The Constitution and Rules Stornoway Astronomical Society.
Updated 1st October 2015
 (last reviewed November 2019, no changes)


1.0 NAME

2.1 The object of the Society shall be:
2.1a To promote an interest in Astronomy, and to educate interested persons across Lewis and Harris and the surrounding area, and engender interest in general scientific topics, as well as the provision of facilities for active participation in astronomical observation.
2.1b To seek affiliation with the Federation of Astronomical Societies and maintain contact with other astronomical societies and relevant groups to promote interest in astronomical and scientific topics.

3.1 Membership shall be open to all interested persons.
3.2 Completed membership application forms along with the required subscription fee shall be passed to the Membership Secretary or Treasurer in the first instance and thereafter forwarded to the Committee of the Society for approval. All approved membership records shall be maintained by the Membership Secretary.

4.1 a. The officers of the Society are Executive and Non-Executive.
4.1 b. Executive Officers:

  • President
  • Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

  • 4.1 c. Non-Executive Officers:
  • Membership Secretary
  • Public Relations and Promotions Officer
  • Librarian
  • Web-Site Administrator
  • Auditor
  • Two  members to assist with the general running of the Society
    4.2 Any other Officer proposed by the Membership for election at the Annual General Meeting.

    5.1 a. The officers of the Society shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
    5.1 b. Candidates for election shall be present when their application is considered except as may be otherwise agreed.
    5.1 c. Election shall be confirmed by a show of hands, excepting that, if any member raise an objection, a ballot shall be conducted after any objections against the applicant have been heard.
    5.2 All Members and the Council shall be entitled to nominate candidates to fill any or all the posts.
    5.3 Nominations may be received by any council member, up to and including the day of the Annual General Meeting.
    5.4 All nominees are to be eighteen years or older.
    5.5 Only members who are in-date with their annual subscriptions will be allowed to nominate.
    5.6 Each Member is entitled to have one vote in the ballot for each post.
    5.7 A simple majority vote shall decide those elected.
    5.8 If there is a tie for any post the issue shall be decided by vote.
    5.9 The officers shall take their posts after their election and remain in post until the next Annual General Meeting or earlier resignation.
    5.10 No act done in good faith by the Officers of the Society, whether within the powers of the Society or not, which shall receive the express or implied sanction of the Members shall be afterwards impeached by any Member on any grounds whatsoever, but shall be deemed to be an act of the Society.

    6.1 The Society shall be governed by Committee consisting of the fore-mentioned Executive & Non-Executive Officers of the Society.

    7.1 a. The Council shall have the power to transact all business relating to the management and direction of the Society and in particular to:
    7.1 b. Decide the general policy for the publication and control of the Society's Website.
    7.1 c. Appoint committees for special purposes with such powers as may be necessary.
    7.1 d. Fill any vacancies among Officers of the Society during the year, such appointments being valid for the remainder of the year only.
    7.1 e. Increase its numbers by co-opting members proposed at a committee meeting for a specific related function as deemed necessary in the interest of the Society. Co-opted members shall have no power to vote at any Committee meeting.
    7.1 f. Administrate within the Society on any point not covered in this Constitution.
    7.2 a. If the Council performs an act on behalf of the Society and a Member does not agree with it, then an objection can be raised via any committee member.
    7.2 b. In practice there is always the facility for a Member to question the Society Committee at the Annual General Meeting or an Extra Ordinary General Meeting.
    7.3 a. Any Member who acts in such a way as to contravene this Constitution, disrupt Society Meetings, harass other Members, or in any way acts irresponsibly, or brings the Society into disrepute with the Public or other Members, or acts in the opinion of the Committee, in any way outside of the spirit of the Society’s Constitution, shall render that Member liable to disciplinary action.
    7.3 b. Disciplinary action may entail withdrawal of membership and privileges from the Society and any action resolved by the Committee will be final.

    8.1 The Council shall normally meet quarterly with a minimum of three meetings in a calendar year.
    8.2 At a Council Meeting the quorum shall be four, at least two of whom shall be Executive Officers of the Society.
    8.3 The Presiding Officer shall have no vote except in the case of a tie when The Presiding Officer shall have the casting vote.

