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1. Name: The name of the Festival shall be the SOUTH WARWICKSHIRE LITERARY FESTIVAL.
2. Object: The object of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival shall be to promote appreciation of literature and writing in all its forms, through a professionally organised and widely accessible festival event.
3.1. To nurture and support reading and writing though an event that is accessible to all.
3.2. To create a positive and creative learning environment for those wishing to improve their writing skills, and those wishing to present their written material.
3.3. To present a range of literary genres, including use of novel approaches to encourage participation by those who may not normally be attracted to traditional literary events.
3.4. To promote and include, where possible, the incumbent Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate.
4.1. The South Warwickshire Literary Festival shall operate as a not-for-profit organisation (an “unincorporated association”).
4.2. Organisation of the Festival will be in the hands of a Steering Group appointed with the sole aims of developing and promoting the South Warwickshire Literary Festival in line with the Constitution.
4.3. The Steering Group may work in partnership with other relevant organisations in order to promote and deliver the Festival. A Steering Group meeting will be quorate when at least one officer and three ordinary members are present either in person, by Zoom, or Teams.
5. Officers: An initial Chair will be identified to form a Steering Group and agree assignment of roles with Steering Group members. Subsequently, the Chair will be identified from among the Steering Group, and be appointed with the support of all Steering Group members. There will be appointment to the role of Treasurer. Depending on need, there may also be appointment to the role of Secretary.
6. Steering Group: A Steering Group will be appointed to work with the Chair in taking forward the aims of, and actively promoting, the Festival.
6.1.Members & roles:
The number of Steering Group members will remain flexible in order to ensure a full range of skills and experience is maintained, with some members taking a more limited advisory role.
It is expected that individual members of the Steering Group will accept responsibility for taking forward specific aspects of the Festival. Those individuals will be expected to lead on their particular area, liaising closely with the Chair, and updating Steering Group meetings on progress, or raising issues for wider discussion.
6.2. Terms of Office: The term of office for Chair, Treasurer and Committee will be three years, commencing from the date of adoption of this Constitution, with the option to serve for one or more further three year terms. Any individual may stand down at any time, by giving notice in writing to the Chair.
6.3. Meetings: Formal Steering Group meetings will be held at regular intervals to be decided upon by the steering group and can be conducted in person or over Zoom or Teams. Meetings will be formally minuted. Where time is of the essence in decision-making, communication to all members of the steering group may be conducted by email or Whatsapp, and to include all members of the SWLF team.
6.4. Attendance: Attendance and active participation in Festival meetings and activities is expected of Steering Group members. Apologies should be sent to the Chair. Failure to attend three successive meetings will lead to the Chair asking the member to clarify their position and, subject to the reason, the Steering Group may be required to vote on that person remaining on the Steering Group.
7.1 An account will be set up and maintained in the name of South Warwickshire Literary Festival at a Bank agreed by the Steering Group.
7.2 The Chair and Treasurer, and at least one other member of the Steering Group, will be named as signatories on the account.
7.3 All cheques must be signed by any two of the nominated signatories.
7.4Internet banking transactions also require approval by any two of the nominated signatories unless agreed otherwise.
7.5. All monies raised on behalf of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival are only to be used to further the aims of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival, as specified in this Constitution.
7.6. There will be no payment to Steering Group members, except for legitimate reimbursement of expenses incurred and agreed beforehand by the Committee, and on production of appropriate receipts.
7.7. The Treasurer will maintain appropriate financial records, with full documentation of any income and expenditure. Regular updates on income and expenditure will be provided to the Steering Group.
7.8. Decisions on expenditure will be agreed within the Steering Group, ensuring that the Festival does not overcommit in terms of expenses in any year.
7.9. A surplus of income over expenditure in any year will be held over to support the following year’s Festival.
8.1. Suitably distinguished persons with relevant experience, expertise or reputation may be invited to become Patrons of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival.
8.2. There is no upper limit on the number of individuals who may be invited to become Patrons.
8.3. The role of Patron is a voluntary one.
9. Data ProtectionIn compliance with current GDPR regulations:
9.1 A secure database of contact details for those attending the Festival will be maintained in order to keep them informed of future events.
9.2 An individual may ask for their name to be removed from the list, and this will be done.
10. Friends of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival:
10.1. The Steering Group reserves the option to establish a formal category of Friends of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival.
10.2. On payment of a fee – to be determined by the Steering Group – individuals would be invited to join the Friends.
10.3. A GDPR compliant database of Friends of the South Warwickshire Literary Festival would be maintained, keeping them informed about appropriate Festival business and events. Other benefits may be awarded to those registering as Friends.
10.4. Any individual will be removed from the database in response to a specific request from that individual.
11. Amendments to the Constitution:
Any amendments to the Constitution must be agreed by a majority of Steering Group members, with changes and reasons for the changes fully documented in minutes of the relevant Steering Group meeting.
A decision may be taken by the Steering Group that the South Warwickshire Literary Festival should be dissolved. After settling all debts and paying any outstanding expenses any remaining funds will be donated to a similar enterprise, with the proviso that they be spent on promotion of literary events. However, SWLF committee members, the steering group, patrons and friends will not be liable for any debts incurred.
Constitution originally adopted at the Steering Group meeting of:4th January 2023
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