Surrey Reptile and Amphibian Society

Constitution for Surrey Reptile and Amphibian Society 2017

NAME OF ORGANISATION
Our society will be called Surrey Reptile and Amphibian Society. We will also use S.R.A.S, or SRAS, to identify ourselves.

AIMS OF SRAS
a) To be a welcoming group of likeminded individuals, with a common interest in herpetology.

b) To bring together other likeminded individuals for social and educational meetings, and to improve husbandry across the hobby of reptile keeping, including but not limited to those in the UK County of Surrey.

c) To encourage high (not minimum) standards of reptile keeping within the hobby, through educational talks and fact sharing.

d) To encourage both new and experienced keepers to come together, share their knowledge and have a positive effect on the future of the reptile keeping hobby.

e) To raise awareness within the wider myths, and about reptiles. Showing ideal enclosures, and good handling techniques.

MEMBERS
Anybody wanting to learn more about reptiles, and their keeping, is welcome to join SRAS.

Our membership shall be mainly based in the county of Surrey, but is not limited to that area.

Becoming a member is done by completing a membership form and paying an annual membership fee. These can be found by visiting our website, our Facebook page or by speaking to a member of the committee.

Memberships will run for one full year from the receipt of membership fees. Renewal of membership should be done in the month leading up to its expiry date, or via automated renewal, we will endeavour to advise members of this via email. If we have not received payment for your renewal within 1 month, we will assume you no longer wish to be a member. You will therefore give up the right to vote, attend monthly meetings or talks for free or benefit from any subsidised trips (but can still attend as a member of the public, charged at full price).

Membership fee is set at £10 per adult and £5 for children (under 16) family membership (2 adults and 2 children) is set at £25.00, there is no trade membership at this stage. This fee can be changed annually by vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). All members will be made aware of the change via the email they provide upon joining. We will have an auto renew, via PayPal. Notice will be sent out when you are due to renew, to enable cancellation should you wish to.

Anyone under 16 years of age, attending any event hosted by the society must be accompanied by an adult, and a nominal fee of £3 from the accompanying adult (where the accompanying adult is not also a member), is requested per meeting as with all non-members.

Please note that on occasion, our meetings may be held in licensed venues, where under 18s are not permitted. If this is the case, we will make it clear on any advertising done prior to the even. Please ensure you bring ID to such venues.

The Committee reserve the right to refuse a new membership where necessary, and if this is the case the applicant will be notified via the contact details they have provided and a refund given. The Committee also reserve the right to cancel your membership should you behave in a way which is detrimental to the society. Should you feel this is an unfair decision, you may appeal the decision by sending a formal letter to the Chairman, this will be reviewed with the committee. The committee will then, either reply via the contact information supplied, or invite you to meet with them where the subject can be discussed further. This meeting will be attended by the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson, and the secretary (who will minute the meeting), and a member of their choice. You have the right to bring another member of your choice with you to this meeting.

Members personal details, as provided by them, will be stored in a database, and will not be shared with any third party (unless prior permission has been sought and approved by the individual), as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Your name and membership number may be shared by the committee when required for admin purposes.

In the event of a malicious breach of security, SRAS will inform all members promptly, but hold no responsibility for the loss of data or liability.

Any member wishing to cancel their membership at any time prior to it expiring, may do so. No refund will be given.

The AGM will take place in the month of October, unless stated otherwise, in which case we aim to have it no more than a month prior to or post this date.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
SRAS will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age. Any individual member (committee or otherwise) felt to be doing so will be advised of their behaviour in the first instance, and a further occurrence of such behaviour will result in the cancellation of their membership (and dismissal from the committee if applicable), and therefore association with SRAS. This is in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010, and any revisions since.

COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS
The committee will be elected at the AGM. As of the next AGM in October 2016, you need to have been a member of SRAS for 6 months to be nominated/put yourself forward for a position on the committee, with the exception of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer, which requires you to have been a member for 12 months minimum. Bank account signatories will be subject to a bank credit check. If the bank refuses to allow that person to be a signatory on the SRAS bank account, they will be removed from the committee with immediate effect, and an election for their position will be held at the earliest opportunity (this is the only time we may require giving less than 28 days notice for an EGM).

The required named positions are as follows, and must be held by 4 different people.

These people are required to attend all meetings where reasonable. Apologies must be given in advance if any committee member cannot attend a meeting.

Should one of the required positions become vacant for any reason – be it grievance or missing of meetings, all financial responsibilities will be removed from that position, where appropriate the committee will choose an acting member to take on that role, and call an EGM to allow a vote to elect a replacement:

Chairperson
Chairs meetings, joint signatory on bank accounts, represents SRAS to the national society with which we are affiliated. Responsible for all new membership enquiries, and renewal of existing membership. They will also be responsible for sending out the SRAS newsletter, and any other information.

