Constitution & Rules for the Exe Decorative & Fine Arts Society An affiliate member society of The Arts Society

1 Name

The Society shall be called the “Exe Decorative and Fine Arts Society”, ExeDFAS.

2 Objects

As an affiliate member society of The Arts Society, the Society shall have as the objects the promotion and advancement of the aesthetic education of the public, the cultivation, appreciation and study of the decorative and fine arts, and the giving of aid to the preservation of our national artistic heritage for the benefit of the public.

3 Powers

For the pursuit and fulfilment of the Society’s objects its powers shall include the following:

  1. (a)  To arrange lectures for Members of the Society.
  2. (b)  To arrange Special Interest Days, tours and visits to private houses, museums,exhibitions and other places of interest for Members of the Society.
  3. (c)  To arrange related activities of an educational character for children and other membersof the public.
  4. (d)  To arrange voluntary preservation and recording work by its Members in relation to thedecorative and fine arts.
  5. (e)  To purchase, take on lease, hire or otherwise acquire any real or personal property orpremises including halls or lecture rooms and any rights, privileges or interests which theSociety may think necessary for the promotion of the objects.
  6. (f)  To subscribe, donate or guarantee money for any purpose connected with and calculatedto advance the objects of the Society.
  7. (g)  To raise and utilise funds for the furtherance of the objectives but without the power topledge the personal liability of any Member for the repayment of any sums borrowed.
  8. (h)  To undertake any other lawful activities in fulfilment of the objects.

4 Membership

  1. (a)  The Society shall have Ordinary Members and may have Honorary Members if the Committee so decides.
  2. (b)  The Committee shall decide on the number and admission of Ordinary Members. A waiting list shall be maintained for those persons applying for Membership in excess of the permitted number of Members.
  3. (c)  Persons on the waiting list will be admitted to Membership in strict order of the date of application, but in exceptional circumstances priority may be given at the discretion of the Committee.
  4. (d)  The Committee may elect Honorary Members who are distinguished in the decorative and fine arts or who have done valuable work for the Society. An Honorary Member may attend all meetings and events of the Society in the same manner as an Ordinary Member but shall not be liable to pay a subscription nor be entitled to vote at any General Meeting of the Society. An Honorary Member who at the time of election as such was an Ordinary Member may elect to remain an Ordinary Member as well.

5 The Officers

(a) The Officers of the Society shall be the Chairman, the Vice Chairman (optional), the Treasurer and the Secretary, all of whom shall be nominated annually for election at the Annual General Meeting. Neither the Chairman nor the Vice Chairman may hold office in such post for more than three consecutive years. The Treasurer and the Secretary shall not normally hold office for more than three years, but the Committee may extend this up to a maximum of five years to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

(b) The Chairman, or in his absence an appointee of the Committee, shall preside at General Meetings and Committee Meetings of the Society. The decision of the Chairman of the General Meeting upon any question of order, voting, adjournment of the Meeting or interpretation of the Rules of the Society shall be final. The Chairman of any Meeting shall have an additional casting vote in the event of equality of votes on any matter under consideration by the Society. The Chairman may attend and represent the Society at all General Meetings of The Arts Society, Area and National Meetings or appoint a deputy to attend.

6 Committee

  1. (a)  The Committee shall manage the affairs of the Society and administer its funds.
  2. (b)  The Committee shall consist of not more than twelve Members including the Chairman,Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
  3. (c)  Any Ordinary Member of the Society may propose or second Members for election to theCommittee at the Annual General Meeting. Nominations must be given to the Secretary not less than 28 days before the Annual General Meeting. Committee Members shall retire each year but be eligible for re-election.
  4. (d)  No Committee Member may serve for more than three years in the same office or position, with the possibility of extension as provided for in Rule 5 (a). A member may continue on the Committee for one further period of three years if elected to another office or position on the Committee.
  5. (e)  Casual vacancies amongst the Committee during the year may be filled by the Committee. Persons so appointed shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting after the appointment and shall be empowered to vote.
  6. (f)  The Committee may co-opt up to four additional Members to the Committee. Co-opted Members shall have the right to attend and speak at Meetings of the Committee but not have the right to vote. Co-opted Members shall be appointed for a specific period not exceeding two years.
  7. (g)  The Committee may appoint sub-committees accountable to it for such purposes as it determines.
  8. (h)  The Committee may make regulations regarding the conduct of Meetings other than General Meetings, attendance of visitors, charges for visitors and otherwise for the regulation of the Society’s affairs.
  9. (i)  The Committee shall meet as required and not less than four times each year. A quorum shall consist of over one half of the number of the elected Members of the Committee one of whom should be an Officer.

7 Finance

  1. (a)  The Society’s financial year shall end on 31st March in every year.
  2. (b)  An independent Financial Examiner shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting, whose duties shall be to examine and report on the annual Accounts of the Society forsubmission to the Members.
  3. (c)  The funds of the Society shall be paid into current, deposit or investment accounts in thename of the Society with such banks, building societies or investment institutions as the Committee shall agree. The Treasurer acting alone may authorise internet payments up to a limit set by the Committee from time to time but not exceeding £1,000. Payments in excess of the limit set by the Committee shall be made by cheque or other written instrument and shall be authorised by two of the following: The Chairman, The Treasurer or any full Member of the Committee who is an accredited signatory with the Society’s banker, provided always that one of the two persons signing cheques shall be The Chairman or The Treasurer.
  4. (d)  Payment for outings, Special Interest Days or other events will be due at the time of booking and will not normally be refundable.

