Constitution

As approved at the inaugural AGM on Monday 11th December 2023.

1. Name

The name of the organisation shall be the Cambs Unitaries Campaign.

2. Aims

The aims of the organisation will be:

To secure better local government arrangements for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough through a grassroots campaign to replace all the current main tiers of local government (the district Councils, the County Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership) with at least two new Unitary Authorities to provide local services for the communities in the north and south of the County more effectively and democratically.

3. Membership

Membership is open to anyone who supports the aims of the organisation.

Membership will begin as soon as the membership form has been submitted and the committee has accepted the application. The membership form will ask the applicant to confirm that they agree with the aims of the organisation.

The organisation may levy an annual membership fee. Any such fee will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be payable by all members.

A list of all members will be kept by the Membership Secretary.

Ceasing to be a member

Members may resign at any time in writing to the secretary.

Any member who has been found not to be supportive of the aims of the group will be contacted by the committee, who will then decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned.

Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings or to resign from the organisation if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the management committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

4. Equal opportunities

The organisation will not discriminate on the grounds of any protected characteristic.

5. Officers and committee

The business of the organisation will be carried out by a Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.

The Committee will consist of up to 10 members, and be composed of at least the 4 officers listed below. They will be listed on the organisation’s website.

The officers’ roles are as follows:

  • Chair, who shall chair both general and committee meetings
  • Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes and the distribution of all papers
  • Membership Secretary, who shall be responsible for keeping records of members
  • Treasurer who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts

In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be elected by the next General Meeting of members.

Any committee member not attending a meeting without apology for three months will be contacted by the committee and asked if they wish to resign.

Committee members are authorised to represent the organisation and may speak on its behalf. Other members may also be permitted to speak in a public capacity on specific occasions on behalf of the organisation if they have been authorised to do so by the Committee. Anyone making statements on behalf of the organisation must ensure that these are based on the agreed policy position of the organisation.

6. Meetings

6.1. Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM.

All members will be notified in writing at least 2 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time.

Nominations to the committee may be made to the Secretary before the meeting, or at the meeting.

Any motions for debate must be submitted to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

The quorum for the AGM will be 5% of the membership or 5 members, whichever is the fewer.

At the AGM:-

  • The Committee will present a report of the work of the organisation over the year.
  • The Committee will present the accounts of the organisation for the previous year.
  • The Committee for the next year will be elected.
  • Any motions will be discussed.

6.2 Special General Meetings

The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the committee or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request.

The meeting will take place within 21 days of the request.

All members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 5% of the membership or 5 members, whichever is the fewer.

6.3 General Meetings

General Meetings are open to all members and will be held at least once every 3 months or more often if necessary.

All members will be given a week’s notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

The quorum for a General Meeting shall be 5% of the membership or 5 members, whichever is the fewer.

6.4 Committee Meetings

Committee meetings may be called by the Chair or Secretary. Committee members must receive notice of meetings at least 7 days before the meeting.

The quorum for Committee meetings is 3 Committee members.

7. Rules of Procedure for meetings

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

8. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of the organisation at a bank agreed by the committee. Three cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer).  The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.

All payments will be signed by two of the signatories.

  • For cheque payments, the signatories will sign the cheque.
  • For other payments (such as BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments), a requisition note will be signed by two signatories, and held by the treasurer.

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.

All money raised by or on behalf of the organisation is only to be used to further the aims of the organisation, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.

At least two members of the Committee shall always have login access to the online bank account. The same shall also apply to any other general online account operated on behalf of the group.

9. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

10. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the organisation it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the organisation.

If it is agreed to dissolve the organisation, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.

 

This constitution was agreed at the inaugural General Meeting of the organisation on:

Date ………/…………/…………….

Name and position in organisation ………………………………………….

Signed ………………………………………….

Name and position in organisation ………………………………………….

Signed ………………………………………….

 

[This constitution was based on the model constitution available at www.resourcecentre.org.uk/information/constitutions/ with grateful thanks. This acknowledgement does not form part of the constitution.]