Beccles Society - Constitution

The Society’s constitution was approved at the Society’s AGM in 2012. Following suggestions by the Charity Commission, a slightly amended document was presented to, and approved by, the 2013 AGM.


The name of the Society shall be THE BECCLES SOCIETY. Its officers shall consist of a President, Chairman, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.


The Society is established for the public benefit with the following aims:

  • To stimulate public awareness and appreciation of the beauty, history and character of Beccles and its surroundings.
  • To conserve the architectural heritage of the town, its streetscape and its conservation area, and to work for an enhancement of the town environment by encouraging good development.
  • To stimulate awareness of the impact physical developments might have on the social, cultural and commercial life of Beccles and its surroundings.
  • In furtherance of the above objects, but not further or otherwise, the Society shall have the following powers:

    • a) To pursue these aims by means of lectures, meetings, the granting of awards, exhibitions and publicity, and by representations to the appropriate bodies.
    • b) To raise funds and to invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscriptions, donations and otherwise, provided that the Society shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for its charitable objects;
    • c) To publish papers, reports and other literature;
    • d) Subject to such consents as may be required by law, to borrow or raise money for the said objects and to accept gifts on such terms and such security as shall be deemed to be necessary;
    • e) To act as a co-ordinating body and to co-operate with other local authorities, planning committees and all other statutory authorities, voluntary organisations, charities and persons having aims similar to those of the Society;
    • f) To do all other lawful things as shall further the above objects.


    Membership is open to all who support the aims of the Society. The annual subscription shall be decided at the AGM.

    General Meetings

    An Annual General Meeting shall be held in or about April of each year to receive the report of the Executive Committee and the accounts, to elect officers and committee, and to enable members to raise any subject which they wish the committee to consider. Special General Meetings of the Society shall be held at the request of 30 or more members, who shall detail the resolutions they wish to include in the agenda. Fifteen members personally present or one tenth of the membership, whichever is the greater, shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the Society. Fourteen days notice of all meetings shall be given to members.

    Executive Committee

    • a) The officers of the Society shall consist of the President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.

      The executive body of the Society shall be responsible for the management of the Society and shall consist of the chairman, vice chairman, honorary secretary, honorary treasurer, and not more than ten other members who shall be resident in Beccles or adjacent parishes; provided that not more than two members shall be from adjacent parishes. The committee shall have power to co-opt further members; provided that the number of co-opted members shall not exceed one third of the total membership of the committee at the time of co-option. Members of the committee shall serve for 3 years and may stand for re-election. Nominations to fill vacancies, proposed and seconded, must be forwarded to reach the secretary not less than one week before the AGM.

    • b) 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 shall be confirmed by the executive committee as soon as possible. Members of the executive committee may be members of any sub-committee and membership of a sub-committee shall be no bar to appointment to membership of the executive committee. Sub-committees shall be subordinate to and may be regulated or dissolved by the executive committee.

    Dissolution Of The Society

    The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two thirds majority of those present and voting at a quorate Special General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which 21 days notice shall have been given to the members. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Society, provided that, if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid or distributed among members of the Society, and shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions, having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Society, as the Society may determine and, insofar as effect cannot be given to this provision, then to some other charitable purpose.

    Amendments to the Constitution

    Amendments to the Constitution shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting. The Secretary of the Society must receive the resolution for the amendment to the Constitution at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least 14 days notice of such a meeting must be given by the Secretary to membership and must include notice of the amendment proposed. No alteration to clause 2, clause 6, or this clause shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commission or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall have been obtained; and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Society to cease to be a charity in law.

    Accounts And Finance

    The Society shall hold current and deposit accounts in the name of the Beccles Society with a suitable bank or building society. Cheques may be drawn against either account on the signatures of the Hon. Treasurer and either the Chairman or the Hon. Secretary. Petty cash shall be the responsibility of the Hon. Secretary, who will account for all such expenses to the Hon Treasurer.

    The financial year of the Society shall run from 1 April to 31 March of the following year.