Our Constitution

To enable Bicester Local History Society to run smoothly we have had to formulate a Constitution. This version currently displayed has been amended from the September 2009 version, which itself was derived from the original one back in 1986!

The revised Constitution was presented to the membership, for discussion and acceptance, at the Annual General Meeting held in September 2013 and was approved by the membership. The Constitution is a bit tedious to read but is necessary. There may even be a prize for anyone who can get to the end of it!!


(Approved at the Annual General Meeting held on 16th September 2013)

1. The Society shall be called the ‘Bicester Local History Society’ 

2. The aims and objectives of the Society are to acknowledge and encourage the interests of people in the local history of Bicester and the surrounding area. The Society shall undertake the following to achieve the aims and objectives:
a) To endeavour as a Society to provide and promote equal opportunities for the membership for activities undertaken by the Society whatever a person’s race, colour, ethnicity or nation’s origin, religion, beliefs, sex, age, sexuality, gender identity, HIV status, physical or mental disability, state of health, appearance, marital status or family circumstances.
b) To pursue original research that is made available to all;
c) To share information amongst the members of the Society so as to add to the body of knowledge;
d) To organise talks and courses that will provide members and the general public with relevant information, knowledge or skills to pursue individual or group research;
e) To mount a programme of activities on topics relevant to the history of Bicester, the locality and the County of Oxfordshire;
f) To build a local archive of documents (or photocopies of documents), illustrations and artefacts relating to the local history of Bicester and the surrounding area;
g) To arrange guided local history walks in Bicester and the surrounding villages;
h) To gather oral histories;
i) To mount exhibitions of an historical nature;
j) To create and maintain an internet Bicester Local History Society website;
k) To publish a range of books, leaflets and resource materials relating to the local history of the area;
l) To act as a resource for material and information for schools, libraries, media, museums etc;
m) To extend any of the above and develop additional activities as opportunities arise

3. Management of Bicester Local History Society affairs:
a) The Committee of Bicester Local History Society shall consist of not less than six members and not more than nine. The Committee shall have the option of co-opting further members as is deemed necessary;
b) The election of the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and the rest of the Committee will take place at the Annual General Meeting by the membership;
c) The Annual General Meeting of Bicester Local History Society will take place annually during September. The date of the Annual General Meeting shall be notified to members not less than thirty days prior to it being held.
d) Resolutions for discussion at the Annual General Meeting and nominations for election to the Committee shall be forwarded to the Secretary at least fourteen days prior to the date of the Meeting;
e) The Constitution of the Society can only be changed at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting requested in writing by ten members of the Society.
f) Rules relating to the Constitution of the Society may only be changed by a two thirds majority of the members present at the Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting. The proposed alteration(s) submitted in writing and seconded, shall be sent to the Secretary thirty days prior to the date of the meeting;
g) Four Committee members or six ordinary members are required to call a special meeting of the Society. This will be convened within thirty days of a signed written request being received by the Secretary;
h) The Committee shall meet as often as it deems necessary for the good administration of Society business. Resolutions discussed by the Committee shall be passed by a simple majority. The Chairperson shall exercise a casting vote should this be necessary:
i) Committee meetings shall require a quorum of four or more Committee members to take place;
j) Any comment or opinion given to the press, media, official bodies or to the public by a member of the Bicester Local History Society committee or by a Bicester Local History Society member can only be deemed to be that of the individual concerned unless the matter has been discussed within the Committee and agreed by them. Any written communication to such bodies should be done on Bicester Local History Society headed paper.
k) The administration and management of the Society’s affairs shall be conducted in a manner that is transparent, accountable, efficient and effective. Members of the Society may request information or clarification of the Society’s affairs by writing to the Committee. The matter will be considered at the next scheduled Committee Meeting and a response will follow. 

4. Membership and Subscriptions:
a) Membership shall be open to all persons interested in the local history including Bicester, the surrounding area and the County of Oxfordshire on payment of an appropriate subscription;
b) Guests are welcome to attend Bicester Local History Society meetings and open events on payment of an appropriate charge;
c) Membership fees and guest charges will be decided at the Annual General Meeting. Subscriptions will include individual or family membership. The amount of each type membership shall be recommended by the Committee and agreed at the Annual General Meeting for the following year. Annual subscriptions will be renewable from the date of the Annual General Meeting. 

5. Finance:
a) The Treasurer shall prepare a draft Income and Expenditure Account for the year to present at the Annual General Meeting. The accounts shall be audited annually by an independent auditor.
b) Bank Account(s) shall be maintained in the name of the Society and shall be operated by the Treasurer, Chairman and Secretary;
c) The Treasurer shall receive all donations, contributions, bequests and grants. All income from whatever source shall be paid into the Bicester Local History Society Bank Account;
d) The three principal Officers are responsible for the maintenance and safe custody of the property of the Society;
e) All items of expenditure by any member of the Committee shall be strictly within the context of the aims and objectives of the Society. All such expenditure shall be subject to the prior approval of the Treasurer, who may wish to consult with other Committee members. No officer or other Committee member shall unilaterally make any commitment or enter into any agreement to purchase supplies or equipment or take any action that will incur expense to the Society without first consulting the Treasurer;
f) Failure to observe the above principles may result in a Committee member not being reimbursed. 

6. Ownership issues:
Any resources or materials obtained and/or published by the Society will remain the property of Bicester Local History Society.
The domain name - www.blhs.org.uk - is the property of Bicester Local History Society

7. Dissolution:
a) The Society shall be wound up only by a resolution of an Extraordinary General Meeting called for the purpose and on the approval given by not less than two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote as paid up members;
b) Any assets remaining after the meeting once liabilities have been met shall be disposed of in such a manner as the meeting shall decide.