8 Subscription

(a) The subscription for Ordinary Members of the Society shall be such a sum as may be determined by the Committee from time to time. The first payment shall be due on election to Membership and due annually on or before the AGM which is normally held on the second Thursday in June every year.

  1. (b)  A Member whose subscription is not paid in full by the due date shall thereupon cease to be entitled to rights and privileges of Membership but may at the discretion of the Committee be reinstated on payment of all arrears.
  2. (c)  The Committee shall have power to charge an entrance fee for Membership of the Society, additional to a Member’s subscription. Such entrance fee may be waived in respect of applicants for membership who are, or have been, within the previous three years, members of any The Arts Society society.
  3. (d)  The Society will pay The Arts Society subscription for the calendar year when due.

9. Visitors

Attendance at any meeting of the Society shall be restricted to members except:

  1. (a)  Guests of the committee.
  2. (b)  Visitors: a member may introduce one visitor at each meeting with the approval of theMembership Secretary and subject to the payment of such charge as the committeemay from time to time determine.
  3. (c)  Those on the waiting list for membership may attend all lectures on payment of theappropriate charge, provided that a place is booked in advance and that space is available.

10 General Meetings

(a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held at such time and place as shall be determined by the Committee. Written Notice, including the Agenda, the text and proposers and seconders of any Resolutions, shall be given 21 days before the meeting.

The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

  1. (i)  To receive the examined Accounts of the Society and the Report thereon,
  2. (ii)  To receive the Committee’s Report on the activities of the past year,
  3. (iii)  To elect Officers and Committee of the Society,
  4. (iv)  To elect an independent Financial Examiner of the Accounts of theSociety,
  5. (v)  To consider any Resolutions of which due Notice has been given,
  6. (vi)  Informally to discuss any other business with the permission of the Chairman.

(b) The
are more candidates than there are vacancies to be filled, in which case the relevant election shall be by ballot of those present at the Meeting.

election of Officers and of the Committee shall be by a show of hands unless there

(c) The quorum for General meetings shall be one quarter of the Society’s Membership.

  1. (d)  An Extraordinary General Meeting must be convened within 28 days at the request ofthe Committee or at least 20 Members of the Society. Resolutions to be considered must be given in writing to the Secretary, who will give all the Members 21 days’ written Notice of the Meeting, stating time and place of the Meeting which shall be determined by the Chairman and the text of the Resolutions.
  2. (e)  Except under Rule 10 (b), voting shall be by a show of hands and by simple majority (abstentions, for the avoidance of doubt, not constituting a vote) save where an increased majority and/or majority of those present and entitled to vote is expressly required. In the event of equality of votes, the Chairman of the Meeting shall cast an additional vote. Proxy voting shall not be permitted.
  1. 11  ResolutionsNotice of Resolutions to be brought forward shall be given in writing to the Secretary at least 28 days prior to the holding of a General Meeting. Any such Resolution shall have been duly seconded and shall be set forth in the Agenda with the name of the proposer and seconder. Save with the consent of the Committee, a Resolution which does not comply with the foregoing may not be proposed at a General Meeting.
  2. 12  Members’ Addresses and Data Protection Act

(a) Members shall notify any change of the address to the Society.

(b) Where the names and addresses and telephone numbers of Members are held on computer, Members must consent to the disclosure of such information to The Arts Society and to the S.W. area of The Arts Society.

  1. 13  Amendment of Constitution and RulesThese Rules may be amended by a written Resolution of which due Notice has been given in accordance with Rule 10 (a) and 10 (d) passed at a General Meeting by at least two- thirds of the Members present and voting.
  2. 14  Termination of Membership of The SocietyIf the conduct or action of any Member shall, in the opinion of the Committee, be injurious to or inconsistent with the character, objects or interests of the Society, the Committee shall grant the Member a hearing before it. If the complaint is upheld, the Committee may request in writing such Member to resign. Any Member so requested who does not resign within one month from the date of such a written request shall cease to remain a Member of the Society. In neither case will any part of any entrance fee or subscription be refunded.
  3. 15  Winding up the SocietyIf a Resolution to wind up the affairs of the Society shall have been duly proposed and carried at a General Meeting (to which a representative of The Arts Society Trustee Board has been invited) by at least two-thirds of those present, so much of the assets shall be realised as may be necessary to discharge liabilities of the Society and all the remaining assets shall be made over to such one or more charitable institutions or other associations having charitable status with objects similar to those of the Society as the Committee shall decide.
  4. 16  Withdrawal from the Association
  1. (a)  A representative of The Arts Society Trustee Board should be invited to a General Meeting at which withdrawal from The Arts Society is to be proposed.
  2. (b)  According to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of The Arts Society, six months’ previous written Notice must be given to The Arts Society before a Member Society withdraws from The Arts Society.
  3. (c)  On withdrawal or termination of Membership by The Arts Society, the Society shall cease to be entitled to the use of The Arts Society name and shall cease to be called the “Exe Decorative and Fine Arts Society.” The Society shall return to The Arts Society all confidential documentation issued by The Arts Society.


In these rules where the context admits the masculine shall include the feminine and the singular shall include the plural and vice versa. The decision of the Committee upon any question of interpretation of these Rules shall be final and binding on all Members and guests of the Society, subject to the provisions of Rule 5(b) as to the General Meeting.

This Constitution does not affect the terms of office of any member of the committee appointed under any previous Constitution.

As Adopted June 2003 Including amendments adopted June 2011, June 2017 and June 2018