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BGAJ AGM eAlert2 - February 2013

Johann Tasker
01206 263807
Johann Tasker

70th Annual General Meeting

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Motions relating to new legal entity

New constitution and byelaws

Final call for Council nominations


Members of the Guild have the opportunity to comment on, propose amendments to and vote on proposals to change the legal entity of the Guild to a company limited by guarantee, adopt a new constitution setting out its aims and objectives, and introduce a revised set of rules governing the way it is run.

The management Council of the Guild has spent some time drawing up the proposals to ensure proper and secure foundations for the organisation, and to protect those members who serve on Council from financial and legal liability.

"The issue of the Guild's status as an organisation first arose in 2011 when we applied for an online payments account to take bookings for the harvest lunch," explains Guild chairman, Adrian Bell. "We discovered that we had no documentary evidence of the Guild's legal status and so embarked on a process that has brought us to the proposals being put to members at the AGM."

Establishing the Guild's legal status as a company limited by guarantee was chosen after considering other possibilities, such as applying to become a charity, and taking professional financial advice from Lloyds TSB and from Burges Salmon on legal matters, both provided free.

"It was essential to do something because hosting the IFAJ Congress 2014 event in September next year involves potentially significant financial risk for which individual council members could be held liable," says Adrian. "We concluded that establishing the Guild as a company is the most appropriate and expedient solution."

The new constitution is intended to give a clearer picture of the Guild's structure, aims and objectives, while the rules by which the Guild is governed have been updated and streamlined, as much for clarity as anything.

Members should read and consider the proposed constitution here and the revised rules or byelaws here. They can be compared with current rules published in the Guild Year Book.

Please raise any queries with Guild chairman Adrian Bell.

The Motions being put to the annual meeting are:

  1. That Council recommends the Guild replaces the existing Rules and Regulations with a new constitution supported by byelaws;
  2. That Council recommends the Guild adopts a formally recognised legal entity by becoming a company limited by guarantee.

Any member wishing to table one or more amendments to either document must do so in writing to Guild secretary Nikki Robertson.

Members who wish to vote on these motions but who are unable to attend the annual meeting can appoint a fellow Member as proxy by informing the secretary at least seven days before the meeting.

Nominations for Members wishing to serve on the management council (read details of the role here) must be received by 5pm on Thursday, February 28.

Nikki Robertson / General Secretary
British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
444 Westwood Heath Road
Coventry CV4 8AA

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