Town Twinning Association

Here is the Constitution of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch/Pithiviers Town Twinning Association as adopted at the Annual General Meeting of November, 2002 and subsequently amended as well as the original Charter signed between the two towns in 1960.


The name of this organisation shall be the “Ashby-de-la-Zouch/Pithiviers Town Twinning Association” (hereafter referred to as “the Association”).

In the spirit of the Charter of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Pithiviers, signed in 1960, the aims of the Association are:-

to further education about and knowledge of French language and culture among members of all ages and in the community at large,

to promote friendship and understanding between the citizens of Pithiviers and Ashby-de-la-Zouch

to encourage exchanges of all kinds between the citizens of the two communities and generally to develop and promote European co-operation.

Membership of the Association shall be open to any individual or group as designated below and subject to payment of the subscription determined by the Association at its Annual General Meeting. All members shall be issued with a copy of this constitution.
(a) Individual Membership
(b) Family Membership
Covering parent(s)/guardian(s) and children under the age of 18 years living at the same address.
(c) Group Membership
Covering any group or association, which wishes to affiliate to the Association and share its objectives.
(d) Junior Membership
Covering a child under the age of 18 years, who wishes to join as an individual at a reduced rate.
(e) Honorary Life Membership
The Executive Committee shall have the power to grant Honorary Life Membership to a member who has provided the Association with exceptional service.
(f) Honorary Annual Membership
The Executive Committee shall have the power to grant Honorary Annual Membership to any person from Pithiviers or its locality, who is temporarily resident in Ashby-de-la-Zouch for a period of not more than 12 months.

Cessation of Membership
The membership of any person or group may be terminated by the Executive Committee on being satisfied that the policy or conduct of that person or group is at variance with the objectives of the Association as set out in clause 2. The person or group concerned shall, after reasonable notice, be given an opportunity to appear before the Executive Committee to state their case. The decision of the Executive Committee may be appealed to a General Meeting of the Association.

(a) Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held each year in November.
The Secretary shall convene the meeting, in writing, at least 28 days before the date it is due. Nominations for the committee members and officers of the Association and any proposals or Constitutional Amendments to be put to the Annual General Meeting must be received by the Secretary no later than 21 days before the meeting date. The Secretary shall then circulate all members in writing with proposals, Constitutional Amendments and nominations no later than 14 days before the meeting date.
In the case of contested elections, voting shall be by secret ballot. A simple majority shall decide. Members in good standing unable to attend the meeting may exercise a postal vote, which must be received by the Secretary before the start of the meeting. This option shall not apply to proposals or amendments to be voted upon.
In the absence of sufficient nominations to fill the vacancy for officers and/or Executive Committee members before the Annual General Meeting the Chairman at the meeting may accept nominations, duly seconded.
The Annual General Meeting shall determine the level of subscription for membership of the Association to take effect at the commencement of the Association’s next Financial Year on the first day of September.
The Annual General Meeting shall also make the necessary appointment to audit the accounts of the Association.

(b) Extraordinary General Meetings
An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened by the Secretary on a written request being received from at least 10 members in good standing of the Association for a clearly specified purpose. The Secretary shall convene the meeting, in writing, stating its purpose, at least 28 days before it is due.

At General Meetings those eligible to vote shall be fully paid-up members of the Association at the time of the meeting and subject to the following voting rights:
Individual Membership: 1 vote per member.
Family Membership: 2 votes, which may be cast by any 2 family members.
Group Membership: 2 votes per affiliated group.
Junior Membership: Ineligible to vote.
Honorary Life Membership: 1 vote per member.
Honorary Annual Membership: Ineligible to vote.
One sixth of those eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum. The Chairman shall have a casting vote.

(c) Executive Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee shall meet at least 6 times per year and 6 members, at least 2 of whom shall be elected officers, shall constitute a quorum.

