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Members and Officers
The following main types of membership are defined by Guild rules:
- Honorary Membership
- for ringers who have been paid-up Members of the ODG for at least thirty years.
- Resident Ringing Membership
- for ringers who have reached a competent standard
- must be proposed, seconded & elected at a Branch meeting/practice (and ratified at the Branch AGM)
- subject to payment of an annual subscription.
- Non-Resident Life Membership
- for ringers who are Members of other Guilds
- enables participation in ODG-recognized peals
- subject to ratification at the ODG AGM.
The following Officers are elected at the AGM to serve for one year:
- leads the Branch & directs its business
- arranges & chairs all Branch meetings.
- deals with correspondence, diary, meeting agendas, communication etc
- attends ODG Branch Secretaries meetings.
- Assistant Secretary
- produces minutes of meetings etc
- may also attend ODG Branch Secretaries meetings.
- responsible for handling all Branch finances
- collects Members' annual subscriptions.
- Ringing Masters (2)
- promote high standards of ringing in the Branch
- in charge of Branch practices and outings.
- Branch Representatives (3)
- communicate information & views between Branch and Guild
- attend ODG meetings twice a year & report back.
- Branch Training Officer
- identifies Members' training needs, e.g. by survey
- devises & implements a training programme to meet needs.
- Newsletter Editor
- encourages Members to submit articles & news items
- edits & prints the quarterly newsletters.
- Youth Representative
- promotes participation by ringers under 21 & may arrange events
- represents the views & interests of young people.
Annual General Meeting
The Branch AGM is normally held in the afternoon of the second Saturday of February each year, at one of the towers in the Branch.
The meeting is normally preceded by an hour's ringing, a short service in church, and tea/refreshments. The meeting is normally followed by more ringing. A typical agenda comprises:
- Chairman's welcome, introductions and apologies for absence.
- Any obituaries.
- Minutes of the previous AGM.
- Matters arising from the minutes.
- Accounts & Treasurer's Report
- Secretary's Report
- Ringing Masters' Report
- Branch Representatives' Report
- Branch Training Officer's Report
- Newsletter editor's Report.
- Election of New Members - including the ratification of any new members elected at Branch Practices.
- Election of Honorary Members.
- Election of Officers - see list of Officers above.
- Appointment of Independent Examiner of Accounts.
- Any relevant items for discussion, such as planning for practices, competitions, outings, social events etc.
- Any other business.
Half-Yearly / Extraordinary Meeting
For many years it was the custom to hold a half-yearly meeting of the Branch on the first Saturday of September, following the 6-Bell Striking
Competition. This was discontinued in 2006 when it was agreed that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Branch would be convened, when necessary,
to address any urgent business which could not be carried forward to the next AGM.
Branch Officers' Meeting
A meeting of the elected Officers of the Branch is convened three or four times per year. See above for a list of the Officers.
Most of the business concerns making detailed arrangements for training, practices, outings, competitions, the AGM and other meetings, and social events. The meeting is formally minuted but it is not an executive meeting - the officers do not have the power to make decisions which should rightly be made at an AGM or Extraordinary Meeting of the Branch Membership.
Branch Committee Meeting
A meeting of Branch Officers and representatives from the towers in the Branch may be convened from time to time. Tower representatives are not officially elected or nominated, and so a request for attendees must be issued each time that a Committee Meeting is convened. With the demise of the half-yearly meeting, this is a useful way to disseminate information to Branch Members' and to ascertain their views about matters of interest. The discussions can help the Officers to revise arrangements, or to draw up proposals to put to the next AGM.