GWPRA Constitution

1. Associations’ Name

The name of the association shall be the “Great Western Park Residents’ Association” (hereafter referred to as the Group).

2. Objectives and Aims

a) Objectives
i. The objective of the Residents’ Association is to safeguard and promote the interest of the residents in the area on matters concerning housing and their environment.
ii. To help improve living conditions, community facilities and services for residents living within the Groups’ area.
iii. In order to do this we are committed to representing the views of all residents in our area of operation.
iv. 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.
v. The Group will be a non-political association.

b) Aims
i. The Aims of the Group through the efforts of the Residents’ Association is to make Great Western Park (GWP) a desirable place to live by upholding the “Objectives” as stated in Clause 2a.
ii. To become a Parish Council and to have elected Parish Officers in order to enhance and further develop the “Objectives” as stated in Clause 2a.

3. Membership

a) Membership shall be open to all GWP residents, irrespective of tenure as defined by the GWP boundary.
b) All voting members must be at least sixteen (16) years of age.
c) Membership shall cease immediately upon a person leaving the area as defined in Clause 3(a).
d) Membership shall be free of subscription.
Note:- If a subscription were to be acceptable, it has to be both fair, equitable and must be appropriate, realistic to collect and 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 a period of twelve months (12).
b) The committee will consist of Six (6) 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 equal voting rights. In the event of a tie in voting the Chairman will have the casting vote.
c) The committee shall elect from within their members a Chairperson, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and IT Administrator and an Events/ Fundraiser.
d) No committee member shall fill more then one position.
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 (3) committee members present for any decisions to be made at a committee meeting.
h) Local and District Councillors may attend committee meetings as and when invited by the committee.
i) Non voting members may be co-opted from council staff.
j) Residents may be co-opted from residents to fill casual vacancies throughout the year.
k) Committee members can be voted off if they have not attended three (3) consecutive meetings without good reason and have not submitted their apologies.
l) 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.
m) Failure of a committee member to declare an interest (re Clause 4(l)) will constitute a severe breach of position and trust, which on being proved will result in automatic expulsion from the committee, lasting for a minimum of one (1) year with forfeiture of all voting rights.

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) Meetings will end at the time agreed by the committee unless all those present agree to extend the meeting.
d) Any offensive behaviour, including religious, racist, ageism, sexist behaviour or inflammatory language will not be permitted.
e) Any member who brings the Group in to disrepute or refuses to comply with this Constitution shall be expelled on a majority vote of the full Committee.
f) Any member will have the right to appeal within twenty eight (28) days of expulsion. The appeal shall be heard by the membership at a Special Meeting called for that purpose.
g) The Secretary shall deal with all correspondence.
h) Agendas will be distributed electronically on the GWP web site and e-mail for those residents who have registered with the web site as well as the use of notice boards, at least four (4) days before a meeting, where possible,
i) Items for the agenda should be forwarded to the Secretary and Chair seven (7) days before the meeting, where possible.
j) Minutes will be distributed to the membership seven (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. All money raised by or on behalf of the Group shall be applied to further its “Objectives” re Clause 2(a)).
b) All funds shall be kept in a bank account that shall be opened in the name of the Group.
c) The Chairperson, Secretary and the Treasurer shall be signatories in the account and all cheques shall require two of these signatories.
d) Accounts shall be kept by the Treasure and brought to every committee meeting where they may be inspected. Failure to bring the books to a meeting on three (3) consecutive occasions will mean that the Treasurer will be asked to resign.
e) All expenditure shall be agreed and controlled by the committee. Receipts shall be acquired for all expenditure.
f) All payments over £10.00 (ten) pounds shall be made by cheque only, not cash. Any exception to this rule shall be discussed and agreed by the committee.
g) No officer shall sign a blank cheque.
h) All cheque entries must be completed ie date, payee, amount etc before signatories are added.
i) Once a year, the accounts will be audited and presented to the AGM of the Group.
j) Delegated Account Auditors, Re Clause 14
k) All correspondence of the Group including bank statements shall be addressed to the Secretary.

7. Public Meetings

a) Resident Association (RA) meetings of members shall be regularly held to discuss matters of importance and too keep the members fully informed of the Groups’ activities.
b) Members shall be given fourteen (14) days notice of RA meetings.
c) All votes shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present. This applies to all meetings of the Group.

8. Annual General Meeting (AGM)

a) An AGM shall be held annually every year to discuss the activities of the Group, to receive the audited accounts and to elect a new committee.
b) The AGM shall be held at a suitable venue to accommodate as many members possible.
c) The quorum shall be a minimum of ten (10) members present, (not including elected members).
d) At least fourteen (14) days notice of an AGM needs to be given to members.
e) At the AGM the resignation of all committee members will be accepted and a new committee elected. An outgoing committee member may apply for a committee position.

