The Constitution of the Stornoway Astronomical Society.
prepared by
John M Morrison
Adopted 17 th August 2010


1.0 NAME

2.1 The object of the Society shall be 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. To seek affiliation with other astronomical societies and local youth groups to further interest in astronomical and scientific topics.

3.1 Membership shall be open to all interested persons.
3.2 a. Individuals or Organisations other than Astronomical Societies may subscribe to the Website of the Society.
3.2 b. Subscribing to the website does not allow such Individuals or Organisations any voting rights connected with the Society.
3.3 Applications for membership shall be submitted in writing to the Council of the Society for approval.

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:
  • Meetings Organiser
  • Publicity Officer
  • Membership Secretary
  • Web-Site Organiser
  • Librarian
  • Assistant to Secretary

  • 4.2 Any other Officer proposed by the Council 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 agreed otherwise.
    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 lot.
    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 Council consisting of the 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 Council 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 council member.
    7.2 b. In practice there is always the facility for a Member to question the Society Council 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 Council, 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 Council 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.
    8.4 Fees will be decided annually at the AGM which will be held in September of each year.

    9.0 FINANCE
    9.1 Each Member shall pay to the Society an annual subscription that shall fall due on the 1 st October of each year.
    9.2 a. The first annual subscription shall become due upon acceptance by the Council of a Member of the Society.
    9.2 b. If membership is accepted by the committee, then payment must be received within eight weeks of the acceptance.
    9.3 Membership should be paid in full at the renewal date. Membership fees paid at other times of the year, the fee will be pro-rata up to the renewal date, effectively £1.25/month but still paid in full.
    9.4 A Member failing to pay annual subscription by the end of the subscription year to which it relates i.e. 30th September, shall be suspended from membership of the Society until such time as the arrears and the current annual subscription are paid.
    9.5 a. The Society's accounting year shall commence on the 1st. October and end on the following 30th. September.
    9.5 b. The funds of the Society shall be managed by the Treasurer who shall produce the audited accounts at the Annual General Meeting.
    9.5 c. The Treasurer will produce a statement of the Society's Accounts for the attention of any Officer on the Council if so requested.
    9.5 d. The Treasurer will produce the Society's Accounts at each Council Meeting. If unable to attend such Council Meeting, an up to date statement of the Society's Current and Deposit Accounts will be provided to the President and Secretary with further copies for Council Members at the meeting.
    9.6 The income and property of the Society however derived shall be used solely to promote the Society as set out in the Constitution.
    9.7 No member of the Society shall enter into any contract on behalf of the Society without the prior consent of the Council.

    10.1 The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held normally in the autumn.
    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 Council.
    11.1 b. An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be convened by the Council 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 are now replaced with this edition.
    15.1 b. Copyright © Stornoway Astronomical Society Constitution – August 2010

    A downloadable version of this document is available HERE.