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Our Constitution

2024 FVRA Constitution

As approved at AGM 9 March 2024
1. NAME. The name of the society shall be FINDON VALLEY RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (FVRA). The Friends of Findon Valley (FoFV) are a subsidiary group within FVRA.
2. OBJECTS. The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area comprising Findon Valley in the Borough of Worthing, which area shall hereinafter be referred to as ‘the area of benefit’.
A) to educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the area of benefit.
B) To promote high standards of planning and the preservation of notable architecture in the area of benefit.
C) To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of areas of natural beauty or environmental interest in the area of benefit.
In furtherance of the said objects but not otherwise FVRA through its Committee shall undertake the following activities:
1. To act as a co-ordinating body on behalf of all residents and to co-operate with the local/national government, statutory authorities eg Worthing Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Highways England and other local organisations, special interest groups and charities with similar aims to those of the FVRA in order to resolve local issues.
2. To inform both residents and the wider community of FVRA activities, giving advice and information through regular newsletters (printed and electronic), ad hoc campaign leaflets, meetings and the FVRA website.
3. To organise the Annual General Meeting and other ad-hoc social events for local residents.
4. To raise funds through inviting/receiving contributions from any person or persons or business by means of subscription, donation, fundraising and community events or otherwise, provided that the FVRA shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for its primary purpose.
3. MEMBERSHIP. Membership of FVRA is automatically open to all residents living in the Findon Valley area of Worthing and over the age of 16.
1. All communication with members will usually be via one or more of the following. email service, (e.g. Mailchimp, School Parentmail), social media, (e.g. Facebook and Instagram), free local publications delivered to residents. (e.g. Sussex Local and Inside Cissbury), FVRA website, and FVRA noticeboards in the Valley.
2. Any resident who wishes to opt-out of membership is requested to advise the membership secretary (see website or leave addressed letter at Findon Valley Library) who will remove that person from any FVRA list or platform excepting the Opt-out list.
3. It shall be the responsibility of members to keep the membership secretary informed of his/her preferred email addresses.
4. A copy of the constitution, contact details for committee members, details of any planned public meetings and how to include an item on an agenda shall be available on the FVRA website. Committee minutes will be posted on the website and FVRA notice boards.
5. Any future intended membership fees will be agreed in Annual General Meeting (AGM) or other General Meeting. Any money raised by, or on behalf of, the Association will be used to further the Association’s stated aims.
6. ‘Associate’ membership is open to people who do not live in Findon Valley, but who are interested in helping the FVRA achieve its aims. The FVRA Committee retains the right to grant or withhold associate member status, and whether or not to grant voting rights to associate members, at the time they join FVRA as associate members.
7. Where a members’ meeting is called and voting is due to take place, members may be asked upon entry for reasonable proof of address before being able to take part in any vote.
8. Voting membership will end when a member stops living in the Valley, opts out (see (3) above) or passes away.
9. FVRA exists for the greater benefit of the Findon Valley environment and community. As a registered charity FVRA cannot be used as a ‘platform’ by individuals or other groups to progress their own campaigns or lobbying.
4. SUBSCRIPTIONS. There is an annual subscription for membership but see 3.6 above. Members’ names, addresses and email addresses shall be stored securely and maintained on a proprietary database by the FVRA Membership Secretary, including to enable the issue of email newsletters and information that the committee believes to be relevant. Personal Information is not passed onto any outside organisation whatsoever excepting trusted and necessary agents eg Charities Aid Foundation (for Direct Debit donation processing), and email service providers.
1. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held by 31 March each year in a convenient local venue, or online eg via Zoom if likely to gain a wider attendance, or if ‘pandemic’ or similar conditions are in force.
2. Notification is to be made to all residents via the noticeboards, social media, FVRA email recipients and (subject to print deadlines) local free publications, at least 14 days prior to the AGM.
3. The AGM gives all residents the opportunity to hear about all FVRA activities, receive reports on audited accounts and other information from committee members as well as participating in any forthcoming discussions.
4. At the AGM an auditor, who shall not be a Committee member, shall be proposed and appointed for the current calendar year with the approval of the members present.
5. Twenty members present (physically, or online via Zoom (or similar) meetings) shall constitute a quorum for voting to take place.
6. Elected representatives, primarily our current Member of Parliament, and County and Borough Councillors will be invited to meetings and will each have voting rights as for members.
7. Extraordinary General Meetings shall be held at the written request of members representing not less than twenty members.
8. At any AGM and at an Extraordinary Meeting the Chair must preside or in his/her absence the Vice Chair. In the absence of both, the meeting will elect its own Chair who will have both a deliberative and a casting vote.
9. Non-FVRA members may be admitted as guests to formal meetings eg AGMs at the discretion of the Chair or Vice-chair, but will not be entitled to vote unless they join FVRA.
10. Persons using abusive, threatening or disruptive behaviour may be asked to leave events or meetings (including AGMs), and if a majority of FVRA trustees agree, such individuals’ membership may be cancelled.
6. OFFICERS. Nominations for the election of Officers shall be made in writing at least 10 days before the Annual General Meeting. Such nominations shall be supported by a seconder in writing and the consent of the proposed nominee must first have been obtained. The election of Officers shall be completed prior to the election of further Committee members. If the nominations exceed the number of vacancies, a ballot shall take place in such a manner as shall be determined, providing that only those members of the FVRA as attend the AGM (or correctly submit a proxy vote) shall be entitled to cast a vote.
