Accessible Waterways Association
The name of the group shall be Accessible Waterways Association (AWA).
The aims of AWA will be to inform, represent, and assist people who live with disabilities, impairments, or accessibility issues, and who want to enjoy the Inland Waterways and their surrounding environments.
3.1 Membership is open to:
- anyone living with a disability or long-term health condition, and their carer.
- businesses and other organisations who support our aims.
- charitable organisations who operate within the scope of AWA.
Membership will begin as soon as the membership form has been received and approved.
There will be an annual membership fee which will be reviewed and agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of directors and will be payable by all members.
A list of all members will be kept by the Membership Secretary.
3.2 Member Conduct
Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist, homophobic 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 or organisation concerned shall have the right to be heard by the directors, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.
3.3 Ceasing to be a member
Members may resign at any time in writing or email to the secretary.
Any member who has not renewed their membership fee after 1 month will be contacted by the Membership Secretary (or other director), who will then decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned
- Equal Opportunities
AWA will not discriminate on the grounds of race (including colour, ethnic or national origin), gender, sexual orientation, disability, religious or political belief, pregnancy or maternity, marital status or age.
The business of AWA will be carried out by the directors who will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.
There are to be at least four directors. There are four officer roles, which are to be fulfilled from the directorship. Further additional directors may be added to the team at the discretion of the directors to ensure and enhance the smooth running of AWA.
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 directors.
Any director not attending a meeting without apology for two consecutive meetings will be contacted by the Secretary (or other officer) and asked if they wish to resign.
Any member of AWA wishing to attend a directors’ meeting may do so with prior notification to the Membership Secretary or Secretary. They may speak, but not vote.
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 (by member’s preferred method of communication) at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time.
Members can table a motion to be included at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, and will also have the opportunity to raise issues at the end of the meeting.
The quorum for the AGM will be 50% of the directors or 4 directors, whichever is the greater number.
At the AGM, the Directors will:-
- present a report of the work of AWA over the year.
- present the accounts of AWA for the previous year.
- discuss any proposals given by members to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.
6.2 Special General Meetings
The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the directors 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 twenty-one days of the request.
All members will normally be given 3 weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post. However, if the matter is deemed exceptionally urgent, less notice may be required.
The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 50% of the directors or 4 directors, whichever is the greater number.
6.3 General Meetings
General Meetings will be open to all members to observe and will be held at least once every 3 months or more often if necessary. There will be an opportunity for comment at the end of the meeting.
All members will be given two weeks’ 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 be 50% of the directors or 4 directors, whichever is the greater number.
- 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 is equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.
An account will be maintained on behalf of AWA at a bank agreed by the committee. Three cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer).
All payments will be signed by two of the signatories who must not be related nor members of the same household.
- For cheque payments, the signatories will sign the cheque.
- For other payments (such as BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments), a requisition note will be signed by two signatories, and held by the treasurer.
- The signatories on any payment must not be related nor members of the same household.
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 AWA is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.
- 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.
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 will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.
This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of the AWA on 18 March 2023.