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The original Constitution of the Society was in force for 87 years from the Society's founding on 10th June 1918. However, in 2005 it was felt that due to the expanding activities of the Society an update to reflect this was needed.

The current Consitution was agreed at a Special General Meeting held in the Council House on 15th June 2005

The Society is currently considering a revised constitution

1. NAME

The name of the Society shall be The Birmingham Civic Society

 2.  OBJECTS

The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area comprising the City of Birmingham

which area shall hereinafter be referred to as the area of benefit

(i)      To promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting the area of benefit.

(ii)      To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history, culture and architecture of the area of benefit.

(iii)     To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in the area of benefit.

In furtherance of the said purposes but not otherwise the Society through its Executive Council shall have the following powers:-

(1)      To promote civic pride in the area of benefit.

(2)      To promote research into subjects directly connected with the objects of the Society and to publish the results of any such research.

(3)      To act as a co-ordinating body and to co-operate with the local authorities, planning committees, and all other statutory authorities, voluntary organisations, charities and persons having aims similar to those of the Society.

(4)      To promote or assist in promoting activities of a charitable nature throughout the area of benefit.

(5)      To publish papers, reports and other literature.

(6)      To make surveys and prepare maps and plans and collect information in relation to
any place, erection or building of beauty or historic interest within the area of benefit.

(7)      To hold meetings, lectures and exhibitions.

(8)      To educate public opinion and to give advice and information.

(9)     To raise funds and to invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscription, donation and otherwise; provided that the Society shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for its primary purpose.

(10)    To acquire, by purchase, gift or otherwise, property whether subject to any special trust or not.

(11)     Subject to such consents as may be required by law, to sell, let, mortgage, dispose of, or turn to account, all or any of the property or funds of the Society as shall be necessary.

(12)     Subject to such consents as may be required by law, to borrow or raise money for the purposes of the Society on such terms and on such security as the Executive Council shall think fit, but so that the liability of individual members of the Society shall in no case extend beyond the amount of their respective annual subscriptions.

(13)     To do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the said purposes.

 3.   MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall be open to all who are interested in actively furthering the purposes of the Society.  No member shall have power to vote at any meeting of the Society if his or her subscription is in arrears at the time.  Junior members shall be those aged less than 18 years at the time their subscription is due; and they shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Society.  Corporate members shall be such societies, associations, educational institutions or businesses as are interested in actively furthering the purposes of the Society.  A corporate member shall appoint a representative to vote on its behalf at all meetings but before such representative exercises his or her right to vote the corporate member shall give particulars in writing to the Honorary Secretary of such representative.  The subscription of a member joining the Society in the three months preceding 1 July in any year shall be regarded as covering membership for the Society's year commencing on 1 July following the date of joining.

4.   SUBSCRIPTIONS

The subscription per annum from 1st July 2007 shall be:-

Full members

£15.00

Two or more full members in the same household

£20.00

Junior members         

£5.00

Corporate members   

£100.00

or such other reasonable sum as the Executive Council shall determine from time to time, and it shall be payable on or before 1 July each year.  Membership shall lapse if the subscription is unpaid three months after it is due.

5.   MEETINGS

An Annual General Meeting shall be held on or about 15 October of each year to receive the Executive Council's report and audited accounts and to elect Officers and Members of the Council.  The Council shall decide when ordinary meetings of the Society shall be held.

Special General Meetings of the Society shall be held at the written request of fifteen or more members whose subscriptions are fully paid-up.

Twenty five members personally present shall constitute a quorum for a Meeting of the Society.

The Council shall give at least 7 days' notice to members of all Meetings of the Society.

 6.  OFFICERS

The Officers of the Society shall consist of:

Chairman
Deputy Chairman
Four Vice Chairmen
Honorary Secretary
Honorary Treasurer

all of whom shall hold office for three years and shall be eligible for re-election.  The current Lord Mayor of Birmingham shall be invited to be the President of the Society for the duration of his term of office. Vice-Presidents may also be elected at a General Meeting of the Society, for periods to be decided at such a meeting.  

Nominations for the election of Officers shall be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting.  Such nominations shall be supported by a seconder and the consent of the proposed nominee must first have been obtained.  The elections of Officers shall be completed prior to the election of further Council members.  Nominees for election as Officers or Council members shall declare at the Annual General Meeting at which their election is to be considered any financial or professional interest known or likely to be of concern to the Society.

The Executive Council shall decide before the end of July each year which of the vacancies among the Officers should be filled at the following Annual General Meeting and shall have the power to fill casual  vacancies.

