Constitution

The Cochrane Institute is an Unincorporated Association based in the United Kingdom.

Contents


CONSTITUTION

1. Name

The name of the group shall be the Cochrane Institute.

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2. Aims

The aims of the Cochrane Institute are:-

  • To record and preserve the teachings of Robert Cochrane aka Roy Bowers.
  • To explore and develop these teachings.
  • To promote fellowship, understanding, and co-operation between the differing witchcraft, pagan, wiccan, and heathen religions.
  • To sponsor and support, groups, projects, and organisations that share these goals.


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3. Membership

3.1 Becoming a Member

Membership is open to anyone who:

  • is aged over 18 years old; and
  • supports the aims of the Cochrane Institute; and
  • is known to, and has met with existing members over a period of not less than three months, on at least three separate occasions; and
  • is sponsored by an existing member in good standing.

Upon meeting the above criteria, a membership form and first annual payment can be submitted for consideration. Once this has been received, a vote concerning their membership will be scheduled for the next general meeting.

If a prospective member’s sponsor ceases to be in good standing before a vote is cast, then the application for membership is placed on hold, and the applicant shall have the right to request the return of all fees paid. These fees will be returned to the applicate within 10 working days, but will have to be re-submitted should they wish their application to be considered.

If the motion to accept them as a member is passed, membership will commence from the date of the vote. If the motion fails, the form and full membership fee will be returned to the applicant within 10 working days.

There will be an annual membership fee which will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be payable by all members.

Additional categories of memberships may be offered: These will take the form of membership plus additional services that will be provided to the member. These additional services may incur additional fees and require the member to agree to further terms and conditions covering the supply and use of those services. Any additional categories of membership will not give the member any additional rights or privileges.

A list of all members will be kept by the membership secretary.

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3.2 Good Standing

Any member falling under item 3.3.2, item 3.3.3 or item 3.3.4 of this constitution. These being members who have not paid their dues, or who are having their behaviour or actions investigated by the committee, are not considered to be in good standing until their dues are paid, or the investigation concluded and a decision reached by the committee.

Members who are not in good standing are not unable to sponsor prospective members under item 3.1 of this constitution or vote in meetings under item 7 of this constitution.

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3.3 Ceasing to be a Member

3.3.1 Resignations

Members may resign at any time in writing to the secretary. The secretary may resign at any time in writing to the chair.

3.3.2 Non-Payment of Dues

Any member who has not paid their membership fee for one year will be contacted by the committee, who will then decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned.

3.3.3 Offensive Behaviour and Behaviour Contrary to the Equal Opportunities Policy

Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings, or to resign from the group if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the management committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

3.3.4 Working Contrary to the Aims of the Organisation

Any member who is considered to be working contrary to, or actively undermining the aims of the group as outlined in item 2 of this constitution, may be asked not to attend further meetings, or to resign from the group if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the management committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

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4. Equal Opportunities

The Cochrane Institute will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.

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5. Officers and Committee

The business of the group will be carried out by a Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.

The Committee will consist of up to 8 members, and shall be composed of up to 4 officers and up to 4 committee members. Up to 2 additional members may be co-opted onto the committee at the discretion of the committee.

The officers’ roles are as follows:

  • Chair, who shall chair both general and committee meetings.
  • Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes and the distribution of all papers.
  • Membership secretary, who shall be responsible for keeping records of members.
  • Treasurer who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts.

In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be elected by the next General Meeting of members. A Special General meeting may be called in the mean time to appoint an acting officer to the position.

Any committee member not attending a meeting without apology for three months will be contacted by the committee and asked if they wish to resign.

The Committee meetings will be open to any member of the Cochrane Institute wishing to attend, who may speak but not vote.

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6. Meetings

6.1 Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM.

All members will be notified in writing at least 30 days before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time.

Nominations for the committee may be made to the Secretary before or at the meeting.

The quorum for the AGM shall be as defined in item 6.4 of this constitution.

At the AGM:-

  • The Committee will present a report of the work of the Cochrane Institute over the year.
  • The Committee will present the accounts of the Cochrane Institute for the previous year.
  • The officers and Committee for the next year will be elected.
  • Any proposals given to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.


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6.2 Special General Meetings

The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the committee or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request.

The meeting will take place within 21 days of the request.

All members will be given 14 days notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

The quorum for a Special General Meeting shall as defined in item 6.4 of this constitution.

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6.3 General Meetings

General Meetings are open to all members and will be held at least once every 3 months or more often if necessary.

All members will be given 14 days notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

The quorum for a General Meeting shall as defined in item 6.4 of this constitution.

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6.4 Quorum for Meetings

The quorum for all meetings, these being the Annual General Meeting and Meetings both General and Special shall be as follows.

The quorum is dependent upon the current number of members in good standing.

  • Up to 5 members: At least 2 with no more than one member absent.
  • 10 or more members: 60% or 6 members, whichever is the greater number.
  • 20 or more members: 60% or 12 members, whichever is the greater number.


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7. Rules of Procedure for Meetings

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side are equal, the chair of the meeting shall cast an additional deciding vote. This vote although symbolically cast by the chair is always cast to maintain the status quo. Therefore this may result in this additional vote being cast in opposition to the chair’s own vote.

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8. Finances

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.

All money raised by or on behalf of the Cochrane Institute is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.

Receipts must be issued for all membership payments and a duplicate receipt book kept.

8.1 Chequing Account

An account will be maintained on behalf of the Cochrane Institute at a bank agreed by the committee. Three cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer). Any two of these must sign every cheque. The signatories must not be related, nor members of the same household.

8.2 Petty Cash

Petty cash should not exceed £100. All petty cash payments must be pre-approved. If an exact cost cannot be determined in advance then a maximum amount must be agreed upon. Receipts should be retained for all expenses.


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9. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

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10. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group.

If it is agreed to dissolve the group all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation to be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.

This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of the Cochrane Institute on:- 14th November 2016

Constitution Version 1.00

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