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Constitution

Constitution for the Josephine Avenue Group (JAG)

1st October 2014

1. NAME The name of the organisation is the Josephine Avenue Group (hereafter referred to as the Group).

2. AIMS & OBJECTIVES

(a) To represent and promote the interests of all residents living in Josephine Avenue, Helix Gardens, Appach Road and numbers 67 to 85 Brixton Hill London SW2.

(b) To support and encourage local residents to take an active interest in the improvement and maintenance of their environment.

c) To promote social activities for all members of the Group and encourage a sense of community in the local area.

3. MEMBERSHIP

(a) Membership is open to all residents of Josephine Avenue, Helix Gardens, Appach Road and numbers 67 to 85 Brixton Hill (odd numbers only) over the age of 18.

4. THE COMMITTEE

(a) The Group shall elect at least three, and no more than six, officials from its members to carry out duties on a one year term. Positions must include an elected Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

(b) Officials shall be elected, or re-elected, at the Annual General Meeting. Vacancies arising through the year can be filled by elections at other Group meetings.

(c) The Group is able to co-opt any persons from outside the Group where it is felt that such persons have skills or special knowledge relevant to the Group. Co-opted members shall not be entitled to vote.

(d) The Chair shall be responsible for communication and correspondence with other relevant bodies (e.g. Lambeth Council), preparing agendas, chairing meetings and organising local consultation.

(e) The Secretary shall keep minutes, notify members of meetings, giving at least fourteen days notice, and be responsible for the distribution of agendas and minutes.

(f) The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the accounts, and receiving and making payments on behalf of the Group, and shall provide a report on the accounts at all General Meetings.

(g) Any committee member who does not attend three consecutive meetings without giving good reason shall be deemed to have resigned.

5. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

(a) There shall be an AGM held at the end of each calendar year open to all members at which the officials will report the Group’s activities during the previous year. Existing officials shall then stand down.

(b) Members present shall then elect, or re-elect, the Group’s committee.

6. GENERAL MEETINGS

(a) The business of the Group shall be conducted at General Meetings. These are open to all members.

(b) There will be at least four General Meetings held every year.

(c) Police, Councillors and other relevant officials may be invited to attend General Meetings but will not be allowed to vote.

7. SUB COMMITTEES

(a) Sub committees may be formed to organise Group activities.

(b) All sub committee expenditure must be approved at Group meetings (see item 10).

8. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS

(a) A special general meeting may be requested by four or more members of the Group. The reason for the meeting should be submitted in writing to the Secretary.

(b) Within fourteen days of the request, the Secretary must inform all members of the Group of the date, time and place of the Special General Meeting, giving at least fourteen days notice.

9. VOTING, NOTICE OF MEETINGS, AND CONDUCT

For all meetings:

(a) Decisions at meetings shall be made by a simple majority vote, with the exception of changes to the constitution and dissolution of the Group.

(b) Each member shall have one vote (if a tie the Chairman will have the casting vote).

(c) Decisions of all meetings shall be binding on the Committee.

(d) The quorum for all meetings shall be at least six members.

(e) The Secretary shall inform all members of the date, time and place of all meetings giving at least fourteen days notice.

(f) All members of the Group will be expected to treat each other with respect and act in a courteous manner at Group meetings and events. Any members may be excluded for a breach of this condition. Any member so excluded shall have the right of appeal at the following general meeting.

10. FINANCE

(a) A simple record of income and expenditure must be produced each year at the AGM and be available to all members on request.

(b) The Group may raise funds either by donation, grant application or other means. The proceeds of any such fundraising and all assets held by the Group shall be used in accordance with, and to the furtherance of, the aims and objectives of the Group.

(d) Account(s) must be opened in the name of the Group. Cheques, transfers and other banking instruments or instructions shall be signed by at least two signatories who must be members of the Committee.

(e) Signatories must not be related or be members of the same household.

(f) Expenditure for items costing more than £200 must be approved at a General Meeting and be subject to competitive price comparison to ensure value for money.

11. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(a) Members must declare any relevant personal interest in a matter under discussion. The Group shall then have the right to determine whether that member should withdraw from discussion and/or be allowed to vote.

12. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

(a) The constitution can only be altered at the AGM or at a Special General Meeting.

(b) Any suggested changes must be given in writing to the Secretary fourteen days beforehand.

(c) Changes must be agreed by two thirds of the members present at the meeting.

13. DISSOLUTION

(a) If any Group meeting decides by a simple majority to dissolve the Group, the committee shall call a Special General Meeting of all members, giving at least fourteen days notice in writing and stating the terms of the dissolution resolution to be proposed at the meeting.

(b) A proposal to dissolve the Group shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the members present at the Special General Meeting.

(c) The meeting shall decide on the disposal of any assets remaining after the satisfaction of debts and any other liabilities. These assets must be applied to charitable purposes agreed with the members of the Group.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

The Group actively seeks to represent the needs and aspirations of all residents in its area. The Group does not discriminate on grounds of nationality, political opinion, ethnic and cultural background, religious opinion, sex, sexuality or disability.

Advice on Roles’ for Committee Members of Josephine Avenue Group (JAG)

1st October 2014

The Chairperson

The Chairperson has overall responsibility for seeing that things get done during and in between meetings. It is most important that the Chairperson works closely with the rest of the committee and has their support to ensure that she/he does not become isolated or a ‘figurehead’. Some basic tasks are:

• Preparing agendas for meetings with other member(s) of the Committee.

• Keeping reasonable order during meetings and encouraging everyone to have their say.

• Making sure that decisions are made at the end of discussions, that they are recorded and that any work to be done is allocated to people to carry out.

• Checking that decisions made at previous meetings have been carried out.

The Secretary

The Secretary’s role includes:

• Letting people know the time, date and place of the meetings.

• Helping to prepare the agenda for meetings.

• Taking notes (minutes) of the meetings.

• Receiving and sending out mail on behalf of the Association.

• Gathering information and correspondence together so that everyone sees them.

• Keeping minutes, agendas and correspondence in accessible files.

• Keeping an up to date list of members.

Associations can generate a great deal of work, which often falls on the secretary. It is good to divide and share out some of the tasks. Being a Secretary does not have to involve typing and other skills; minutes can be taken in a notebook and the job rotated at meetings. Typed notes for the membership can be distributed when necessary and the minute book available for anyone to look at.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer has the responsibility for the finances of the Association. This means keeping a written record of any money coming in and going out of the Association’s account. If it is a new association, the Treasurer should make sure that either a bank or building society account is opened in the Association’s name, with at least two people named as signatories. All decisions about finances should be made at meetings and statements of the account should be available at each meeting for members to see.

The Treasurer has to:

• Keep a record of money received and issued from the account.

• Issue receipts for money received.

• Pay bills.

• Keep the Committee informed about the financial position of the group by doing a written statement and bringing books etc. to meetings.

• Prepare statements for the Annual General Meeting.

Additional Roles

You may want to give other members responsibility for specific things, such as fundraising, leaflets and newsletters or social activities. However, these additional roles must remain accountable to the Committee. This encourages people who may not feel ready to chair a meeting to take an active role in the Association and also helps to make sure that activities do take place.

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