Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE BROOKMANS PARK RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

1. NAME

The name of the organisation shall be Brookmans Park Residents Association (hereafter referred to as the group).

2. OBJECTIVES

1. To safeguard and promote the interest of residents in the area on matters concerning housing and the environment.
2. To help to improve living conditions, community facilities and services for residents living in the group’s area.
3. In order to do this we are committed to representing the views of residents in our community.
4. The group will uphold equal opportunities and work towards good relations amongst all members of the community, specifically prohibiting any conduct which discriminates or harasses on grounds of race, religion, disability, political belief, sex or sexual orientation.


3. MEMBERSHIP

a) Membership shall be open to all residents in Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
b) All voting members must be at least 16 years of age.
c) Membership shall cease immediately upon a person leaving the area defined in paragraph 3a).
d) Membership fee will be £5 per household per year and will be due annually on 1st August. Unwaged households may be exempted from the membership fee.


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 on to the committee, during the course of the year. All members will have voting rights.
c) The committee shall elect from within their number a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. No committee member shall fill more than one position.
d) At the Inaugural Meeting, the members present will elect a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer to serve until the first AGM.
e) The committee and office bearers shall make and carry out decisions in accordance with the objectives of the group.
f) Meetings of the committee shall be open to any member of the group who wishes to attend.
g) There must be at least three of the committee members present for any decisions to be made at a committee meeting.
h) Councillors may attend committee meetings as and when invited by the committee, Non-voting members may be co-opted onto the committee .
i) Voting members may be co-opted from residents to fill casual vacancies throughout the year.
j) Committee members can be voted off if they have not attended three consecutive meetings without good reason and have not submitted their apologies.
k) Committee members must declare any interest 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 and non-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) Meetings will end at the time agreed by the committee unless all those present agree to extend the meeting.
d) Any offensive behaviour, including racist, ageism, sexist or inflammatory remarks will not be permitted.
e) Any member who brings the group into disrepute or refuses to comply with the constitution shall be expelled on a majority vote of the full committee.
f) Any such member will have the right to appeal within 28 days of the expulsion. The appeal shall be heard by the membership at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.
g) The Secretary or other appointed officer will deal with all correspondence.
h) Agendas will be distributed to the membership at least four days before a meeting, where possible. Items for the agenda should be forwarded to the Secretary and Chair seven days before the meeting, where possible.
i) Minutes will be distributed to the membership 7 days after a meeting, where possible.


6. FINANCES

a) The group may raise funds by obtaining grants from other bodies or by fundraising schemes.
b) All money raised by or on behalf of the group shall be applied to further its objectives.
c) All funds shall be kept in a bank account that shall be opened in the name of the group.
d) The Secretary, Treasurer and the Chairperson shall be signatories on the account and all cheques shall require two of these signatures.
e) Accounts shall be kept by the Treasurer, and brought to every committee meeting where they may be inspected.
f) Failure to bring the books to a meeting on three consecutive occasions will mean the Treasurer will be asked to resign.
g) All expenditure shall be agreed and controlled by the committee.
h) Receipts should be acquired for all expenditure over one pound.
i) All payments over ten pounds shall be made by cheque, not cash.
j) Any exception to this rule shall be discussed and agreed by the committee.
k) No officer shall sign a blank cheque – all cheques to be filled in before signatures are added.
l) Once a year, the accounts will be independently examined and presented to the Annual General Meeting of the group.


7. PUBLIC MEETINGS

a) Public meetings of the members shall be held as needed to discuss matters of importance and to keep the members fully informed of the group’s activities.
b) All votes shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present, with the Chairperson holding a casting vote in addition to his/her vote as an attendee.
c) Any member, having the written support of 20 other members, may request the committee to call a Special Public Meeting of the group.
d) 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, to receive the audited accounts and to elect the committee.
b) The quorum for the meeting to take place shall be a minimum of 5 attendees and voting shall be by simple majority of those attending with the Chairperson holding a casting vote in addition to his/her vote as an attendee
c) A minimum of 14 days notice shall be given to members of the AGM.
d) At the AGM the resignation of all committee members will be accepted and a new committee elected. Existing committee members and officers may stand for re-election.


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) The quorum for the meeting to take place shall be a minimum of 5 attendees and the voting shall be by simple majority of those attending with the Chairperson holding a casting vote in addition to his/her vote as an attendee.
c) All members shall be given 14 days notice of the meeting and proposed changes.
d) Proposed changes must be submitted to the committee in writing not less than 28 days before the AGM. All members must be notified of any proposed changes within 14 days of the meeting.


10. DATA PROTECTION

a) The committee will ensure that a register of members will be maintained in accordance with the spirit of data protection. Personal information will be kept confidential; it will not be shared with a third party and will not be used for commercial purposes.


11. DISSOLUTION OF THE GROUP

a) The group may only be dissolved by 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 meeting.
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 among local charities or other community group with similar aims of the group nominated by that meeting.
e) Any 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 by that meeting.