The constitution

8 07 2011

1. NAME AND AREA

1.1 The name of the Association is Pogmoor Area Residents’ Association (Referred to as “the Association” or “RA” throughout this document)

1.2 The area covered by the Association is shown on the map attached .

2. AIMS, OBJECTS AND POWERS

 2.1 The OBJECTS of the Association are to:

2.1.1 Work in partnership with statutory services to improve the quality of life of residents by seeking the improvement of the physical and social environment.

2.1.2 Promote equal opportunities within the community, and to work against discrimination of people on the basis of ethnicity, age, sex, sexuality, disability, religion, or culture

2.1.3 To tackle issues of social inclusion/exclusion relating to individuals and the community as a whole

2.1.4 Work for a good relationship between residents within the Association’s area and to strengthen community relationships generally.

2.1.5 To encourage a community spirit and promote welfare, recreational and social activities

2.1.6 To provide regular information and regular consultation with members

2.1.7 Promote the rights and common interest of members of the Association in local and national policies, as appropriate.

2.1.8 To be non political

2.2 In order to achieve these objects but not otherwise the Committee may exercise the following powers:

 2.2.1 Power to undertake activities to raise funds provided that in raising funds the Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law. Any fund raising activities will not lead to the profit of an individual or business.

2.2.2 Power to buy, take on or lease or hire any items necessary for the achievement of the objects of the Association.

 2.2.3 Power to work with other associations, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating to achieve the objects or similar purposes and to exchange information, support and advice.

2.2.4 Power to represent residents in negotiation with  statutory bodies.

2.2.5 Power to do all such lawful things as is necessary for the achievement of all the objects.

2.2.6 Power to operate a bank or building society account in the name of the Association

2.2.7 Power to take out any insurance necessary to protect the Association and its activities.

3 MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Membership of the Association will be open to all residents over the age of 16 years, residing in the area of the RA (see attached map), who are interested in furthering the objects of the Association. Each member shall have only 1 vote.

3.2 There shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, religious opinion, nationality, colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or politics.

3.3 It will be a condition of membership that all members conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings and in the premises used by the Association.  The Chairperson can ask anyone who constantly breaks this rule to leave the meeting.

3.4 Any member whose conduct is against the aims of the Association can be suspended or excluded from membership by a two thirds majority of those voting at a Committee or General Meeting.  Anyone so excluded will have the right of appeal at the next  General Meeting.

3.5 Full membership shall end when a member moves out of the defined area but the Committee can appoint Associate Members. Associate Members are persons interested in contributing to the work of the RA. The definition of an associate member is wide but usually involves persons who want to contribute specifically in an area of expertise, for instance finance, but the associate member may have a strong loyalty to that area.

3.6 Associate Members can have bestowed voting rights within the Committee.

3.7 The membership will be non-political.

4 MEMBERSHIP FEE

4.1 It is not proposed to charge a membership fee.

5 RECORD/CONSENT TO MEMBERSHIP

 5.1 Everyone living in the defined area will be classed as a member

6 ENDING MEMBERSHIP

 6.1 Membership will end when a member ceases to live in the area defined in 1.2; dies; or resigns.

6.2 In cases of gross misconduct, membership may be suspended or ended by a two-third-majority vote of the full Committee. Gross misconduct includes (but is not limited to) threatening behaviour, racist or sexist language or behaviour; the use of the Association’s name without authority, to procure goods and services, or the persistent disruption of the Association’s constitutional business.

6.3 In the case of no confidence motions, the vote of at least two thirds of members present and voting at the meeting is needed for the motion to be carried. In the event of a no confidence vote being passed that individual must resign. All members shall be given fourteen (14) days written notice of the meeting and an agenda. This notice will appear on the Association’s website and in nominated shops within the area.

6.4 Individual members being considered for suspension or ending of their membership must be notified, in writing, of the Committee’s intention and be given 7 days notice. They will have the right to be heard by the Committee before any final decision is made. Once taken, the Committee’s decision will have immediate effect. The Committee’s decision must later be reported to, and endorsed at the next General Meeting.

6.5 Suspension of membership may be for a fixed term or for an indefinite period, depending on the nature of the misconduct.

 7 THE COMMITTEE

7.1 The Committee shall be elected to carry out the business of the Association at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association.

