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Version 6 approved at the EGM 17th November 2015


The Constitution of The Stafford Burgesses Guild

1)                  Name

The name of the association is "The Stafford Burgesses Guild”.

Note: The change from “Freemen’s Guild” has been made to include ladies and because everyone is sworn in as a ‘Burgess of Stafford’.

2)                  Membership

a.     Any Burgess of Stafford may be invited by the Guild Council to become a Full Member of the Guild on payment of the current subscription.

b.    The Guild Council may nominate individuals, who have supported the aims and objectives of the Guild, to become Honorary or Associate members. Such members are not required to be Burgesses of Stafford.

c.     An offer of Honorary or Associate membership is subject to approval at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.

d.    Honorary Members are exempted from subscriptions.

e.     Such membership does not confer any burgess status.

3)                  Objectives

The objects for which the Guild is established are:

a.     To promote, maintain, co-ordinate and further the interests of the Burgesses of Stafford.

b.    To promote Interest in the community identity of Stafford, its traditions and civic pride.

c.     To support the Trustees of the Burgesses Lands.

4)                  Officers

The officers of the Guild shall be:

a.    Patron: The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford may be invited to be Patron of the Guild during and after his or her term of office.

b.    President: This honorary office may be conferred on a suitable candidate at an AGM, or EGM, and confirmed at each subsequent AGM.

c.     Master and Deputy Master.

d.    Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.

e.     Additional officers may be appointed if required, such as: Social Secretary, Membership Secretary, Archivist, Stock Manager, etc.

5)                  Guild Council

The Guild shall be administered by a Guild Council, consisting of:

a.     The Master, Deputy Master, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer

b.    At least six full members, elected at the Annual General Meeting.

c.     An appointed representative of the Allotment Trustees, who may also be an officer or elected member.

d.    Other appointments may be made, or additional members co-opted by the Guild Council as required, up to a total of twelve.

e.     Members, or other persons, with appropriate expertise, may be invited by the Guild Council to attend Guild Council meetings.

f.      Meetings of the Guild Council are normally chaired by the Master or Deputy Master. If neither of these is present, those attending shall elect a Chairman for the meeting.

g.     The quorum for the Guild Council shall be five members, one of whom must be an officer.

6)                  Sub-committees

a.     The Guild Council shall have the power to form any necessary sub‑committees for specific functions.

b.    The Chairmen of any such sub-committees shall be members of the Guild Council and shall report to each council meeting.

7)                  Financial Year End

The financial year of the Guild shall end on 30th September.

8)                  The Annual General Meeting

a.     The Annual General Meeting, (AGM), shall be held within two months of the end of the financial year.

b.    Notice of the AGM, or any EGM, shall be published at least three weeks before the date fixed for the meeting. Notice shall be served as follows:

                                                   i.      By e-mail to the latest notified address of members who have supplied such addresses.

                                                  ii.      By details on the Guild Web Site or Trustees Web Site.

                                                 iii.      By post, or hand delivered letter, to those members who have requested such communications.

c.     The quorum for an AGM shall be 8 Full Members of the Guild.

d.    The Annual General Meeting will be normally chaired by the President, Master, or Deputy Master. If none of these are present, those attending shall elect a Chairman for the meeting.

9)                  Extraordinary General Meetings

a.     Extraordinary General Meetings, (EGM), may be called at the discretion of the Guild Council, or at the request of five members.

b.    Arrangements are as for the AGM.

10)               Submission of Agenda Items

a.     Any Guild Member wishing to submit an item for consideration at an AGM, EGM, Guild Council, or Sub-committee Meeting, should send the details to the Hon. Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting, so that it can be included as an agenda item.

b.    Constitutional changes require a minimum of 28 days notice.

c.     Any items, not affecting the constitution and/or given less than 14 days notice may receive consideration under “Any other business" at the discretion of the Chairman.

d.    No change to the constitution shall take place without approval at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.

11)               Election of Officers

a.     The Master, The Deputy Master, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Six Guild Council Members shall hold office for one year, but may offer themselves for re-election.

b.    The election of such persons shall be by nomination and, if necessary, by a vote or ballot at the AGM.

c.     Only Burgesses Guild Members are eligible to hold office.

12)               Expenses

a.     The expenses of the Guild shall be met by membership fees, donations and other fund raising.

b.    The Membership Fee shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting.

c.     Expenses shall be approved by the Guild Council and included in the Treasurer’s AGM report.

13)               Accounts

a.     The Hon. Treasurer’s Report shall be submitted at each Guild Council Meeting.

b.    An Annual Report shall be submitted and approved at the AGM.

14)               Voting

In the event of any resolution requiring a vote:

a.     Members present at any meeting of the Guild shall have one vote.

b.    The person in the chair at any meeting of the Guild shall, in the case of equality of voting have a casting vote.

15)               Minutes

a.     The Hon. Secretary, or appointed deputy, shall record the attendance and proceedings at all meetings.

b.    Minutes of the previous meeting shall be approved or amended at the next similar meeting.

c.     Minutes of meetings shall be available in print, but may be stored electronically with backup.

16)               Non-Attendance at Council or Committee Meetings

a.     Absence, without apology, for three consecutive meetings will deem the elected member to have relinquished membership of the Guild Council, or Sub-committee.

17)               Conduct

a.     The Guild Council may withdraw membership from any Member bringing the Guild into disrepute, or being a disruptive influence.

18)               Membership Information.

a.     Details of members including names addresses and contact information will be held by the Guild Council for the purposes of records or communications

b.    It will be held in both hard copy and electronic formats

c.     It will be used only for Guild purposes

d.    It will not be given to any third parties unless required by law.

19)               Winding-up of the Guild

a.     In the event of the necessity to wind up or dissolve the Stafford Burgesses Guild, any assets remaining, after the settlement of any outstanding debts, shall not be distributed to members.

b.    Financial assets shall be donated, or distributed, to bodies with similar objects to the Guild, such as the Stafford Allotment Trustees.

c.     Any regalia, or the like, shall be offered for safekeeping to appropriate bodies, such as Stafford Borough Council, or the Freemen of England and Wales.



Note: This constitution applies only to the Burgesses Guild, not the status of Stafford Burgesses, or their Trustees.



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