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Constitution

SPAE CONSTITUTION - OCTOBER 2021


The NAME of the Society shall be: THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ASCOT & ENVIRONS

1. The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area comprising Ascot and surrounding district, which is within the SL5 postcode area, which area shall hereinafter be referred to as "the area of benefit". The Executive Committee may change the area of benefit if it considers it to be in the interests of the Society. The Society shall have the following composite and unified purposes namely to ensure that:

a) Development and land use is consistent with the character of the relevant part of the area of benefit.

b) Development and land use capable of having an adverse impact on the Green Belt is in accordance with relevant Government, Local Authority and other policies for Green Belt land.

c) The significance, quality and character of heritage assets and their settings, including Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, are conserved and enhanced.

d) Landmark views and buildings are safeguarded.

e) Development and land use is in accordance with the policies and provisions set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”), Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and other legislation, policies, guidance and supplementary documents applicable from time to time to the relevant part of the area of benefit.

f) NPPF, Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and other planning legislation, delegated legislation, policies, guidance, supplementary planning documents, procedures and processes are implemented, applied and enforced in accordance with best practice.

g) Compulsory purchase orders, tree preservation notices, tree replacement notices, high hedge orders, orders regarding rights of way and laws regarding common land and town or village greens are implemented, applied and enforced in accordance with relevant legislation, delegated legislation, policies, guidance and best practice.

h) Existing natural features and diversity of any relevant part of the area of benefit, including the flora, fauna and biodiversity are retained and enhanced.

i) Development is of high quality design and a good standard of amenity.

j) Infrastructure in all or any relevant part of the area of benefit is improved and enhanced in a sustainable manner including highways (public or private), footpaths, cycle routes, street lighting, telecommunications, drainage, water supply and energy supply.

k) Pollution in all its forms is reduced including but not limited to noise pollution and environmental pollution.

l) Development enhances and improves the lives of residents living within the area of benefit.

m) Appropriate community infrastructure levy is obtained for all applicable development and applied for the benefit of the relevant part of the area of benefit.

n) Any increase in need within the area of benefit or any relevant part of it occurs in a way that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.

o) Chobham Common Special Protection Area, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Local Nature Reserves, Special Areas of Conservation, Areas of Special Landscape Importance and any other area or site designated by law are protected and maintained and that all development and land use is consistent with all relevant legislation, delegated legislation, policies, guidance, supplementary planning documents, mitigation measures, procedures and processes applicable to such areas or sites.

p) On matters pertaining to the purposes of the Society, the Society acts as a centre of knowledge, information and advice for residents.

q) To have due regard to relevant local circumstances pertaining to any particular development as well as the desires and needs of the Society’s members in a manner which does not undermine the purposes referred to above.

r) To carry on any other activity which the Executive Committee judges to be capable of being conveniently or advantageously carried on in connection with any of the above purposes or directly or indirectly to further or facilitate the purposes of the Society or otherwise to advance the interests of the Society.

The purposes, powers, activities and responsibilities of the Society shall be confined exclusively to the "area of benefit" except where such activities outside such geographic area can reasonably be expected to reflect beneficially upon the area of benefit or a material part of it. The purposes, powers, activities and responsibilities of the Society shall include any matter that is preparatory or incidental to any such purpose, power, activity or responsibility.

2. In furtherance of the said purposes but not otherwise, the Society through its Executive Committee shall have the power to do all such other things as are lawful for the attainment of the Society’s purposes including but not limited to:

a) Commenting on, supporting, objecting to or seeking any development proposal, enforcement order, compulsory purchase order, tree preservation order, tree replacement notice, high hedge order, orders regarding rights of way and laws regarding common land and town or village greens or any appeal in relation to any such matter or any similar matter whether in the area of benefit or which may impact on any part of the area of benefit.

b) Promoting, supporting or otherwise seeking changes to any legislation, delegated legislation, policy framework, local plan, neighbourhood plan, guidance, supplementary planning document, case law, procedure or practice that is relevant to the Society’s purposes.

c) Promoting research into subjects connected with the purposes of the Society and to publish the results of any such research.

d) Acting as a conduit for developers, landowners, planners and any other interested parties wishing to consult with the local community on planning related matters.

e) Engaging in dialogue with governmental, local or parish authorities including their committees, MPs and councillors, as well as utilities, telecommunications providers and energy suppliers.

f) Engaging in dialogue with organisations, charities, and persons having purposes that are wholly or partly consistent with those of the Society and, if considered appropriate, becoming a member of any such bodies.

g) Publishing papers, reports and other literature.

h) Making surveys and preparing maps and plans and collecting information in relation to any of the Society’s purposes.

i) Holding meetings, lectures and exhibitions and providing advice and information.

j) Influencing public opinion.

k) Raising funds and inviting and receiving 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 purposes.

l) To do anything which, and engage in any activity in which, a person may lawfully engage.

Provided that the Society shall not be under any obligation to undertake all or any of the purposes and powers of the Society and in particular shall only undertake such of the purposes and powers as the Executive Committee shall from time to time consider can properly be undertaken in an effective, timely and cost efficient manner having regard to all relevant circumstances including the resources of the Society.

3. Membership shall be open to all who are interested in actively furthering the purposes of the Society as contained herein. No member shall have power to vote at any meeting of the Society if his subscription is in arrears at the time. The types of membership shall be Lifetime and Annual where both provide for up to two names per subscription. The subscription for Lifetime membership will be payable on joining and the subscription for Annual membership will be payable on joining and thereafter annually.