7.2 The Committee shall consist of a minimum of 3 officers – a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer – to be responsible for the day to day business of the Association. The Committee may also create other named ‘non-officer’ positions considered necessary to achieve the Association’s objects. The committee shall stand down at each Annual General Meeting but may be re-elected.

 7.3 No more that 2 Committee members shall be from the same household. Officers shall be limited to one per household.

7.4 Councillors of the Local Authority will not be eligible for election to the Committee.

7.5 If vacancies occur among the officers between General Meetings, the Committee may fill the positions from amongst the other Committee members.

7.6 Changes which may occur under section 7 should be reported to and endorsed at the next General Meeting of the Association.

7.7 A member shall not be entitled to stand for any Committee position (including non-officer positions) if s/he has been the subject of legal proceedings by Police or other relevant agency due to conduct consisting of nuisance, harassment, violence, threatening behaviour or dishonesty and such proceedings have found the member to be guilty of or responsible for such conduct.

7.8 In the event that a member holding Committee membership under section 7 becomes the suspect of proceedings as described in 7.7 s/he shall inform the Committee without delay and be suspended from Committee membership with immediate effect until the conclusion of such proceedings. The remaining members of the Committee shall be entitled to lift the suspension by unanimous vote should they so wish pending the outcome of the proceedings. If found guilty of or responsible for the conduct the member shall be excluded from Committee membership with immediate effect and shall not be entitled to hold Committee membership for such reasonable period of time as may be determined by the Committee.

7.9 The member shall have the right to request a review of a decision of the Committee under clauses 7.8  to 7.12. Any such review shall be before a quorum of the full membership.

7.10 The member shall continue to be entitled to hold membership of the Association throughout any period of suspension or period of non-entitlement to hold office.

7.11 Any member applying for Committee membership shall disclose in his/her application details of any conduct which may fall within Clause 7.8.

7.12 Associate members may be invited to attend committee meetings but shall not have voting rights.

7.13 Anyone attending a committee meeting shall asked to withdraw from the meeting during the discussion of an issue if a majority of the committee feel they have a personal or business interest in that particular issue that might present a conflict of interests..

WORK OF THE COMMITTEE

 7.12 The Committee shall produce standing orders which will include the duties of officers and which will govern the conduct of meetings.

7.13 There shall be at least 4 Committee Meetings a year with at least one per quarter.

7.14 The election or removal of committee members will only be carried out at a General Meeting of the Association except as allowed for in section 6.

7.15 Committee may co-opt any member to fill any vacancy, including officers, which arise until an election can be arranged at the next General Meeting. Co-optees shall not have voting rights.

7.16  When a member of the Committee is absent from more than three consecutive Committee Meetings without an apology they shall be deemed to have resigned.

7.18  The Committee has the power to invite non-members to attend meetings though they will not have voting rights.

8. MEETINGS

 8.1 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

8.1.1 There shall be an AGM held in June of each year, or as is practicably possible.

8.1.2 The AGM shall:-

receive an annual report from the Committee

present independently checked accounts to members

appoint an independent checker. The checker must not be a member of the association or related to any committee member

elect a new Committee. Officers and committee members standing down can offer

themselves for re-election.  All candidates must be proposed and seconded and their nomination  must be received seven days’ before the meeting.  The election of the committee must follow the procedure defined in the  Election standing orders.

vote on any recommendations or motions and any amendments to the Constitution

All members shall be given 14 days written notice of the meeting and an agenda.  Members must also be informed of where they can look at Minutes of the last AGM and any resolutions including those which propose changes to the Constitution

8.2. GENERAL MEETINGS

8.2.1 Each year the Association shall hold at least one General Meeting (excluding the AGM) which must be open to all members of the Association. All members shall be given fourteen days written notice of the meeting and an agenda

8.2.2 The Committee shall report on the work done and report on the balance of finances

8.2.3 In the case of no confidence motions, the vote of at least two thirds of members present and voting at the meeting is needed for the motion to be carried. In the event of a no confidence vote being passed that individual must resign.

8.2.4 All formal meetings such as Committee Meetings, General Meetings, Special General Meeting and Annual General Meetings shall be minuted/noted and formally approved.

8.2.5 All voting on motions that takes place at an AGM, General Meeting, Special Meeting and Committee Meetings, shall be counted and recorded in the minutes. If there is a tie the Chairperson will have a casting vote.

