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Trust Deed and Constitution

The Elmbridge and Runnymede Talking Newspaper (EaRTN) constitution is set out below:


  1. The name of the Association is the “Elmbridge and Runnymede Talking Newspaper Association” (“The Association”).
  2. The object of the Association is to help the blind or the partially-sighted or those otherwise labouring under a disability which makes reading a strain, by the provision of recorded tapes or other audio matter. In furtherance of this object, but not further or otherwise, the Association, through its Committee, shall have the following powers:­
    1. To take and accept gifts of property whether subject to any special trusts or not.
    2. To raise funds and to invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscription donation or otherwise, provided that the Committee shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for the said object.
    3. To seek authorisation from the Post Office or its successors to use their free postage facility and, if such authority is available and granted, to use this facility for the distribution of tapes or other audio matter.
    4. To distribute the tapes or other audio matter by means other than the use of the free postage facility mentioned in 2(c) hereof to people to whom such free postage facility is unavailable.
    5. To do all such things as shall further the object of the Association.
  3. Membership of the Association shall be available:­
    1. Automatically to those blind, partially-sighted, or disabled people in receipt of the Association’s tapes or other audio matter and
    2. By invitation of the Committee on an annual basis, to those actively involved in the running of the Association or regularly contributing to its funds by way of subscription, donation or otherwise.
  4. The Committee of the Association shall receive no remuneration other than reimbursement of legitimate expenses, shall meet at least four times a year, and shall consist of -
    1. A maximum of seven members elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association, including a Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a representative of the blind or partially-sighted members. Retiring members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election.
    2. Additionally, each participating Rotary Club shall nominate one of its members as a full voting member of the Committee.
    3. A maximum of two further members, who may be co-opted by the Committee to meet particular short-term needs, but who shall have no vote.
  5. The Committee shall fill other necessary posts such as Editor, Public Relations Officer or Technical Manager from amongst its own number. Casual vacancies on the Committee may be filled by resolution of the Committee. Unless co-opted, each Committee member shall have one vote on each matter considered. In the case of equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
  6. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held before the end of May in each year, and every member shall receive not less than fourteen days’ notice of such Meeting. The Annual General Meeting shall receive and consider the Chairman’s and Treasurer’s reports (including the accounts for the past calendar year). The Annual General Meeting shall elect Committee members as in Para 4. above, and shall subsequently elect three Trustees from amongst the seven elected Committee members.
  7. Special General Meetings may be convened by the Secretary upon a written request signed by at least three members of the Committee or of the Association, upon similar fourteen days’ notice, which shall state the business to be conducted at the Meeting. No business other than that for which the meeting was convened shall be conducted at a Special General Meeting.
  8. The quorum at an Annual or Special General Meeting shall be ten members. Each member of the Association present shall have one vote on each matter considered at any Annual or Special General Meeting, and in the case of equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
  9. All sums collected shall be handed over to the Treasurer or Secretary who shall pay the sums into a bank account in the name of the Association, at the Walton-on-Thames branch of Lloyds Bank Plc or at such other bank and branch as may subsequently be agreed by the Committee. The Chairman, the Treasurer, and/or any Trustee shall have power to sign cheques on behalf of the Association. Cheques for up to £100 shall require only one signatory. Cheques for more than £100 shall require two signatories.
  10. The Trustees shall invest in their names any monies not required for the immediate purposes of the Association in securities in which Trust Monies may by law be invested, with power from time to time to transpose such investments.
  11. Any property purchased by the Association shall be vested in the Trustees. The Trustees shall, with such consent as is by law required, deal with the property so vested in them by way of sale mortgage lease or otherwise howsoever as directed by the Association. Such direction shall be given by a resolution of members of the Association passed by a majority of the members present at a duly convened General Meeting of the Association, and when so passed shall in favour of subsequent purchaser mortgagee chargee lessee or grantee be binding upon all members of the Association.
  12. A certificate purporting to be signed by the Secretary for the time being of the Association shall in favour of a purchaser mortgagee chargee lessee or grantee be conclusive evidence that such a direction was duly given.
  13. Dissolution of the Association requires a resolution to that effect passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a Special General Meeting of the Association called for that sole purpose. In the event of such dissolution, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to a charitable organisation or organisations having objects similar to that of the Association.
  14. This Constitution may be amended by a three fourths majority of the members present at an Annual or Special General Meeting, provided that fourteen days notice of the proposed amendment(s) has been sent to all members, and provided that no alteration is made, the effect of which would cause the Association at any time to cease to be a charity, and that no alteration to clause two, to clause eleven, or to this clause is made without previously consulting the Charity Commissioners.