9. Special RA Meeting

a) Any member may request, in writing to the committee, to call a Special RA Meeting of the Group.
b) The committee shall call the meeting within twenty one (21) days of this request being considered, which ideally should be no later than the next meeting, or for exceptional reasons, then no later than the meeting after the next one.

10. Changes to the Constitution

a) This constitution shall only be changed at a Special RA Meeting of the Group, or at the AGM.
b) For decisions to be taken there must be a quorum of at least ten (10) members present. The voting shall be by a simple majority of those present.
c) All members shall be given fourteen (14) days notice of the meeting and any proposed changes.
d) Proposed changes to the constitution must be submitted in writing to the Secretary not less than twenty eight (28) days before the AGM. The Secretary must notify members of any proposed changes within twenty one (21) days of the meeting.

11. Child Protection

a) The Group will ensure that any activities they are involved with will be a safe environment for children.
b) If Group activities are to involve children a Child Protection Policy will be adopted and a Committee Member will be appointed to take responsibility for its implementation.

12. Lease and Agreements

a) As trustees for and on behalf of the Group, the current Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, may enter into leases and access agreements that are transferable to on going elected office bearers in order to further the “Objectives” of the Group as set out in Clause 2a.

13. Guest Speakers

a) The Group should always be encouraged to invite a guest speaker to attend a Group meeting as and when is felt appropriate by the Group.
b) The guest speaker may represent a political party, however, attending a meeting does not infer in anyway that the speaker has the right to abuse the GWPRA Constitutions “Non political” stance in order to further their political aims.
c) It is incumbent on both the committee and its members to ensure that any guest speakers are aware of the Groups non-political stance when considering a guest speaker to attend a meeting.
d) The request for a guest speaker shall be provided in writing to the committee, at least twenty eight (28) days in advance of a proposed meeting and the residents shall be notified at least twenty one (21) days in advance of that meeting.

14. Account Auditors

a) The auditing of accounts is to be undertaken independent of the Groups’ members.
b)Whilst it is preferable that a commercially qualified auditor should audit the accounts, the Group will consider a suitable person, but not necessarily holding a recognised qualification.

15. Account Auditing

a) Auditing of the accounts will be carried out on an annual basis.
b) The accounts will be made available to the committee whenever requested.
c) Any accounting irregularity will be considered for legal investigation and may lead to prosecution.

16. 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 being submitted to the Secretary, signed by a simple majority of those remaining on the committee
b) All members shall be informed of such a meeting at least twenty one (21) days before the date of the meeting.
c) Dissolution of the Group shall only take effect if agreed by two thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at that meeting.
d) Any assets remaining after liabilities must be distributed among local charities or other community group(s) 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.

17. Responsibilities of the Committee Members.

The Chairperson
a) Chairs the committee meetings
b) Ensures standing orders are kept to and decisions are properly made.
c) Liaise with other committee members and outside bodies.
d) Checks draft minutes and agendas.
e) Is a signatory of cheques.
f) The Chairperson, as a representative of the GWPRA, is to conduct themselves at all times, to the highest standards as expected of them by the residents of GWP, and in a manner consistent with “The Objectives” of this Constitution.

Vice Chair
a) Will take on the responsibilities of the Chair when appropriate.
b) Is not a signatory of cheques.

The Secretary
a) Gives notice of meetings.
b) Produces the agenda
c) Minutes the meetings
d) Ensures that the meetings are conducted in accordance with the rules.
e) Produces an annual report.
f) Occasional mailing to members.
g) Is a signatory of cheques.

The Treasurer
a) Keeps records of all financial transactions ie income and expenditure.
b) Produces financial reports for the committee, association and funding bodies, like the council.
c) Maintains control over petty cash funds,
d) Produces an annual report.
e) Produces the accounts at every meeting for viewing.
a) Will produce the books whenever requested by the committee.
b) Is a signatory of cheques.

The IT Administrator
a) Is responsible for maintaining and updating the GWP web site and administration of e-mail accounts.
b) Will report to the committee any abuse or infringement of the GWP web site.
c) Will provide an annual report of the GWP web site and any projected enhancements
d) Is not a signatory of cheques.

The Events/Fundraiser
a) Shall be responsible for all aspects of Event/Fundraising.
b) Will liaise with local councils and other agencies for support for event and fundraising activities.
c) All funds will be raised by means of contributions, legacies and organised events.
d) The GWPRA Committee will decide how monies raised through fundraising shall be spent.
e) Ideally the Event/Fundraiser will actively encourage and manage a small team of volunteers.
f) Will be an elected position to the GWPRA.
g) Is not a signatory of cheques.

18. A Sample Agenda

1. Apologies for absence.
2. Minutes of previous meeting.
3. Matters arising since previous meeting.
4. Correspondence (details of any written correspondence are read out).
5. Report back (from officers)
6. Things to be discussed.
7. Q & A (questions and answers).
8. Resolutions
9. Decisions are taken by vote.
10. AOB (any other business)
11. Close Meeting (to include date, time and venue of next meeting).

This page was last updated on 14th June 2013