1.   Name

Sussex Indian Punjabi Society

2.   Aims and objectives

  • To improve social well-being of its community
  • To promote awareness of Indian culture, its history and values
  • To bring the community together and help enrich the lives of our members and the wider community.  
  • To organise and promote functions and cultural events, which form an integral part of the Indian calendar: For example Baisakhi (also known as Vaisakhi) in April and Diwali in November.
  • To develop good working relationships and build cohesion with all local organisations, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community groups
  • To act as focal point and take on an advisory/advocacy role with external or official organisations in the interests of its membership.
  • To Support charitable fund raising, causes and organisations, locally and nationally as appropriate.
  • To promote fairness and will not discriminate on the basis of; race, sex, disability, sexuality, age or on the basis of political, religious or other opinions.
  • To develop as necessary, from time to time any other activities to achieve the above for the community, consistent with the main objectives of the society.

3.   Membership

Membership is open to anyone who:

  • is aged over 16 years old; and
  • lives in Sussex or the surrounding area; and
  • supports the aims of Sussex Indian Punjabi Society

Membership will begin as soon as somebody make a request to a committee member and provides contact details (email or phone number).

A list of all members will be kept by the membership secretary.

Ceasing to be a member

Members may resign at any time by informing a member of the Committee in writing (see Section 8).

Anyone acting in a way which is not in accordance with the aims may be asked to leave the group by the Committee. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a friend if they wish, before a final decision is made. At this meeting options may be explored for how the individual can continue to be involved in group, or a final decision may be made that they should leave.

4.   Officers and Committee

The business of the group will be carried out by a committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.

The Committee will consist of no less than 3 and no more than 11 members.

If a committee member resigns, the committee may co-opt an additional member to replace them.

The officers of the group shall be:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary

Any committee member not attending a meeting without apology for three meetings will be contacted by the Committee and asked if they wish to resign.

5.   Sub – Groups

Sub-groups can be established at the discretion of the committee, or by agreement at a Special or Annual General Meeting, to carry out specific roles. 

Each sub-group will consist of at least 2 two committee members, but can include as many other committee or non-committee members as necessary.

Sub-groups will report to the committee and AGM, but may be delegated to make interim decisions so they can carry out their role effectively.

Sub-groups will meet regularly throughout the year at times and dates agreed by them.

6.   Meetings

6.1  Annual General Meeting:

  • An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held once a year, within 15 months of the previous AGM.
  • All members will be notified in writing at least 2 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the format, venue (if appropriate), date and time.
  • The quorum for the AGM will be 10% of the membership or 7 members, whichever is the greater number.
  • All meetings will start at the agreed/communicated time.

At the AGM:

  • The Committee will present a report of the work of Sussex Indian Punjabi Society over the year.
  • The Committee will present the accounts of Sussex Indian Punjabi Society for the previous year.
  • The Committee for the next year will be elected.
  • Any proposals given to the Secretary in writing at least 3 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.

6.2  Special General Meetings

The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the committee or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request.

The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request.

All members will be given two weeks notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 10% of the membership or 7 members, whichever is the greater number.

6.3  Meeting venues and formats

All meetings may be held either:

  1. in accessible buildings; or
  2. using online video meeting platforms (eg, Facebook or Zoom); or
  3. virtually by circulating information to members and providing a link for them to vote on reports, proposals or in elections; or
  4. using a combination of the above

The committee will decide which format is most suitable for each meeting or event.

Virtual meetings will have a start and finish date, which can be up to two weeks apart. If this format is used:

  1. all papers will be circulated to members before the start date; and
  2. members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the committee; and
  3. questions and responses will be available online for all members to view; and
  4. in the event of an AGM, nominations for the committee must be received at least one day before the start date; and
  5. an online form will be used for voting which will ensure each person is only be able to vote once (eg a poll where members are required to enter their name or an online secret ballot)

For physical and online meetings, all questions that arise will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

7.   Finances

  • An account will be maintained on behalf of the society at a bank agreed by the committee. 
  • Signatories to the account will be the officers or other committee members of the association. 
  • Each payment will require two signatures.
  • Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.
  • All money raised by the society will be spent solely on the Aims and Objectives laid out above.

8.   Written communication and signing documents

Written communication can be by letter, email, text or other electronic form.

When a signature is required, to sign a document or authorise the payment, this can be done by:

  1. signing the document and sending it; or
  2. sending an email, text or other direct message stating that the signatory agrees with the decision/formally agrees with document/authorises the action or payment proposed.

9.   Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

10.        Dissolution:

If any meeting of the group, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group. A vote will be taken and a two thirds majority will be required.

If the meeting is not quorate or there is not a two thirds majority to close down the group, the committee will call a second Special General Meeting. At this meeting there will not be a quorum and a simple majority will be required to close down the group.

If it is agreed to dissolve the society, all remaining money, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation, the organisation to be agreed at the meeting, which agrees the dissolution.