Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Branch committees

If you think you might be interested in standing for our committee this year there's still time. Branch committees are elected each year by the local branch members at the Annual General Meeting. In our case, this is normally late June, as branch accounts and an annual report on the previous year have to be available at the AGM, and ours haven't usually been audited by our accountants until early June. 

To stand for election, you need to have been a member of the RSPCA for a minimum of three months prior to the AGM (this is mainly to make it possible to ensure there's time for everyone eligible to have got onto the membership lists and been circulated with the correct AGM papers.) Before the AGM the existing committee circulate a notice of the time and place to all branch members and include nomination forms so that members can put candidates forward for election. Members of the RSPCA automatically become members of the branch where they live, unless they ask to join a different one - for example the branch where they work.

To form a committee the AGM must elect at least seven and not more than fourteen people. As it's quite hard to get as many as fourteen volunteers willing to stand, most of the time we want the meeting to vote in everyone who comes forward and is prepared to work. It's not absolutely unknown for elections to be hotly contested, but it usually only happens where there is some point of principle at issue - for example whether or not to keep a particular branch facility open.

If you think you are a member of the RSPCA and have never been circulated with AGM papers it's likely that you are actually a "supporter" instead. In this case, if you want to become involved with your local branch, the best thing to to is to contact RSPCA HQ at Horsham and ask to be switched from the supporter category to the adult member one.

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