(a) The Officers of the Association
The elected officers of the Association shall be a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary, all of whom shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. In the event of no nomination being received for Membership Secretary, this role shall be combined with that of Secretary of the Association. The Association may appoint an Honorary President at the Annual General Meeting upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee. He/she shall be a full member of the Executive Committee.
(b) Term of Office
The term of office of elected officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be from one Annual General Meeting to the next.
(c) Vacancies
The Committee shall have power to co-opt members of the Association to fill any vacancy or vacancies left after an Annual General Meeting in respect of Officers or members of the Committee. This power may be exercised at any time before the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
The Committee shall have no further power to co-opt, but may invite any person, whether member of the Association or not, to attend specific Committee meetings. With the leave of the chairman of the meeting, such person may address the meeting and take part in discussion but shall have no vote.
If any officer or Executive Committee Member resigns or ceases to be a member of the Association, the Executive Committee may appoint a suitably qualified member to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term of office by a simple majority of those present and voting.

(d) The Executive Committee
The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall elect officers, who shall be ex-officio members of the Executive Committee. It shall also elect not more than 10 ordinary Executive Committee members.
The Association delegates to the Executive committee powers to discharge the day-to-day business of the Association.
The Executive Committee may form sub-committees and working parties as it deems appropriate to which it may co-opt additional people with relevant expertise.
The Executive Committee shall exercise general control over all officers, sub-committees and working parties of the Association.
The Executive Committee shall lay down the objectives and any delegated powers of any sub-committee or working party it establishes and such subordinate body shall report to the Executive Committee at its next meeting, thereafter.

The Financial Year of the Association shall be from the first day of September to the last day of August.
The Treasurer shall collect all money due to the Association and lodge it intact to the credit of the banking account specified by the Executive Committee.
The Treasurer may hold a Petty Cash Account, the maximum value of which shall be determined from time to time by the Executive Committee. Payments made by cheque shall be signed by 2 elected officers of the Association.
The Treasurer shall prepare a Statement of Accounts annually, as at the end of August. An audit of accounts shall be made annually by a suitably qualified Auditor appointed by the Association in General Meeting.

The biennial delegation to Pithiviers must be totally self-financing. The visit costs must be shared by all those who participate in the visit, whether travelling with the "official" group or independently, in a way agreed by the executive committee.

(a) Compliance
Every member, on joining the Association, accepts the principles and objectives laid down in the Charter of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Pithiviers and agrees to be bound by the Constitution of the Association.
(b) Amendments
Amendments to this Constitution can only be made at a General Meeting of the Association. Any amendment, to be effective, must be agreed by at least two thirds of the members present. No amendment shall be discussed or voted upon unless notice has been given to members in writing at least 14 days before the General Meeting.

The Association may be dissolved by an Extraordinary General Meeting, duly convened for that purpose and of which at least 28 days notice in writing has been given to members PROVIDED that, on a motion to that effect, being duly moved and seconded, it shall be passed by the votes of not less than two thirds of the members present. Such meeting shall also consider the disbursement of any residual funds and/or settlement of any outstanding debts.

[Passed at the Annual General Meeting of the Association November, 2002 and duly amended at subsequent Annual General Meetings of the Association in November 2005, November 2010, November 2012 and November 2017.]

WHEREAS at a Public Meeting held on Tuesday the 16th day of June 1959 in the TOWN Hall at ASHBY-DE-LA-ZOUCH in the County of Leicester England it was decided to invite the citizens of the town of PITHIVIERS in the Department of Loiret in the Republic of France to link with the citizens of ASHBY-DE-LA-ZOUCH in a bond of friendship and understanding AND
WHEREAS at a Public Meeting held on Monday the 26th day of October 1959 in the MAIRIE at PITHIVIERS the citizens of Pithiviers accepted the invitation to link with the citizens of Ashby-de-la-Zouch
BE IT KNOWN that the Councils of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Pithiviers do hereby formally record their agreement to the TWINNING of their two towns as aforesaid IN RATIFICATION HEREOF WE Marcel Piquemal Mayor of Pithiviers and Charles Reginald Harvey Chairman of the Urban District Council of Ashby-de-la-Zouch being met together this 18th day of June 1960 for the purpose to append our signatures to this Protocole d’Amitie hereafter to be known as the Charter of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Pithiviers whereby the citizens of our two towns may henceforth be encouraged to develop among them all interests and exchanges cultural linguistic touristic social and other as may further such friendship and mutual understanding.
Signed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 18th June, 1960.

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