8.2.6 All approved minutes shall be available for inspection and copying by members of the Association, within 14 days of a written request being received to the Secretary

8.3 Special General Meetings (SGM)

8.3.1 A Special General Meeting open to all members of the Association shall be held if:-

a) Twenty members submit in writing a request for such a meeting and their reasons for calling such a meeting or,

b) A majority of the Committee make a written request for such a meeting to the Secretary. The meeting must take place within twenty eight days of the request.

 9.   EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

 9.1 The Association shall uphold Equal Opportunities and work for good relations among all members of the community, and shall resist any conduct which discriminates, or harasses on the grounds of ethnicity, age, sex, sexuality, marital status, disability, religion or culture.

10. QUORUM

10.1 The number of members required for Committee, General and AGM meetings to go ahead and take decisions will be not less than four (4).

10.2 In the event that no quorum is present at :-

The AGM; the meeting will be rearranged. If there is no quorum at the rearranged meeting, those members present shall be deemed to form the quorum. This must not apply for more than one consecutive year.

If there is no quorum at a General Meeting, the meeting can take place but no binding decisions can be made.

11. FINANCE

11.1 The Treasurer shall open a bank or building society account in the name of the Association and keep records of all the Association’s income and expenditure. The Treasurer shall report the balance of the account at each Committee Meeting and to members at a General Meeting.

11.2 The Committee will appoint 3 authorised signatories for any cheques and cheques shall be signed by at least 2 authorised signatories. The signatories shall be committee members from different households and they must not be related to one another.

11.3 Any moneys raised by or on behalf of the Association shall only be spent on the instructions of the Committee or a General Meeting to further the aims of the association and for no other purpose. The Committee shall not donate more than £10 without the approval of members at a General Meeting.

11.4 The accounts shall be kept up to date and annual accounts for each year shall be independently checked and presented at the AGM.

11.5 The accounts of the Association shall be available for inspection within 14 days by any member of the Association who wishes to see them. The request must be in writing. Copies of the accounts shall be given upon request but the books must not be removed from the Treasurer.

 12. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

12.1 The Constitution can only be altered at the AGM or at a Special General Meeting.

12.2 Any proposed changes to the Constitution to be submitted to the AGM; must be received in writing by the Secretary. This must be 28 days before the first day of the month in which the AGM is held. Written notice of these proposed changes must be given to members at least 14 days before the AGM.

12.3 Any proposed changes to be submitted at a Special General Meeting must be submitted in line with the procedures.

12.4 Once a clause of the constitution has been proposed for change, further proposed changes to that specific clause will be accepted on or before the date of the meeting. All changes must be proposed by one member and seconded by another member.

12.5 Any changes to the Constitution must be agreed by two thirds of the members present and voting at the meeting. All agreed changes must be notified to members.

 13. DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION

13.1 The Association can only be dissolved by a Special General Meeting called specifically to consider a motion to dissolve the Association. The Committee, or any three (3) members if the Committee no longer exists, can call such a meeting.

13.2 All members shall be given 14 days written notice of the meeting, which must contain the wording of the resolution.

13.3 For the purpose of the meeting, quorum rules relating to the AGM shall apply.

13.4 A proposal to dissolve the Association shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the members present at the meeting.

13.5 In the event that the Association is wound-up – it must firstly discharge any outstanding debts and liabilities. In the instance of any assets or funds being subject to specific terms and conditions which may have been imposed as part of a funding offer – it must discharge these terms and conditions. If there remain any assets or funds after the above actions have been completed – these are to be given to a community or voluntary group with similar aims and objectives as those of the Association.

13.6 An Association will also be deemed to have dissolved, or wound up if the following conditions apply:

a) more than 18months have passed since the last AGM,

OR

b) more than 18 months have passed since the last check of accounts

OR

c) The existing signatories to the account can not be contacted and have been unavailable for a period

of three (3) months, and any existing Committee members can not agree a new mandate with the Associations bank.

14. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Member – a local resident who resides within the defined boundary of the Association

Associate Member – someone from outside the boundary of the Association who has a deep interest in the well-being of local residents and has empathy with the objects of the Association

The constitution was adopted as the ‘initial’ constitution of the  Pogmoor Area Residents’ Association by the persons whose signatures appear below at a Committee Meeting duly convened  for that purpose.

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………. on ………………………………… 2011 

 

 

 

 

Signed Chairperson ………………………………………………………

 

 

 

 

Signed Secretary ………………………………………………………….

 

(Adopted ……………………….…………………………………………….)