Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF WALTHAM ABBEY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

1:            NAME
The name of the organisation shall be WALTHAM ABBEY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION – (WARA) and hereafter referred to as a group.

2:            AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To safeguard and promote the interests of Waltham Abbey residents on matters concerning housing,  infrastructure and environment.  We aim to improve living conditions, community facilities and services for all residents living in the group’s catchment area.  In order to achieve this we are committed to representing the views of all residents living within our area of operation.

The group will uphold equal opportunities, and work towards good relations among all members of the community, specifically prohibiting any conduct which discriminates or harasses, on grounds of race, religion, disability, political beliefs, sex or sexual orientation.

3              MEMBERSHIP

a)            Membership shall be open to all residents, irrespective of tenure, in Waltham Abbey

b)            All voting members shall be at least 16 years of age.

c)            Membership shall cease immediately upon a person leaving the area.

d)            Membership shall be free of subscription/insert details of fair, equitable subscription of this to be charged. If in the future a subscription fee is to be implemented, we will make sure it is realistic to collect and to include a subscription renewal date.

4              THE COMMITTEE

a)            A committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group, and shall serve for 12 months.

b)            The committee shall consist of at least three members who shall have the power to co-opt other members onto the committee during the course of the year, subject to a majority vote. All committee members will have voting rights.

c)            The committee shall elect from within their number a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chair.  No committee member shall fill more than one position.

d)            The committee and office bearers shall make collectively and carry out decisions in accordance with the objectives of the group.

e)            Meetings of the committee shall be open to any member of the group who wishes to attend.

f)             Three officers of the committee shall be present for any decisions to be made at a committee meeting   On casting a vote then all four officers must be present, unless consent  is obtained prior; i.e. if an officer is ill or on holiday.

g)            Councillors and Council Staff may attend committee meetings, but will remain as non voting members.

h)            Voting members may be co-opted from residents, to fill casual vacancies throughout the year.

i)             Committee members can be voted off if they have not attended three consecutive meetings without good reason and have not submitted their apologies.

j)             Committee members must declare any interest that they may have in the topic under discussion, and the committee will decide if they need to forfeit their right to vote on this occasion.

5          CONDUCT OF BUSINESS OR STANDING ORDERS.

a)            Members may speak only through the Chair

b)            Decisions will be agreed by a simple majority, voted in through a show of hands, or a secret ballot.

c)            Meeting will end at the time agreed by the committee, unless all those present agree to extend the meeting.

d)            Any offensive behaviour including, racist, ageist, sexist or inflammatory remarks will not be permitted.

e)            Any member who brings the group into disrepute or refuses to comply with the constitution will be expelled on a majority vote of the full committee.

f)             Any such members will have the right of appeal within 28 days of expulsion. The appeal shall be heard by the members at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.

g)            Agendas will be distributed to the committee on the night of the agreed meeting where possible. Any items wished to be added to the agenda should be forwarded to the Secretary and Chair three days before the meeting, where possible.

i)             Minutes will be distributed to the committee members on the day of the meeting, subject to them being approved prior to the meeting by the Chair.

6              FINANCES

a)            The group may raise funds by obtaining grants from other bodies, or by fundraising schemes.  All money raised by or on behalf of the group shall be applied to further objectives.

b)            All funds shall be kept in a bank account that shall be opened in the name of the group.

c)            The Secretary, Treasurer and Chairperson shall be signatories on the account, and all cheques shall require two of these signatures.

d)            Accounts shall be kept by the Treasurer, and brought to every committee meeting where they may be inspected.

e)            All expenditure shall be agreed and controlled by the committee. Receipts should be acquired for all expenditure over £1 (one pound)

f)             All payments over £10 (ten pounds) shall be made by cheque – not cash.  Any exception to this rule shall be discussed and agreed by the committee.

g)            No officer shall sign a blank cheque – all cheques are to be filled in before signatures are added.

h)            Once a year, should turnover exceed £3,000 (Three thousand pounds), the accounts will be audited, and presented at the AGM of the group. The                 Auditors will be a Council Officer, Bank Employer or the committee of any other constituted local community organisation.

i)             All correspondence of the group, including bank statements, shall be addressed to the Secretary.

7              PUBLIC MEETINGS

a)            Public Meetings of he members shall be regularly held to discuss matters of importance, and to keep members fully informed of the group’s activities.

b)            Members shall be given at least 3 days notice of a public meeting, where possible.

c)            All votes shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present. This applies to all meetings of the group.

d)            Any member, having the written support of 20 other members ,may request the committee to call a Special Public Meeting of the group.  The committee shall call the meeting within 21 days of this written request.

8              ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

a)            An AGM shall be held every year to discuss the activities of the group, receive the accounts (audited where appropriate) and to elect the committee.

b)            The AGM shall be held at a suitable venue to accommodate as many members as possible

c)            The quorum shall be 51% of members present, with a minimum of 5 attendees.

d)            At least 5 (five) days notice needs to be given to members, of the AGM

e)            At the AGM, the resignation of all committee members will be accepted, and a new committee elected.

9              CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

 a)            This constitution shall only be changed at a Special Public Meeting of the group, or at the AGM

b)            For decisions to be taken there must be a quorum of at least 51% of members present, with a minimum of 5 attendees.   The voting shall be a simple majority of those present.

c)            All members shall be given 14 days notice of the meeting and proposed changes.

d)            Proposed changes must be submitted to the secretary in writing, not less than 28 days before the A.G.M. The Secretary must notify members of any proposed changes within 21 days of the meeting.

10           LEASES AND ARRANGEMENTS

a)            As trustees for and on behalf of the group, the current Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer may enter into leases and access agreements, which are transferable to ongoing elected office bearers, to further the objectives of the group as set out in Clause 2

11           DISSOLUTION OF THE GROUP   

a)            The group may only be dissolved at a Special Meeting called for that purpose.  Such a meeting shall come about following a proposal in writing, signed by a simple majority of those remaining on the committee, being submitted to the Secretary.

b)            All members shall be informed of such a meeting at least 21 days before the date of the meet where possible, unless it falls under exceptional circumstances.

c)            Dissolution of the group shall only take effect if agreed by two thirds of the members present and voting at that meeting.

d)            Any assets remaining, after meeting liabilities, must be distributed a among local charities, or other community group with similar aims of the group nominated by that meeting.

e)            Any more money received via funding bodies should be returned to the funders, in relation to the funding criteria.

f)             On dissolution, any documents belonging to the group shall be disposed of in a manner agreed at that meeting.

THIS CONSTITUTION WAS ADOPTED AT A COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE WALTHAM ABBEY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION ON:

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