Vice Chairperson
Chairs meetings if the Chairperson is unavailable, joint signatory on bank accounts. Organises trips and talks for the members to attend, advertises such events on behalf of the society, through social media.

Treasurer
Joint signatory on bank accounts, keeps financial records and sets budgets for the society.

Untitled Role 
There are untitled positions on the committee, these are for people who are willing to help the other committee members where possible, but not to commit to a role in its entirety. They are usually research positions e.g. information for the newsletter, and help at events. They are also an extra point of call for members with queries. If further committee positions are deemed necessary by the committee, then one, or both, of these committee members may be appointed by a majority vote of the committee until the next AGM or EGM where they will have to stand for election as set in the election rules document.

MEETINGS
AGM
The AGM will be held once a year, in the month of October. The Chairperson and the Treasurer will give reports on activity and finances, for the society since the previous AGM. Other committee members may also give a rundown of their achievements. We will also inform the members of the ideas and plans for the forthcoming year, and where applicable voting will take place.

A new committee will be elected at this meeting, by vote of the members in attendance. This meeting is closed to non-members.

Members will be notified of the date, time and location of the AGM no less than 28 days prior, via email, our website and social media.

Any full paying member (6 months minimum, 12 months in the case of the Chairperson or Treasurer positions) can be nominated, or put themselves forward for a position on the committee. 

Voting will be done via private ballot, only members present at the AGM will be able to vote.


EMERGENCY GENERAL MEETINGS
An Emergency General Meeting (or EGM) may be called by either a majority vote of the committee.

An EGM can be called if it is necessary to discuss matters that cannot wait until an AGM. Notice for such a meeting will be no less than 28 days, unless these matters prove to be urgent. If this is the case, all members will be notified by way of an email, as well as it being publicised on the website and social media.


MEMBERS MEETINGS
The society aims to hold meetings on either the Saturday or Sunday of the third weekend of each month. We aim to have guest speakers, hold quiz nights etc at these meetings. Non-members wishing to attend our talks will be asked for an entrance fee of £3 (guest speakers may bring up to 3 people with them to a talk at no charge). Notice will be given via our website and social media as to the date, time and location of meetings, and of any changes as and where necessary. The meeting shall be hosted by the chair or vice chair, however if both are unavailable they will nominate a committee member to host the meeting on their behalf.

Should our meetings clash with UK based Reptile Shows, we will inform the members at the previous meeting as well as via the contact details provided, and hold the meeting the week after the show.

Our December meeting will be a social event, at which only news deemed urgent will be discussed.

Trips
Trips will be held in addition to monthly meetings, not replace them. We aim to organise trips to zoos etc, and will endeavour to arrange these on different weekends to the meetings.


FINANCES
SRAS currently has a Paypal account and a bank account with Barclays Bank Plc. Any money/cheques received will be paid in to said accounts.

All expenditure on behalf of the society must be discussed and approved by the committee, and withdrawals/cheques written require the signature of the Treasurer and either the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson.


A full statement of accounts will be given at the AGM. All monies raised by the society will be spent solely on future activities of SRAS.

All cheques received with incorrect payee details will be spoiled, and returned to the sender, along with the correct details for them to make a new cheque payable to SRAS we will keep record of dates received/returned. We will accept cheques, PayPal or Bank transfers for membership payment. Cash for memberships will only be accepted at events, Cash for memberships may only be taken by the Secretary, Treasurer, Chair or Vice Chair.

Any persons buying goods or services on behalf of SRAS, can only do so with approval from the Treasurer and/or Chairperson. All expenses will only be reimbursed on production of a valid receipt.

Petty cash up to the value of £5 maybe reimbursed without prior authorisation, but still with a valid receipt if the treasurer deems the transaction acceptable.

CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
Changes will only be made to the constitution at the AGM, unless it is deemed necessary to call an EGM to discuss urgent changes.
A minimum of 28 day notice will be given for an EGM, Each individual change must be explained and voted on by a show of hands.


DISSOLUTION OF SRAS
Should the committee decide for any reason, that SRAS should stop activities as a society, the members will be asked to attend an EGM (see point 6, regarding validity of such meeting), at which the reasons for the decision will be discussed.

A unanimous vote ‘in favour’ by the members in attendance is required for the society to cease.

In the case of dissolution of the society members will NOT receive a refund of subscriptions.

Any monies remaining following the payment of any bills will be donated to a charity chosen by the members.Type your paragraph here.