Approved by the AGM on 6 March 2008, with revisions at the AGM 10 March 2016.
The Group was established in December 1948, on the initiative of Mr. John Myers under what is now Rule 5.1 of the parent Geologists’ Association of London. This Rule states that “where at least twelve members of the Association, residing outside central London, organise their own meetings, Council may, in response to a request from such a group, recognise it as a Local Group of the Association”. In 1948 23 members were enrolled by the Association and the Group had its first full year of Meetings in 1949.
While such Groups must adhere where possible to the Rules of the parent body, local variations are necessary. The important variations relating to the North Staffs. Group, summarised below, have grown from experience and are embodied in various Minutes of the Group’s Meetings. The G.A. Rule observed most closely is Rule 2, which says the objects of the Association shall be:
2.1 to promote the study of Geology and its allied sciences by holding Ordinary Meetings
for the purpose of hearing lectures and encouraging discussion among Members and by arranging Field Meetings; to extend knowledge of the Science by demonstration and publication, by the maintenance of a library, and by such other means as the Council may from time to time determine.
2.2 to promote interest in Geology at all levels of knowledge;
2.3 to promote awareness of our geological heritage;
This is open to anyone, whether they are members of the Geologists’ Association or not. There are four categories of membership:- Ordinary(Full); Family; Retired/ Unemployed, and Full-time Students.
Provision is available for the affiliation of other groups, such as local student geological societies, to the Group.
The Annual Subscription is due on 1st October. Subscription rates are regularly reviewed by the Committee but proposed changes must be approved by a General Meeting before taking effect in the following year.
Members are normally allowed 12 months’ grace before being removed from the list for non-payment of Subscriptions, but the Membership Secretary will write to the member advising them that their subscription is overdue. If there is no response within one month, the Membership Secretary will advise the Committee, before striking members off. Student membership, with a one-off payment, lasts for the duration of their course.
a)Officers and their duties
Chairman – responsible for taking charge of all General, Extraordinary, and Committee Meetings (but not Field Meetings); holds office for two years; and submits an Annual report to the AGM.
Vice-Chairman – deputises for the Chairman when required. This post alternates annually between the Chairman-designate and the immediate past-Chairman.
Treasurer – overall responsibility for all financial matters of the Group and advising the Committee as appropriate. The Treasurer prepares the accounts for the Independent Examiner, and will ensure that the bank holds three signatures; one of which must be that of the Treasurer and the other two those of two members of the Committee. Any two may sign cheques.(see para. 6 below). The Treasurer submits an Annual Report to the AGM and is elected annually,
General Secretary – responsible for keeping the minutes of the Annual General Meeting, any Extraordinary General Meetings and Committee Meetings. Responsible for co-ordinating the general business of the Group as instructed by the Committee. The General Secretary is elected annually, and submits an Annual Report to The Geologists’ Association in London.
Responsible – for preparing a programme of speakers for the winter lectures. Arranging venues for indoor meetings, inviting and thanking the speakers, and submits an Annual Report to the AGM and is elected annually.
Field Secretary – arranges venues, transport and leaders for Field Meetings, acting on the Committee’s instructions. Meetings are organised on a self-financing basis, although, additional funds may be called upon from the Treasurer. The Field Secretary submits an Annual Report to the AGM and is elected annually.
Membership Secretary – responsible for recruitment; maintaining the Group’s database; generation of address labels for posting; membership renewal; and collection of subscriptions. He/She also takes instructions from the Committee, and submits an Annual Report to the AGM and is elected annually.
Bulletin Secretary – responsible for the editing and regular production of the Bulletin; takes instruction from the Committee and is elected annually.
GCStaffs Liaison Officer-
Responsible for liasing with local RIGS group and attending their meetings as appropriate. The GCStaffs Liaison Officer advises, takes instruction from, and reports back to the Committee as appropriate, submits an Annual Report to the AGM and is elected annually.
This consists of the Officers and up to nine Members. Honorary permanent seats may be awarded to individuals by the Group in recognition of their particular services to it. The remaining Members are elected annually although one or two may be co-opted. At Committee meetings a quorum shall consist of a Chairman and one third of the remaining committee members.
These are held every year at the Annual General Meeting. Nominations are called for beforehand from the Group as a whole and the Committee itself also puts forward nominations. Nominations are also taken from the floor at the Meeting. All the Officers (with the exception of the Vice-Chairman and the Chairman) are eligible for re-election. The two longest-serving Committee members are not usually immediately re-elected in order to encourage an infusion of “new blood” into the Committee. In the event of more than one nomination for any position a vote is taken.
These may be formed at the discretion of the main Committee and report back to it. Composition includes Officers and co-opted Members as required.
a)Indoor meetings mostly take place during the “winter season” and are usually six in number and are normally held on the second Thursday of each month at 7.30 pm, in The School of Physical & Geographical Sciences, William Smith Building, Keele University; other venues may be used for special occasions. The Annual General Meeting is normally held in March when the Chairman may give an Address.
b)Field Trips are held in the “summer season” to places of geological interest. These may occupy whole or long half-days on Saturdays or Sundays but also include weekend and evening meetings.
c)Other events may be organised from time to time. e.g Members evenings, Public lectures and events for children.
Expenditure incurred by the Committee members during the course of their duties will be re-imbursed upon the submission of a written claim to the Treasurer. The accounts are examined annually by an Independent Examiner.
7. Insurance and Health and Safety
The Group is insured through the Geologists’ Association Affiliated and Local Groups Policy, which covers Member – to – Member and Public Liability.
Members participating in field meetings are required to sign the risk assessment prior to the start of the meeting and follow the leaders instructions regarding Health and Safety matters.
The Group does not possess its own library but the facilities and reference material held at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery are freely available to Members by prior appointment with the Collections Officer (Natural History). A list of the publications held are shown on the NSGGA website http://www.esci.keele.ac.uk/nsgga
9. Changes in the Rules
Any member may propose alterations or additions to the Rules at any time, but such proposals must be notified to all members in advance of the next Annual General Meeting and must be agreed by a majority of members attending that Annual General Meeting before taking effect.
The quorum for changing the Rules shall be 25 paid-up members.
10. Dissolution and Disposal of Assets
The North Staffs Group of the Geologists’ Association (NSGGA) may be dissolved at any time by a resolution passed by a three-quarters majority of the members present and voting at a General Meeting. If upon the dissolution of the Group, there remains after settling all liabilities, any property whatsoever, this shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Group, but shall be given or transferred to the Geologists’ Association of London.
It is the Committee’s duty and wish to translate into action as many of the Members’ wishes regarding the activities of the Group as it can. In order to allow itself some flexibility, the Committee has always taken the Geologists’ Association’s own rules as guides, preferring to adapt its policies by adopting proposals put up in the light of changing circumstances.
The Officers and Committee must use their own initiative in so diffuse an organisation, but they have at the same time the responsibilities to the Group outlined above. The safeguards for Members’ interests are the requirement for the ratification of changes in rules, the presentation of financial accounts, and the election of Officers at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee believes that this organisation is adequate and proper.