The Constitution of the British Fantasy Society
This is the current constitution of the British Fantasy Society, as amended by the AGM of 7 September 2014, which added the section on proxy voting. The previous constitution can be read here.
No formal changes to the constitution were made at the Annual General Meetings of 2007 or 2008. However, at the 2008 AGM it was agreed that motions put to the AGM should have a proposer and seconder; an argument must be provided and the motion defended, and the proposer identified at least to the committee.
1.1 The name of the Society shall be ‘The British Fantasy Society’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Society’).
1.2 The objects of the Society shall be:
1.2.1 The association in a social club composed of persons with a common interest in all types of Fantasy literature (Science Fiction, Heroic, Horror, Supernatural and related fields) and associated media, and the encouragement of social intercourse between such persons.
1.2.2 The promotion of excellence within the Fantasy (Science Fiction, Heroic, Horror, Supernatural and related fields) genre (hereinafter referred to as ‘the genre’).
1.2.3 The collection, assimilation and distribution to its members of news, information, property (whether real, personal or intellectual), and all other matters howsoever pertaining to the genre.
2.1 Membership of the Society is open to any person who pays the current subscription. Membership begins on receipt of the subscription and will run for twelve months.
2.2 The amount of the annual subscription shall be decided by the Committee of the Society.
2.3 A member may resign their membership at any time by letter or email addressed to the Secretary, but shall not be entitled to any refund of their subscription for the year during which they resign.
2.4 Any member who fails to renew their subscription within two months of its expiry will be deemed to have resigned from the Society.
2.5 Each member shall keep the Secretary informed of that member’s private address, or some other address at which communications may be addressed to them.
3. Executives and Officers
3.1 The following officers are elected by and from the membership of the Society. They will have the following duties and responsibilities in addition to those listed elsewhere in the Constitution.
3.1.1 The President
Will be a largely honorary position. In any disagreement over membership or about the running of the Society not provided for in the Constitution that the Committee cannot resolve, the President’s decision may be canvassed and will be considered final.
3.1.2 The Chairperson
Will be responsible for the corporate direction of the Society and the running of the Society’s sections, to advise and assist when required. To keep the Committee informed of any developments or difficulties.
3.1.3 The Treasurer
Will handle the Society’s finances, which must be kept separate from any private funds, from a bank account in the name of the Society. To publish a financial statement at the Society’s Annual General Meeting (5.0), which may be audited by two members of the Society. The Chairperson may delegate any other such duties as the Treasurer is willing and competent to administer.
3.1.4 The Secretary
Will be responsible for subscriptions and administration of all aspects of the Society. The Chairperson may delegate any other such duties as the Secretary is willing and competent to administer.
3.1.5 Although the position of Secretary and Treasurer are recognised as separate posts, they may be combined as and where necessary.
3.1.6 All Officers of the Society shall be aged 18 or over.
3.1.7 All positions shall be held for re-election every twelve months at the AGM (4.3 & 5.1)
4. The Committee
4.1 The Committee shall consist of the President, Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Officer, British Fantasy Awards Administrator and Stock Holder, with addition ordinary members deemed sufficient to administer the Society’s various activities. The committee will also consist of the editors of the Society publications and the website administrator. The majority of Committee members must be residents of the United Kingdom – no more than two members of the Committee may be non-resident in the United Kingdom. All committee members must be aged 18 or over.
4.2 A quorum of the Committee shall be four (4) members.
4.3 The Committee shall stand down at the AGM and may stand for re-election. This clause shall exclude officers who are members of the Committee by virtue of editing Society publications and the website administrator.
4.4 In the event of the President being previously elected as Life President, this post shall not be subject to annual re-election.
4.5 In the event of a vacancy on the Committee, or if it is considered necessary by the Chairperson to raise the number of Committee members, then the Chairperson may invite any fully paid-up member considered suitable to be a Committee Member until the next election.
5. The Annual General Meeting
5.1 Election of the Officers shall take place at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, which shall be held at the annual conference ‘FantasyCon’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Conference’) (6.0) or at another suitable venue. The AGM shall be open to all fully paid-up members of the Society and the Conference. Only fully paid-up members of the Society shall be eligible to vote.
5.2 At the AGM, the Chairperson, Secretary, Stock Holder, Publicity Officer, and editors of the Society publications and the website administrator shall each give a progress report. The Treasurer shall present a full Statement of the Society’s yearly accounts.
5.3 The BFS membership shall receive a minimum of one month’s notice before the AGM if held at a venue other than Fantasycon
5.4 Proxy voting is permitted at the AGM, subject to the following rules.
5.4.1 All proxy votes must be registered with the BFS secretary no later than one week (168 hours) before the start time of the AGM.
5.4.2 A maximum of five proxy votes may be held by any one member.
5.4.3 Proxy votes are only valid if both parties are paid-up BFS members at the time of the AGM.
5.4.4 People entering the AGM as BFS committee members may not hold proxy votes.
5.4.5 Proxy votes may only be exercised by a BFS member physically present at the AGM when a vote is taken.
5.4.6 How and whether to cast proxy votes is a decision for the member holding the proxies, after they have heard the discussion on a given issue.
5.4.7 All proxy votes held by an individual must be cast in the same direction, or not cast at all.
5.4.8 Proxies are appointed for the entire AGM or not at all. It is not possible to appoint a proxy to vote on a single issue.
6.1 This shall be an annual Conference held in co-operation with the Society.
6.2 The AGM of the Society shall be held as part of the Conference’s programming, to which all fully paid-up members of the Conference and the Society shall be welcome.
6.3 The Conference Treasurer will administer the Conference’s finances, which must be kept separate from any private and/or Society funds, from a bank account in the name of the Conference.
6.4 FantasyCon organisers’ positions are not elective.
6.5 The British Fantasy Awards (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Awards’) will be presented at the conclusion of the Conference Banquet. The Awards are jointly sponsored by the Society and Conference.
7. Open Nights
7.1 The Society shall organise irregular meetings. Open Nights, to encourage both members and non-members of the Society to meet. The Open Nights will typically be held in London; although Open Nights held in other parts of the country will be actively encouraged.
8.1 Proposed Amendments to the Constitution should be put in writing and forwarded to the Chairperson. Provided that such amendments are endorsed by at least two other paid-up members of the Society, the proposal shall be submitted for voting at the next AGM.
8.2 Acceptance of these rules is a condition of membership of the Society.
8.3 This Constitution shall replace and substitute all previous Constitutions, revisions and supplements.
8.4 The Committee shall hold business meetings at the Conference, and at other times during the year as appropriate (but not less than twice, excluding the Conference). Committee meetings held ‘on line’ will be deemed as suitable alternative arrangements.