CONSTITUTION OF OAKHURST RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION: 24th October 2011
1 – NAME:
The name of the organisation is the OAKHURST RESIDENTS‟ ASSOCIATION (hereinafter called "the Association").
2 – OBJECTIVES & MISSION STATEMENT:
The organisation has been set up to represent the interests of the community and its residents, when dealing with planning proposals and any issues which are already affecting individuals or are likely to have an impact on the area in the future. We will represent the area referred to as Oakhurst. It is our intention to work with other representative organisations in and around Swindon in order to achieve common goals.
Our objective will be to ensure that suitable contacts are established with our local MP, Borough Councillors, Parish Councillors, Council officers and, where appropriate, developers to ensure that an accurate and honest exchange of information is achieved and to negotiate satisfactory and acceptable outcomes when residents or the community have been unable to reach satisfactory solutions.
Develop strategies that will enable the organisation to convey to decision makers our thoughts and reactions to plans that are likely to undermine local resources, reduce the efficiency of local services and conflict with the future aspirations of the community.
We will endeavour to create a close community in order to improve awareness on all matters whether they are social, recreational or leisure.
3 – POWERS:
In furtherance of the Associations‟ objectives the Association shall have power to:
a) Bring together representatives of Government, local Council and statutory authorities and individuals.
b) Arrange and provide meetings with others to discuss and make presentations regarding personal or group issues.
c) Collect and distribute information on any matters relating to the Associations‟ objectives.
d) Raise funds and invite donations and/or contributions whether by subscription or otherwise to cover the Associations‟ costs.
e) Ensure that all activities are conducted in a lawful manner and comply with recognised rules.
4 – MEMBERSHIP:
a) Membership shall not be discriminatory based on gender, race, nationality or political opinions.
b) Membership is only available to Individuals aged 18 or over.
c) Full Membership is only available to Individuals who live in the area of benefit (Oakhurst).
d) Members who live outside the area of benefit shall not have the right to vote at any Annual or General Meetings of the Association, nor may be elected to become members of the General Committee. These members shall be known as Associate Members.
5 – GENERAL MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION:
a) Annual General Meetings: – These will be held once per calendar year. At least 21 days notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place, local press or electronic means.
b) The business of each Annual General Meeting shall be:
i) To receive the Annual Report of the General Committee, which shall incorporate the accounts of the Association referred to below, and provide an account of the work and activities of the Association during the preceding year.
ii) To receive the accounts of the Association for the preceding financial year.
iii) To re-elect/elect at least a third of the positions on the General Committee of the Association and note the names of persons appointed. All candidates for election to the General Committee must have been members of the Association for a full six months prior to the Annual General Meeting.
c) Special General Meetings: – The Chair and/or the Membership Secretary of the General Committee may at any time at his/her discretion call a Special General Meeting to discuss specific issues. 21 days notice for such an event will be provided by posting a notice in a conspicuous place, by press or electronic means.
6 – THE GENERAL COMMITTEE:
a) The General Committee shall consist of a minimum of eight (8) full voting members and a maximum of twelve (12) full voting members. Four of these will be specific Executive Committee Members; Chair, Vice-Chair, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. A further (non-executive) Minutes Secretary shall be appointed from the remaining Committee Members.
b) Committee members shall serve for a maximum thirty six months from election and then require re-election at the next Annual General Meeting. There is no limit to the number of terms an individual may hold post for.
c) Should the General Committee fall below eight individuals, then unsuccessful candidates for General Committee positions at the last Annual General Meeting should be invited to replace missing individuals. Failing that, any eligible ORA member may be invited to join the General Committee, subject to a majority vote from the existing Committee Members. Replacement Committee Members installed by these methods must stand for re-election at the next Annual General Meeting.
d) General and Executive Committee members should behave at all times in public with respect for other members of the community so as not to bring the Association into disrepute or conflict. Should this happen the member/s may be asked to resign.
e) General and Executive Committee members absent from more than 3 meetings without apology or permission of the Committee shall cease to hold office.
f) General and Executive Committee members wishing to resign should submit notice in writing providing reasonable notice to enable a replacement to be appointed.
g) Each member of the General Committee shall upon election/re-election receive a copy of the Association‟s constitution. All General Committee members shall also be requested to sign a copy to show acceptance of the terms of the constitution.
7 – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
a) The four Executive Committee positions are the Chair, Vice-Chair, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. These will be shall be nominated by and voted in by the General Committee at their first Committee Meeting following each Annual General Meeting, from within the ranks of the General Committee itself.
b) The responsibilities of the Chair are as follows:
i) Provide a „figurehead‟ for the ORA.
ii) Produce agenda for Committee meetings.
iii) Ensure meetings run smoothly and to task.
iv) Keep the ORA Committee informed of ORA business.
c) The responsibilities of the Vice-Chair are as follows:
i) Represents the Chair when mutually conducive.
d) The responsibilities of the Membership Secretary are as follows:
i) Keep membership list updated.
ii) Talk to membership and keep them up to date with campaign developments and other issues.
iii) Organise events.
iv) Deal with correspondence/phone calls.
v) Recruit new members.
vi) Follow Data Protection guidelines.
