Guild of Freemen Of Berwick-upon-Tweed



The 1926 Act requires an Annual General Meeting of the Guild to be held in October or November. The Secretary of the Freemen's Guild must give notice of the date, time and place of this meeting each year by advertisement at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting in a newspaper published in the Borough or if there is no newspaper published therein then in some newspaper published in the County of Northumberland or if the Freemen's Committee so direct by notice sent by post to the last known address of each resident freeman and posted at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting.

At their Annual General Meeting the resident Freemen present elect five Trustees and nine Committee Members. The 1926 Act states that the Freemen's Committee have the right to alter and amend regulations with respect to the procedure to be followed at and the conduct of such elections. Every election shall be carried out in conformity with all such regulations for the time being in force. These regulations were agreed in 1926 and amended in 1972.

Any Freeman, or widow of a Freeman, whether resident in the Borough or not, may be elected a member of the Committee, or a Trustee, but must not be employed in an office where the regular business of the body to which they were elected is conducted. A Freeman may be both a Trustee and Committee member.

Any candidate may be nominated at the AGM by being proposed and seconded by a resident Freeman or widow of a resident Freeman. He or she must be present at the AGM and signify acceptance. If the candidate is not present he or she must have expressed willingness to accept office in writing to the Secretary.

Election of the Committee and Trustees will take place separately. In the event of more than nine nominations received for the Committee or five for the Trustees, the correct number will be elected by a vote of those resident Freemen or widows of resident Freemen present at the AGM. At least two tellers will be nominated by the Chairman and approved by those present. The names of those proposed shall be placed  on a board which the meeting can see and a number placed against each name. Voting papers will be issued to those eligible to vote who may write numbers for up to nine Members of the Committee or five Trustees. The candidates receiving the highest votes will be elected. In the event of a tie for the last place, there will be an additional election between those candidates whose votes were tied. In the event of there still being a tied vote, the election will be decided by toss of a coin.

The AGM also elects Freemen members to the Corporation Academy Foundation. These are elected by all Freemen present whether  resident or non resident.

 In addition to those matters required by the 1926 Act, the Annual General Meeting receives a report of the past year from the Guild, from the Trustees of the Berwick-upon-Tweed Corporation (Freemen) Estate and a financial statement including the audited accounts of the previous year to 31st. March. It also deals with any other matters which are in the interests of Freemen.