Our current Constitution prepared in 1998/9 is as follows:
“New Milton Talking Newspaper
1. The name of the Association is “New Milton Talking Newspaper”, hereinafter referred to as “the Association”.
2. The object of the Association is to relieve the blind, or partially sighted, or those labouring under some temporary or permanent incapacity or disability which makes reading a strain, by the provision of recorded tapes or tactile reading matter. In furtherance of this object but not further, the Association through its Committee, shall have the following powers:
a) To take and accept gifts of property, whether subject to any special trusts or not.
b) To raise funds and to invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscription, donation or otherwise; provided that the Committee shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for the said object.
c) To seek authorisation from the Post Office to use the free postage facility available under Post Office Regulations Post, and, if such authority is granted to use this facility for the distribution of tapes or tactile reading matter to those people to whom the regulations currently apply.
d) To distribute the tapes or tactile reading matter by means other than the use of the free postage facility mentioned in 2c above to people other than those covered by the Post Office Regulations relating to this facility.
e) To do all such things as shall further the object of the Association.
3. Membership of the Association shall be available:
a) Automatically to those blind, partially-sighted or disabled people in receipt of the Association’s tapes.
b) By invitation of the Committee, on an annual basis, to those actively involved in the running of the Association; and
c) By invitation of the Committee, on an annual basis, to those who make a regular contribution by way of subscription, donation or otherwise.
4. (a) The Committee of the Association shall consist of:
(i) A maximum of 12 elected members, at least three of whom shall be visually impaired or disabled recipients of the Association’s tapes or tactile reading matter. Four of these members shall be Officers holding the following posts:
Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer
(ii) A maximum of three co-opted members with full voting rights
(b) The ordinary members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. Retiring members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election. The Officers of the Association shall be elected by the Committee from amongst themselves at the next meeting following the Annual General Meeting of the Association. Any vacancy of such office shall be filled by resolution of the Committee.
5. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in the month of March each year and every member shall receive not less than fourteen days’ notice of such meeting.
Extraordinary meetings may be convened by the Secretary upon request by the Committee or three members of the Association upon a similar notice, which shall state the business to be considered at the meeting.
The quorum at an Annual General Meeting shall be 10.
6. At the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary Meeting every member including the Chairman shall have one vote and in the case of equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
7. The Committee of the Association shall meet every three months and additionally as required. Each member of the Committee including the Chairman shall have one vote and in the case of equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
8. All sums collected shall be handed over to the Treasurer or Secretary who shall pay the sum into the bank account in the name of the Talking Newspaper at the New Milton branch of Barclays Bank. Cheques shall be signed by the Chairman or the Treasurer or the Secretary and one other member of the Committee.
9. The Treasurer shall invest in the name of the Talking Newspaper any monies not required for the immediate purposes of the Association in securities in which Trust Monies may by law be invested with power from time to time to transport such investments.
10. Any property purchased by the Association shall be vested in the Committee.
11. The Committee shall with such consent, as is by law required, deal with the property so vested in them by way of sale, mortgage, lease or otherwise howsoever as directed by the Association. Such direction shall be given by a resolution of the members of the Association. A certificate purporting to be signed by the Secretary for the time being of the Association shall in favour of a purchaser, mortgagee, lessee or grantee be conclusive evidence that such a direction was duly given.
12. In the event of dissolution of the Association any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall not be paid or distributed among members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to a charitable organisations having objects similar to the Association.
13. The Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths majority of the members present at the Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting provided that fourteen days’ notice of the proposed amendment has been sent to all members and provided that no alteration is made the effect of which would cause the Association at any time to cease to be a charity in law and no alteration to clause 2, 12, or this clause is made without previously consulting the Charity Commissioners.”