4. Subscriptions for the ensuing year will be determined annually by the Executive Committee and submitted to members for ratification at the subsequent Annual General Meeting.

Membership shall lapse if:

a) the subscription is unpaid three months after it is due;

b) despite reasonable attempts to contact the member at his or her last stated address it has not been possible to do so;

c) in the opinion of the Executive Committee a member shall conduct, or have conducted, himself or herself in a manner that is considered to be contrary to the purposes of the Society and its interests.

5. An Annual General Meeting shall be held in person or virtually in May or June of each year to receive the Executive Committee Report and independently examined Accounts and to elect Officers and Members of the Executive Committee. The Committee shall decide when Ordinary Meetings of the Society shall be held and shall give at least 21 days' notice of such meetings to all Members.

Special General Meetings of the Society shall be held in person or virtually at the written request of Members representing not less than ten per cent of the existing membership of the Society and whose subscriptions are fully paid up. Twenty Members personally present shall constitute a quorum.

Nominations for the election of officers and any other members of the Executive Committee shall be made at or 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 in writing together with an assurance in writing that the nominee has read the Constitution and supports the purposes of the Society as set out therein. If the nominations exceed the number of vacancies, a ballot shall take place at the Annual General Meeting in such manner as shall be determined. No individual may vote on a proposal for their own election.

6. The election of Officers shall be completed prior to the election of other members of the Executive Committee.


The Officers of the Society shall consist of:
Chairman : Secretary : Treasurer : Membership Secretary
Planning Secretary Sunninghill & Ascot : Planning Secretary Sunningdale : Planning Secretary Winkfield

All Officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall relinquish their office every year and shall be eligible for re-election at the Annual General Meeting of the Society. A President and Vice-Presidents may also be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the Society, for periods to be decided at such a Meeting. The Executive Committee shall have the power to fill casual vacancies occurring among the Officers of the Society.

7. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the management and administration of the Society and for this purpose it may exercise all the powers of the Society. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and not more than five other Members of the Society. Officers and members of Executive committee shall not receive any remuneration but shall be paid their reasonable and proper expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily on the purposes of the Society. The Executive Committee shall have power to co-opt further Members (who shall attend in an advisory and non-voting capacity). The Officers and Members of the Committee shall normally be resident or work in the area of benefit but the Executive Committee shall have power to co-opt additional Members from outside the area of benefit. Decisions of the Executive Committee, or any Sub-Committee, shall be by simple majority. A member who has an interest in the proceedings shall not vote. The President and Vice-President may attend any meeting of the Executive Committee but shall not vote at any such meeting. In the event of equality in the votes cast the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

The Executive Committee shall meet not less than six times a year at intervals of not more than three months and the Secretary shall give all Members not less than seven days’ notice of each meeting.

The quorum shall comprise a Chairman and six members of the Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee may appoint other persons to deputise for them at such Committee meetings; however, the persons so appointed shall not have the right to vote. In the event of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman not being present at a meeting of the Executive Committee, those Members of the Executive Committee who are present shall elect a Chairman from amongst themselves.

8. The Executive Committee 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 Committee and all actions and proceedings of each Sub-Committee shall be reported to and be confirmed by the Executive Committee as soon as possible. Members of the Executive Committee may be Members of any Sub-Committee and membership shall be subordinate to the Executive Committee and may be regulated or dissolved by the Executive Committee.

9. All members of the Executive Committee must declare any personal interest that may be perceived as being relevant to a decision of the Committee. This may include membership of an organisation, ownership of land or business, or any other matter that may be considered to be relevant.

10. The nature of the Executive Committee’s activities necessitates a high degree of confidentiality which will be respected by all members of the Executive Committee, and others engaged in the promotion of the purposes of the Society. This precludes the disclosure and use of any information acquired through their membership of the Executive Committee unless such information is readily available in the public domain or the specific disclosure or use has been approved by a simple majority of the Executive Committee.

11. Any member of the Executive Committee may be suspended from the Executive Committee or any meeting of the Executive Committee for conduct or behaviour that is considered by the Executive Committee inappropriate, disruptive and/or contrary to the purposes of the Society and its interests. Suspension of a member will be by a 75% majority vote of the Executive Committee. Any suspension shall not extend beyond the next General Meeting of the Society.

12. The Executive Committee shall pay out of the funds of the Society 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 such sums as may be deemed expedient, the remaining funds of the Society shall be applied by the Executive Committee in furtherance of the purposes of the Society or shall be invested in accordance with clause 13. Independently examined Accounts shall be produced annually and subject to an independent examination and report by a firm or person professionally qualified to do so.

13. All monies at any time belonging to the Society and not required for immediate application for its purposes shall be invested by the Executive Committee in or upon such investments, securities or property as it may think fit (subject nevertheless to such authority, approval or consent as may for the time being be required by law or by the special trusts affecting any property in the hands of the Executive Committee). Any investment adviser, investment trust or investment fund shall be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or any successor regulator.

14. 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 21 days' notice of the proposed amendment has been given to all Members.

15. Any notice required to be given by this Constitution shall be deemed to be duly given if sent either to the email address of that Member or to the postal address last notified.

16. 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 fourteen 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 General 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 shall be transferred to such one or more Charitable Institutions having objects similar or reasonably similar to those hereinbefore declared as shall be chosen by the Executive Committee 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 a local Historical Society or similar body.