e) The responsibilities of the Treasurer are as follows:
i) Responsible for collating and reporting ORA‟s financial accounts.
ii) Deal with external bodies regarding funding grants and bank accounts.
f) Should any of the four Executive Committee positions become vacant in the interim between Annual General Meetings, then a replacement shall be nominated by and voted in by the General Committee, again from within the membership of the General Committee.
g) Whilst not one of the four Executive Committee positions, the General Committee should also elect a Minutes Secretary from within the members of the General Committee. The responsibilities of the Minutes Secretary are as follows:
i) Produces minutes from both Public and Committee meetings attended.
ii) Archives and distributes minutes to all committee members.
iii) Obtains and distributes agendas and associated summaries for distribution to Committee members.
a) The General Committee may appoint one or more sub-committees for supervising or performing special activities or services.
b) In this case the General Committee shall define terms of reference, its composition and duration of activities. A sub-committee must contain at least one General Committee member.
c) All acts and proceedings of the sub-committee shall be reported to the General Committee in a prompt manner.
9 – CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
Members of the General Committee should declare, as soon as practical, any conflict of interest relating to the activities of the Association.
10 – RULES OF PROCEDURE AT MEETINGS:
a) Voting: – Any resolutions arising at a meeting of the Association or its General Committee shall be decided by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote. No member shall exercise more than one vote. In the event of a tied vote the Chair shall have the casting vote.
i) General Committee Meetings: – one third of the General Committee members with power to vote shall form a quorum at meetings of the General Committee.
ii) General Meetings: – ten members with power to vote or one third of the members with power to vote, whichever is the less, shall form a quorum at General Meetings of the Association.
iii) In the event that no quorum is present at an Annual General Meeting of the Association, or the meeting has to be abandoned, the meeting shall stand adjourned. It will need to be reconvened within a calendar month and those members shall be deemed to form a quorum.
c) Minutes: - Minutes of all meetings shall be kept by the Association and the Minutes Secretary shall enter all proceedings and resolutions.
11 – STANDING ORDERS AND RULES FOR THE USE OF THE ASSOCIATION:
a) The General Committee shall have the power to adopt and issue Standing Orders for the conduct of Association business. Such Standing Orders shall come into operation immediately, provided always that they shall be subject to review by the Association in General Meeting and that they shall be consistent with the provisions of this constitution.
12 – FINANCE:
a) All funds raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objectives of the Association and for no other purpose provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment or repayment of reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Associations‟ business.
b) An account shall be maintained in the name of the Association with a recognised bank. The Treasurer and at least one other Executive Committee Member should be nominated as official signatories. All payments from this account should be authorised by the Treasurer and at least one other Executive Committee Member, and be subsequently reported to the General Committee.
c) The Association shall take out Public Liability Insurance.
d) The Association‟s financial year shall be from 1st April to 31st March.
13 – ACCOUNTS AND ANNUAL REPORT:
a) The Treasurer shall keep accounting records for the Association.
b) The General Committee shall prepare an annual statement of the accounts of the Association for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.
c) The General Committee shall arrange the auditing of the accounts of the Association by someone other than the Treasurer.
d) The General Committee shall comply with its obligations with respect to the preparation of an annual financial return.
14 – INDEMNITY:
a) In the execution of the Associations‟ business no member of the General Committee shall be liable:
b) For any loss to the property of the Association by reason of improper investment made in good faith (so long as he/she shall have sought professional advice before making such investment) or;
c) For the negligence or fraud of any agent employed by him/her or by any other member of the General Committee in good faith (provided reasonable supervision shall have been exercised).
d) No member of the General Committee shall be liable by reason of any mistake or omission made in good faith by any member of the General Committee other than wilful and individual fraud, wrongdoing or wrongful omission on the part of the member who is sought to be made liable.
The Association will only discuss the interests of members attending the meeting or members who have given express permission to a member of the committee for their interests to be discussed.
The Association will safeguard members‟ details. We will not pass the addresses or email addresses of members to third parties without their express permission.
The Association will not pass third party information regarding individuals, households or businesses to its members unless asked to do so by a public body, for example the police or the council. In such a case we will make it clear where this information has been sourced.
16 – DISSOLUTION:
If the General Committee decides at any time that on the grounds of expense (or for other, specified reasons), it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association, it shall call a Special General Meeting of all members with the power to vote and of the residents of the area benefit of the age of 18 and upwards. 21 days notice will be required for the Special General Meeting to be advertised (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed thereat), which shall be posted in a conspicuous place, local press or electronic means.
If such decision shall be confirmed by a simple majority of those present and voting at such meeting the General Committee shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of the Association. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be applied towards such charitable purposes for the benefit of the residents of the area of benefit.
17 – ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION:
Any proposal to alter this constitution must be delivered in writing to the Secretary of the Association not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting at which it is first to be considered. Any alteration will require the approval of both:
a) A simple majority of the members of the General Committee present and voting at a General Committee meeting.
b) A two-thirds majority of members with power to vote present at the said meeting.
c) At least 21 days notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place, local press or electronic means stating the wording of the proposed alteration.
AREA OF BENEFIT:
THIS CONSTITUTION WAS PUBLISHED 24th OCTOBER 2011