    9.0 FINANCE
    9.1 Each Member shall pay to the Society an annual subscription that shall fall due on the 1st of the anniversary month of joining the society. e.g In the case of a member who joins the Society during the month of October, then the membership fee shall be due on the 1st of October each year thereafter until the member terminates his/her membership on leaving the society.
    9.2 A member failing to pay the annual subsription by the end of the subscription year to which it relates, shall be suspended from membership of the society until such time as the arrears and the current annual subscription are paid.
    9.3 Membership subscriptions shall be revised annually as required at the AGM which will be held on the first Tuesday in November each year. The current rates/categories are Junior (J) (under 16) £5 per annum, Basic (B) (16 and over) £20 per annum, Senior (S) (65 and over) £10 per annum. Family membership shall also be avalible at a total cost of £25 per annum and shall apply to the entire family.
    9.4 The Society's accounting year shall commence on 1st October each year and end on 30th September the following year.
    9.5 The funds of the Society shell be managed by the Treasurer who shall produce the audited accounts at the Annual General Meeting.
    9.6 The Treasurer will produce a statement of the Society's Accounts for the attention of any Officer of the Society if so requested.
    9.7 The Treasurer will produce the Society's Accounts at each Committee Meeting. If unable to attend such Committee Meeting, an up to date statement of the Society's financial situation and accounts will be forwarded to the President and/or Secretary prior to the meeting.
    9.8 The income and property of the Society however derived shall be used solely to promote the Society as set out in the Constitution.
    9.9 No member of the Society shall enter into any contract on behalf of the Society without the prior consent of the Committee.

    10.1 The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held normally on the first Tuesday of November.
    10.2 Notice of the Annual General Meeting and the Agenda shall be sent to all Members at least four weeks before the date of the meeting.
    10.3 The Annual General Meeting shall receive the reports of the Council on the years work and the audited accounts.
    10.4 The Annual General Meeting shall settle the annual subscription for the coming year.
    10.5 a. Each paid up Member shall have one vote.
    10.5 b. A motion shall be carried by a simple majority vote.
    10.5 c. The Presiding Officer shall have no vote except in the case of a tie when the Presiding Officer shall have the casting vote.
    10.6 The quorum at the Annual General Meeting shall be represented by at least 10% of paid up Members.

    11.1 a. An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Society may be convened by the Committee.
    11.1 b. An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be convened by the Committee at the written petition of 20% or more of the total paid up members of the Society to the Secretary.
    11.1 c. Notice of an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting shall be sent to all Members within three weeks of the receipt of such a request.
    11.1 d. At least four weeks notice shall be given of the Meeting.
    11.1 e. The notice shall state the business petitioned and only such business shall be discussed at the Meeting.
    11.2 The quorum at such a meeting shall be represented by at least 20% paid up Members.
    11.3 Each paid up Member shall have one vote.
    11.4 A motion shall be carried by a simple majority vote.
    11.5 The Presiding Officer shall have no vote except in the case of tie when The Presiding Officer shall have the casting vote.

    12.1 This Constitution shall only be changed by a simple majority vote at an Annual or Extra-Ordinary General Meeting.
    12.2 Written notice of proposed changes shall be sent to all Members at least four weeks before the date of such meeting giving such details and the reasons for the proposed changes.

    13.1 a. Should the Society be wound up for any reason the complete assets of the Society, including the balances of any grants made to the Society shall be placed in the hands of trustees appointed by, and independent of the Society.
    13.1 b. Any assets shall be wholly devoted to charitable aims similar to those of the Society at the sole discretion of the Trustees.

    14.1 a. Membership data collected by the Society will be securely stored via paper records and on a computerised database.
    14.1 b. Personal data relating to the membership of the Society will not be made available to other parties or outside companies or organisations.
    14.1 c. The only persons having access to such data will be the President, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and Librarian, and for the sole purposes of conducting Society business.
    14.1 d. The Society agrees to comply with the provisions and obligations contained in the Data Protection Act 1998.

    15.0 COPYRIGHT
    15.1 a. All previous editions of the Stornoway Astronomical Society Constitution and Rules are now replaced with this edition.
    15.1 b. Copyright © Stornoway Astronomical Society Constitution and Rules (October 2015)

    A downloadable version of this document is available HERE.