Constitution and Rules for the Thames Valley Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers
The name of the Branch shall be the Thames Valley Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers, and shall bear the short title of the Thames Valley Branch.
To foster and support the Institution of Fire Engineers in its object, and so far as is possible within the structure of the Branch, to subscribe to and carry out the object, namely:
To promote, encourage and improve the science and practice of Fire Extinction, Fire Prevention and Fire Engineering and all operations and expedients connected therewith, and to give an impulse to ideas likely to be useful in connection with or in relation to such science and practice to the members of the Institution and the community at large.
In furtherance of the above object, and ancillary to it, the Branch may:
(a) Enable members to meet and to correspond and to facilitate the interchange of ideas respecting the improvements in the various branches of the said science, and the publication and communication of information on such subjects and to coordinate and encourage Groups within the Branch.
(b) Do all other things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above or any of them.
(c) Do all in its power to prepare and produce suitable candidates for membership of the Institution as requisite and to encourage and assist members to attain corporate membership.
(a) All grades of membership shall be eligible for membership of the Branch and the Institution as long as they are not in arrears with annual subscriptions.
(b) Every Branch member shall, on joining the Branch and on the first day of April in each year, pay an annual subscription of an amount to be decided by the members of the Branch at a General Meeting (or, to be decided by resolution of the Branch Council). At present there is no Branch Membership fee.
(c) A member of a Branch shall have that membership terminated in the event of such person’s annual subscriptions being in arrears for twelve months from the date of the same becoming payable, subject to notice being given in such manner as the Branch deems fit.
(d) In the case of each member elected in the last three months of any financial year, the first subscription shall cover both the year of election and the succeeding year, but shall only entitle the person elected to exercise any vote in the proceedings after election.
(a) An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in or about the month of October each year at which the accounts of the previous year shall be submitted for approval and the Branch Council and officers for the ensuing year shall take office, having been elected in accordance with Rule 5.
(b) Extraordinary General Meetings shall be held as required at times and places to be determined by the Branch Council, notice of which shall be communicated to all members of the Branch not less than fourteen days prior to the day of the Meeting. Such notices shall specify the exact business to be discussed at the Meeting, and no business shall be transacted or resolution proposed of which notice has not been given.
(c) On a requisition in writing signed by or on behalf of ten members being received by the Secretary, an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called forthwith giving at least fourteen days and not more than twenty one days notice thereof. Such notice shall specify the exact business to be discussed at the Meeting, and no business shall be transacted or resolution proposed of which such notice has not been given.
(d) Every member present at a Branch Meeting, irrespective of class of membership, shall have one vote, but in cases of equality of voting, the Branch President shall have a second or casting vote.
5. Branch Council & Officers
(a) The Branch shall elect members from within the Branch to form a Branch Council.
(b) Branch Council shall consist of a President, Branch Secretary, Treasurer (this office may be joined with that of any other), General Assembly Representative, General Assembly Alternative Representative and other members. An Assistant Secretary may also be elected to assist the Secretary with his/her duties.
(c) All members of the Branch of any class of membership shall be eligible for election as officers or to the Branch Council.
(d) The Branch Council shall appoint a suitably qualified person as Auditor.
(e) The officers other than the Auditor shall be entitled to be present and vote at all Meetings of the Branch Council.
(f) With the exception of the President and the General Assembly Representative the Branch Council shall hold office for one year and unless those members of the Branch at a General Meeting have decided otherwise, all members of the Branch Council shall be eligible for re-election.
(g) The General Assembly Representative shall hold office for three years. The General Assembly Representative shall abide by the rules of governance of the General Assembly.
(h) Nominations for officers and membership of the Branch Council, proposed by a member of the Branch and seconded by at least one other member, should be addressed to the Branch Secretary so as to arrive not later than 20 days prior to the AGM.
(i) A ballot shall take place to fill membership on Branch Council. The Ballot shall be conducted at the AGM and shall be by means of a vote cast by show of hands and counted by the serving President. Vacancies shall be filled by the highest polling candidate(s). The results of the Ballot and the number of votes for each person shall be declared at the AGM.
6. Proceedings, Powers and Duties of the Branch Council
(a) The Branch Council shall have the power to co-opt for a specific purpose any member of the Branch to serve on the Branch Council and to fill any casual vacancy occurring therein.
(b) The Branch Council may determine their own quorum, may regulate their own procedure (other than the appointment of a Chairman when either the President or Branch Secretary are present) and the procedure of any Sub-Committee appointed by them, and may delegate their powers and discretion to Sub Committees consisting of a quorum to include a Chairman or elected Chairman and three members; the Chairman to have a second or casting vote.
(c) The Branch Council shall manage the property, proceedings and affairs of the Branch, and shall exercise all powers of the Branch which are not required to be exercised by the Branch in General Meetings, subject to any Regulations from time to time made by the Branch in a General Meeting.
(d) The Branch Council shall not have the power to refuse membership to the Branch, but shall report any reason for wishing to decline specific membership to the Board of Directors. Where the Branch wish to terminate a membership, then it shall be reported to the Board of Directors for approval.
(e) The Branch Council shall meet at times and places to be determined by itself, but if the Branch Secretary should receive notice in writing from three members of the Branch Council requesting that a Meeting of the Branch Council be called, the Branch Secretary shall do so forthwith, giving at least nine and not more than twenty one days notice thereof.
(f) It shall be the duty of the Branch Council to ensure that a copy of the Audited Accounts and the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting are forwarded as soon as possible to the Board of Directors.
(g) The Branch Council shall not take any action not in accordance with the general policy of the Institution and any resolution, either of the Branch Council or a General Meeting, which in any way affects matters of policy, must be submitted forthwith to the Board of Directors.
(h) The President, Branch Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and General Assembly Representative (and, where appropriate, the Alternate General Assembly Representative) shall be empowered to incur approved expense on behalf of the Branch and Branch Council, and be authorised to operate a current banking account for this purpose and shall notify the Branch Council of any action taken under this ruling.
(a) The Branch may be divided into such Groups as the Branch Council may determine from time to time.
8. Alteration of Constitution
This Constitution shall not be altered or added to except at a General Meeting of the Branch at which such alteration or addition is approved by at least two-thirds of the members present, notice of the proposed alteration having been given to members.
NB. Before becoming operative, any such alteration shall require confirmation by the Board of the Institution in accordance with the Institution’s By-Laws.
Approved at Branch Meeting
Minute No: Dated: day of 2010
Signed:__________________________________________ Thames Valley Branch
Branch President Branch Secretary
Approved by the Board of Directors
Minute No: Dated: day of 2010
Chairman, Board of Directors Company Secretary