The Officers of the Society shall consist of:
Membership Secretary
All of whom shall relinquish their office every year and shall be eligible for re-election at the Annual General Meeting. A member who has been elected chair for four consecutive years shall not be eligible to hold the office for a fifth consecutive year. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt other members.
7. COMMITTEE. The Committee shall be responsible for the management and administration of the Association. The Committee shall consist of the Officers and not more than 10 other members. The Officers and members of the Committee shall normally be resident or work in the area of benefit but the Committee shall have power to co-opt additional members from outside the area of benefit. In the event of an equality in the votes cast the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
Nominations for election to the Committee shall be made in writing at least 10 days before the Annual General Meeting. They must be supported by a seconder in writing and the consent of proposed nominee must first have been obtained. If the nominations exceed the number of vacancies, a ballot shall take place in such a manner as shall be determined, provided that only those members of the Association as attend the Annual General Meeting concerned shall be entitled to cast a vote.
Members of the Committee shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of the Association; outgoing members may be re-elected. The Committee shall meet not less than six times a year at intervals of not more than two months and the Secretary shall give all members not less than seven days’ notice of such meeting. The meetings will be held at a suitable local venue or online (eg. via Zoom).
The quorum shall as near as may be comprise one-third of the members of the Committee.
If a member of the Committee fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee the seat may be declared vacant by the Committee.
8. SUB-COMMITTEES. The Committee may constitute such sub-committees from time to time as shall be considered necessary. The Chair and Secretary of each sub-committee shall be appointed by the Committee and all action and proceedings of each sub-committee shall be reported to and be confirmed by the Committee as soon as possible. Members of the Committee may be members of any sub-committee and membership of a subcommittee shall be no bar to appointment to membership of the Committee. Sub-committees shall be subordinate to the Committee and may be regulated or dissolved by the Committee.
9. EXPENSES OF ADMINISTRATION AND APPLICATION OF FUNDS. The Committee shall, out of the funds of the Association pay all reasonable expenses of administration and management of the Association. 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 Association shall be applied by the Committee in furtherance of the purposes of the Association.
10. INVESTMENT. All monies at any time belonging to the Association and not required for immediate application for its purpose shall be deposited or invested by the Committee in or upon such investment or securities as it may think fit, subject nevertheless to such approval or consent by the Charity Commission- ers as may for the time being be required by law or by special trusts affecting any property in the hands of the Committee.
11. TRUSTEES. The power in the appointment of trustees shall be vested with the Committee. The number of trustees should be at least three. The names of the trustees (but not their addresses etc) will be published on the Charity Commission website, being standard practice for charities.
The following officers will automatically become trustees unless they individually request otherwise: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary. The FVRA shall indemnify the Trustees in the discharge of their duties and liability, providing that such indemnity shall relate to a proper administrative expense that could not otherwise have been completed without cost by a volunteer.
The minute books, account books and all other property of the Association, including any letters or documents relating in any way to FVRA affairs, shall be entrusted to the Secretary, Treasurer, or any other member or members of the Association as nominated by the Committee. Any member who ceases to be so nominated shall within seven days hand over to the Committee any property of the Association with which he or she may have been entrusted.
12. AMENDMENTS. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of a quorum of members present at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Society, provided that at least 14 days’ notice of the proposed amendment has been given to all members, and provided that nothing herein contained shall authorise any amendment the effect of which would be to cause the Association at any time to cease to be a charity in law.
13. NOTICES. Any notice required to be given by this Constitution shall be deemed to be duly given if left at or sent by email or by prepaid post addressed to the registered address or email address of that member last notified to the Secretary or the Membership Secretary.
14. COMPLAINTS. Any complaint about FVRA will be considered by the committee, considering both sides of any dispute or difference. Complaints against an individual committee member will be considered by the trustees, considering that committee member’s statement also. Complaints against an individual trustee will be considered by the other trustees, considering that trustee’s statement also.
15. WINDING-UP. The Association may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of members voting at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Association 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 Association is to be proposed at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting this this motion shall be referred to specifically when notice of the meeting is given. In the event of the dissolution of the Association the available funds of the Association shall be transferred to such one or more charitable institutions having objects similar or reasonably similar to those herein before declared as shall be chosen by the Committee and approved by the meeting of the Association at which the decision to dissolve the Association is confirmed.
On dissolution the minute books and other records of the Association shall be deposited with the Civic Trust or similar suitable body. Approved at AGM 9 March 2024.
A version showing changes from the previous 1991 Constitution, can be made available on request to the Secretary

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