Constitution of Cornwall Humanists
(As amended on 20th November 2019)
The Group shall be called ‘Cornwall Humanists’ (herein ‘the Group’).
The Group shall be a Partner Group within Humanists UK, as defined by the Partnership Agreement between Humanists UK and the Group of 1st March 2019.
- The Group Aims
3.1 Make a positive contribution to humanism in Cornwall by providing a forum for humanists to meet, to develop their knowledge and thinking, and to develop a sense of a local community of humanists within the wider community.
3.2 Act locally to promote and increase the understanding of humanism as a positive world view.
3.3 Represent humanist, atheist and secularist people in the area and provide a balance to the influence of religious groups in local affairs.
4.1 Any person who agrees with the Aims of the Group may become a member upon payment of the annual subscription.
4.2 The Group shall welcome anyone, regardless of ability, age, gender, race or sexual orientation and who has an interest in humanism, atheism, or secularism.
4.3 The Group will safeguard the confidentiality of members’ information and any other information communicated in confidence by Humanists UK.
4.4 The Group retains the right to refuse or withdraw membership from any member who fails to support its Constitution or Partnership Agreement or brings Humanists UK or the Group into disrepute.
4.5 Any person who is not a paid-up member may attend two Open Meetings of the Group, after which they must pay the annual subscription or cease attending meetings.
- Officers and Executive Committee
5.1 The Officers of the Group shall be Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
5.2 The Group will appoint other members to:
– co-ordinate and manage activities of the Group, including Publicity and Media (Co-ordinators);
– represent the Group on outside organisations (Representatives);
– officiate at ceremonies (Celebrants).
5.3 All Officers, Co-ordinators and Representatives shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
5.4 There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
5.5 The business of the Group shall be controlled and carried out by this Executive Committee, together with any Representatives and Co-ordinators who may wish to attend its meetings. Dates of its meetings will be communicated to all members. Meetings will be presided over by the Chair or another Officer.
5.6 All decisions of the Executive Committee shall be reported to the next Business Meeting of the Group which shall ratify, amend or rescind any decisions by the majority vote of those present, with that voting being subject to any Special Meeting that may be called to consider the decision in question.
- 6. Annual General Meeting
6.1 An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held before 1 December each year.
6.2 Twenty-one days’ notice of the AGM shall be given to all members.
6.3 Notice of motions must be received by the Secretary at least fourteen days before the AGM.
6.4 Nominations for Officers, Co-ordinators and Representatives which are received by the Secretary fourteen days before the AGM will be included in the Agenda, but nominations may also be made at the AGM.
6.5 Members shall receive seven days in advance of the date of the AGM a copy of the Agenda including any motions and nominations received, a set of Minutes of the previous AGM and a copy of the examined accounts for the year ended on the previous 30 September.
6.6 Officers, Co-ordinators, Representatives and Celebrants of the Group shall give reports at the AGM.
6.7 The AGM shall elect Officers of the Group and such Co-ordinators and Representatives as it wishes.
6.8 Where there is more than one nomination for any elected post, the subsequent election shall be by secret ballot.
6.9 The AGM shall appoint an independent Financial Examiner to oversee the accounts.
6.10 The quorum shall be six members, at least one of whom is an elected officer.
- Other Meetings and Activities
7.1 The Group shall organise Open Meetings, events and activities for its members as it decides. These shall be publicised with reasonable notice to all members and to the general public as appropriate.
7.2 The Group shall hold at least three Business Meetings during the year. These will be closed to non-members. Business Meetings will receive reports from Officers, Co-ordinators Representatives and Celebrants.
7.3 A Special General Meeting may be called by the Executive Committee; or shall, on receipt of a request signed by not fewer than six members, be called by the Secretary within twenty-eight days of receiving such a request.
7.4 At least twenty-one days’ notice of a Special General Meeting shall be given to all members.
7.5 The quorum at Business Meetings and Special General Meetings shall be six members, at least one of whom is an elected officer.
8.1 The income and property of the Group shall be devoted solely to the promotion of the aims of the Group and for the purposes of the Group allowed by the Constitution.
8.2 Officers and members of the Group may not receive payment for their services to the Group.
8.3 No fees or travelling expenses will be paid to members for giving talks or presentations at scheduled meetings. Other expenses incurred may be approved by the Chair.
8.4 All reasonable incurred expenses by members for approved work carried out or purchases made on behalf of the Group will be reimbursed.
8.5 An agreed sum shall be reserved at the AGM to subsidise members to attend approved meetings outside Cornwall.
8.6 An agreed sum shall be reserved at the AGM to cover payments to visiting speakers.
8.7 An agreed sum shall be reserved for Media and Publicity.
8.8 The Annual Subscription to the Group shall be set at the AGM. The subscription year shall run from 1 January to 31 December. Membership will cease if annual subscriptions are not received by the Treasurer by 31 March.
8.9 In the event of the Group having to be wound up, all funds and assets remaining after payment of liabilities shall go to Humanists UK.
- External Relations
9.1 The Group may affiliate to any appropriate body, subject to approval at a General Meeting.
9,2 The Group may not affiliate to, or publicly support, any political party.
9.3 Within the Group’s resources and capabilities, and considering local circumstances, when engaging in external activities and dealing with third parties the Group shall support Humanists UK’s aims, strategies, policies and values, and will not take any action that brings humanism, or Humanists UK into disrepute.
9.4 If there is a conflict between activities in support of any other organisation with which the Group has affiliated to or associated, and those in support of the Humanists UK’s aims, values and policies, the Group will give priority to the latter.
10.1 Motions to amend to the Constitution may be considered only at the AGM or a Special General Meeting and all members shall be informed at least twenty-one days in advance of the proposed motion. To be carried, such motions shall require the majority of those present and voting.