7.    THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The Executive Council shall be responsible for the management and administration of the Society.  The Executive Council shall consist of the Officers, two representatives appointed by the Birmingham City Council and not less than six and not more than twelve other members. The Executive Council shall decide before the end of July each year the number of members to be elected at the following Annual General Meeting and shall have power to co-opt further members (who shall attend in an advisory and non-voting capacity).  The President and Vice-Presidents may attend any meeting of the Executive Council but shall not vote at any such meeting.  

Members of the Executive Council shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, shall hold office for three years and may be re-elected. Nominations for election to the Executive Council shall be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting.  They must be supported by a seconder and the consent of the proposed nominee must first have been obtained.  If the nominations exceed the number of vacancies, a ballot shall take place in such manner as shall be determined.  The Executive Council shall have the power to fill up to three casual vacancies occurring among the members of the Executive Council between General Meetings.

The Executive Council shall meet not less than six times a year at intervals of not more than two months and the Honorary Secretary shall give all members not less than seven days' notice of each meeting.  The quorum shall, as near as may be, comprise one third of the members of the Executive Council.  In the event of an equality in the votes cast, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.  

 8.  SUB-COMMITTEES

The Executive Council may constitute such sub-committees from time to time as shall be considered necessary for such purposes as shall be thought fit.  The Chairman and Secretary of each sub-committee shall be appointed by the Executive Council and all actions and proceedings of each sub-committee shall be reported to and be confirmed by the Executive Council as soon as possible.  Members of the Executive Council may be members of any sub-committee.  Sub-Committees shall be subordinate to and may be regulated or dissolved by the Executive Council.

 9. DECLARATION OF INTEREST

It shall be the duty of every member who is in any way directly or indirectly interested financially or professionally in any item discussed at any meeting of the Society (including any meeting of any Committee or Sub-Committee ) at which he or she may be present to declare such interest and he or she shall not discuss such item ( except by invitation of the Chairman ) or vote thereon.

 10. EXPENSES OF ADMINISTRATION AND APPLICATIONS OF FUNDS

The Executive Council shall, out of the funds of the Society, pay all proper expenses of administration and management of the Society. After the payment of the administration and management expenses and the setting aside to reserve of such sums as may be deemed expedient, the remaining funds of the Society shall be applied by the Executive Council in furtherance of the purposes of the Society.

11. INVESTMENT

All moneys at any time belonging to the Society and not required for immediate application for its purposes shall be invested by the Executive Council in or upon such investment, securities or property as it may think fit.

12. TRUSTEES


Any freehold and leasehold property acquired by the Society shall, and if the Executive Council so directs any other property belonging to the Society may, be vested in trustees who shall deal with such property as the Executive Council may from time to time direct.  Any trustees shall be at least three in number or a trust corporation.  The power of appointment of new trustees shall be vested in the Executive Council.    A trustee need not be a member of the Society but no person whose membership lapses by virtue of clause 4 hereof shall thereafter be qualified to act as a trustee unless and until re-appointed as such by the Executive Council.  The Honorary Secretary shall from time to time notify the trustees in writing of any amendment hereto and the trustees shall not be bound by any such amendments in their duties as trustees unless such notice has been given.  The Society shall be bound to indemnify the trustees in their duties (including the proper charge of a trustee being a trust corporation) and liability under such indemnity shall be a proper administrative expense.

13. REPORT AND ACCOUNTS


The Executive Council shall present a report on the work of the Society and a set of audited accounts for approval at the Annual General Meeting.

14. AMENDMENTS


This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members present at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Society, provided that 28 days' notice of the proposed amendment has been given to all members

15. NOTICES


Any notice required to be given by this Constitution shall be deemed to be duly given if left at or sent by prepaid post addressed to the address of that member last notified to the Secretary.

16.  WINDING UP


The Society may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of members voting at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Society confirmed by a simple majority of members voting at a further Special General Meeting held not less than 14 days after the previous Meeting.  If a motion for the dissolution of the Society is to be proposed at an Annual General Meeting or a Special Meeting this motion shall be referred to specifically when notice of the Meeting is given.  In the event of the dissolution of the Society the available funds of the Society shall be transferred to such one or more charitable institutions having objects similar to those herein before declared as shall be chosen by the Executive Council and approved by the Meeting of the Society at which the decision to dissolve the Society is confirmed.  On dissolution the minute books and other records of the Society shall be deposited with the Civic Trust.

Note: In this Constitution and in all matters relating to the Society the use of the male form of a noun or pronoun shall be deemed to include the female.

 

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