the Officers or other elected Committee Members by co-option.
All Officers and other elected Committee Members shall retire from office at the end of the third AGM after they came into office. Committee Members shall be eligible for re-election for a second continuous term of office but on retirement at the end of the second term shall be ineligible for re-election until the next AGM unless the Committee Members have unanimously agreed prior to the relevant retirement that s/he may continue as a Committee Member.
Each co-opted Committee Member shall hold office until the end of the AGM following his/her appointment unless specifically appointed for a different period and may be reco-opted or elected.
The Committee’s proceedings shall not be invalidated by any vacancy or defect in the appointment or qualification of any Committee Member.
No one shall be eligible to be a Committee Member if s/he is not an Association Member.
A member of National Trust staff shall be entitled to attend Committee meetings from time to time but not to vote.
H. ENDING OF COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
A Committee Member shall cease to hold office if s/he:
is absent without the Committee’s permission from all its meetings for six months or more and the Committee resolves that his/her office be vacated; or
resigns by notice in writing to the Chair or Secretary; or
ceases to be an Association Member; or
has his/her Committee membership terminated for a fair and proper reason following the same procedure as for termination of Association membership set out in Clause E4 above.
The Committee shall be entitled (subject to this Constitution) to regulate its own affairs and to determine the activities of the Association within the Objects. However, the Committee must ensure that the Objects are met and that this Constitution is adhered to.
The Committee shall hold at least four meetings each year. An additional meeting may be called by the Chair or any two Committee Members giving notice to the Secretary, who shall convene the meeting by giving not less that 4 working days’ notice to all Committee Members together with a broad written agenda.
The Chair (or in the Chair’s absence the Vice-Chair) shall act as Chair at Committee meetings. If both are absent, the Committee Members present shall choose one of their number to be Chair of the relevant meeting.
Unless resolved otherwise by the Committee, the quorum for any meeting shall be the greater of one third of Committee Members or five, to include at least one Officer.
Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, every matter considered by the Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes (taken by show of hands) of the Committee Members present and voting. In the case of equal votes the chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
The Secretary shall keep full minutes of Committee meetings (recording those present, all resolutions and their outcome). All minutes shall be approved and signed by the Chair or (if different) the chair of the meeting at the next Committee meeting and shall (on reasonable notice) be available for inspection by any Committee Member or Association Member.
The Committee shall ensure that the Association enters into an Affiliation Agreement with the National Trust.
I. COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND PROCEEDINGS
- The Committee shall be entitled (subject to this Constitution) to regulate its own affairs and to determine the activities of the Association within the Objects. However, the Committee must ensure that the Objects are met and that this Constitution is adhered to.
- The Committee shall hold at least four meetings each year. An additional meeting may be called by the Chair or any two Committee Members giving notice to the Secretary, who shall convene the meeting by giving not less that 4 working days’ notice to all Committee Members together with a broad written agenda.
- The Chair (or in the Chair’s absence the Vice-Chair) shall act as Chair at Committee meetings. If both are absent, the Committee Members present shall choose one of their number to be Chair of the relevant meeting.
- Unless resolved otherwise by the Committee, the quorum for any meeting shall be the greater of one third of Committee Members or five, to include at least one Officer.
- Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, every matter considered by the Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes (taken by show of hands) of the Committee Members present and voting. In the case of equal votes the chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
- The Secretary shall keep full minutes of Committee meetings (recording those present, all resolutions and their outcome). All minutes shall be approved and signed by the Chair or (if different) the chair of the meeting at the next Committee meeting and shall (on reasonable notice) be available for inspection by any Committee Member or Association Member.
- The Committee shall ensure that the Association enters into an Affiliation Agreement with the National Trust
The Committee may appoint (and dissolve) one or more sub-committees each consisting of at least one Committee Member and other suitable Association Members for any function or duty which in the Committee’s opinion should be undertaken by a sub-committee.
The chair of each sub-committee shall be a Committee Member.
Sub-committee proceedings shall be fully and promptly reported to the Committee.
No sub-committee shall incur expenditure or enter into any obligation on behalf of the Association except as pre-approved by the Committee in a written minute.
Unless the Committee otherwise resolves, the chair and other sub-committee members shall retire after five and three calendar years in office respectively.
All further arrangements in connection with the holding and conduct of sub-committee meetings may be decided by the Committee.
K. RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURE
All Association funds (including all contributions, donations and legacies) shall within 7 working days of receipt be paid into an account operated by the Committee in the Association’s name at such bank or building society as the Committee shall from time to time decide. All Transfers made from and cheques drawn on the account for 1.000 euros and over must be signed by at least two Officers or Committee Members. Payments of less than 1.000 euros may be signed by the Treasurer alone, or by two Officers or Committee Members.
The Association’s funds shall be applied only in furthering the Objects and shall in no circumstances be paid to or for the benefit of any Association Member.
All funds collected on behalf of the Association must be made payable to the Association and not to any individual Committee Member or Association Member.
All of the Association’s surplus funds shall in due course be given to the National Trust.
The Committee shall ensure that the Association’s funds are dispersed in accordance with this Constitution and the current edition of the National Trust Associations’ Handbook form time to time.
The Association shall keep such accounting records, prepare such annual accounts and arrange such independent examination or auditing as shall be proper, reasonable and sufficient to show and explain the transactions of the Association.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping full and accurate accounting records recording all income and expenditure of the Association for each Financial Year.
M. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- An AGM shall be held within five months of the end of each Financial Year and shall be called by the Committee to:
- elect the Officers and the other elected Committee Members for the period to the end of the next AGM;
- receive the Committee Members’ report and approve the accounts for the preceding Financial Year;
- appoint any required independent examiner or auditor until the next AGM;
- approve, after recommendation by the Committee, the annual subscription until the next AGM;
- approve the Committee’s recommendations for the donation of any surplus Association funds raised during the preceding Financial Year to specific National Trust appeals or projects; and
- consider any other business.
- The Secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice of the AGM to all Association Members and circulate a broad written agenda.
- Nominations for Officers or other elections to the Committee must be made by any Association Member(s) in writing and be in the hands of the Secretary at least 14 days before the AGM. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.
N. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
The Committee may call an EGM on 21 days’ notice.
If at least 10 Association Members, or one quarter of the total membership, (whichever is the smaller) call an EGM in writing stating the business to be considered, the Secretary shall within 21 days call an EGM by giving 21 days’ notice.
Every notice of an EGM must include a broad written agenda.
O. PROCEDURE AT GENERAL MEETINGS
The Secretary shall keep full minutes of proceedings at every GM.
There shall be a quorum when at least 10 Association Members, or one tenth of the total membership, (whichever is the greater) are present at any GM.
Voting at GMs shall be by show of hands, unless a ballot is requested by an Association Member or the matter is the election of Officers or other Committee Members and a ballot is requested under Clause M3.
The Chair (or in his/her absence the Vice-Chair) shall be chair of each GM. In their absence the Association Members may elect another Committee Member or, in the absence of all Committee Members, one of their number to chair the relevant GM.
The chair of a GM shall in the event of an equality of votes have a second or casting vote.
All other arrangements for holding and conducting GMs (not specified by law or this Constitution) may be decided by the Committee.
Any notice to be sent to any Association Member shall be in writing and sent by the Secretary or the Committee through the post in a prepaid letter addressed to such Member at his/her last known address, or delivered by hand. Any notice so sent shall be deemed to have been received within three working days of posting.
Q. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Subject to the following sub-paragraphs this Constitution may only be amended:
by a resolution (for which prior written consent has been obtained from the National Trust)passed by not less than two thirds of Association Members present and voting at a GM, the notice having included the wording of the alteration proposed; or
on written notice form the National Trust specifying the alteration to be made (which shall be effective from the time of receipt by the Chair or Secretary of the Association).
No amendment may be made to Clause B (the Objects clause), Clause R (the dissolution clause) or this Clause Q unless it is passed in accordance with Clause Q1(b), or 1(a) with the words “unanimous resolution” replacing the words “not less than two thirds of”.
The Committee should promptly send to the National Trust a copy of any amendment made under Clause Q.
If the Committee decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association it shall call a GM, of which not less than 21 days’ notice (stating the terms of the proposed resolution) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of Association Members present and voting the Committee shall realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Association. Any assets remaining after the payment of any proper debts and liabilities shall promptly by given to the National Trust subject to the terms of any trust or condition under which the assets were held by the Association.
Committee Members may collectively and separately be indemnified out of Association funds in respect of any claims arising from the Association’s affairs PROVIDED that no Committee Member shall be so indemnified against any liability arising from his/her breach of trust or duty.
If the Association wishes, it may pay a premium for trustee indemnity insurance to cover the liability of the Committee or any Committee Member for an inadvertent breach of trust or duty.
This Constitution was adopted on the dates mentioned above.
Last Updated ( Monday, 04 February 2008 )