Jul 062018
 
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Constitution for Residents’ Associations                                                       

  1. Name

The name of the association is: Silchester Estate Residents’ Association

  1. Area

The Association covers the following defined geographical area:

The Association is for the benefit of Silchester Estate (East and West) Residents and Residents of Silchester Road.

  1. The aims of the Association are:
  2. a) To represent the interests of, and promote membership to all residents within the defined

area.

  1. b) To promote the interests and rights of residents and to encourage them to be more

actively involved.

  1. c) To ensure that all residents are consulted and informed regularly.
  2. d) To work towards improving the quality of life for local people and their community.
  3. e) To assist and promote social activities for recreation and enjoyment, and encourage a

community spirit and sense of responsibility.

  1. f) To be non party political.
  2. g) To represent the majority view of the community.
  3. h) To take into account the views of children and young people who are not old enough to

be voting members.

 

  1. Equalities and Diversity
  2. a) The association will actively seek to promote equal opportunities within the community

and within its membership.

  1. b) The association will value diversity and promote good relations with all members of the

community and not discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, race, faith, gender or

sexual orientation.

  1. c) The association will ensure that where possible meetings will be held in venues that are

accessible.

  1. d) The association will provide information on all the ways that members can contribute

their views, and how they can meet people’s individual needs.

  1. e) The Association recognises that all sections of the community have a positive

contribution to make to the life of our communities. The Association will represent the

interests of all local residents to the best of its ability, and carry on the day to day

business of the Association in an efficient, fair and responsive way.

  1. f) The Association will provide all new members with appropriate information and support

and make them feel welcome at all times.

 

  1. Membership
  2. a) Membership of the association is open to all residents (including tenants, leaseholders

and freeholders) living in the defined area of the association over the age of 16.

  1. b) A copy of the constitution is available to every member upon request, as is contact details for committee members, details of any planned meetings and how to include an item on an agenda.
  2. c) Any membership fee will be decided and reviewed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Any money raised by, or on behalf of, the association will be used to further the

Association’s aims.

  1. d) People can apply for Associate Membership status with the approval of the Committee.

Associate Members will not have voting rights.

  1. e) Membership will end when a member stops living in the area represented.
  2. f) In the event of breaches of the Constitution or Code of Conduct, membership of the

Association can be suspended or ended by a two thirds majority vote of the Committee

(of those present)

  1. g) Notification of suspension of a member must be given in writing to the member with a

copy of the Constitution attached.

 

  1. Appeals
  2. a) Any member who has been suspended or had their membership terminated shall have

the right to appeal. If a member wishes to appeal they have the right to ask the Secretary to arrange a special meeting to hear their appeal.

  1. a) Appeals must be made to the Secretary within twenty eight (28) days of receipt of the

letter suspending them. A special meeting must be held to hear the appeal within

twenty one (21) days of the Secretary receiving notification from the member.

  1. b) The appeals panel shall include at least three ordinary members of the association who

are not on the Committee.

  1. c) Any member appealing suspension shall have the right to bring a third party and also, if

they wish, to be represented by the third party.

  1. d) The decision of the appeals panel shall be binding on both parties.

 

  1. Code of Conduct
  2. a) Members shall conduct themselves in a manner that will not cause offence to others.

Harassment, bullying, intimidation, or discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated and

will be grounds for suspension of individual members. The Chairperson and committee

members have the right to warn the member(s) of their behaviour. If they persist they

will be suspended until further notice.

  1. b) It is a condition of membership that members at all times conduct themselves in a

reasonable manner at meetings or in premises used by the association. A member

may be suspended from the Association for failure to observe this, or for any other

conduct not in line with the aims of the Association.

  1. c) All committee and association members must comply with the Constitution and Code of

Conduct at all times. Any serious breach of the Constitution or Code of Conduct may

result in committee members, following a majority vote of the Committee, being asked to

resign and if appropriate, termination of membership as indicated in 5 (g).

  1. d) Members must never personalise issues, and should be willing to recognise that

everybody is entitled to express their point of view without unduly preventing progress of

discussion.

  1. e) Voters should always be prepared to accept the majority decision and not take such a

decision as any form of personal slight or criticism.

  1. f) Members cannot receive any payment from the Association other than for bona fide

expenses agreed by the Committee and approved in advance. Expense claims must

be submitted to the Treasurer at least seven (7) days before the next committee

meeting.

  1. g) Members must never use their position to seek preferential treatment for themselves,

their family or relatives. Nor should they use their position to be treated more or less

favourably when requesting services from the Council or other organisations.

  1. h) Committee members must not divulge any association business which is treated as

confidential to other persons or organisations.

  1. i) Statements to the media or other organisations on behalf of the Association should be

made by the Chairperson or committee members with the prior approval of the

Committee.

  1. j) Correspondence sent on behalf of the Association must be signed by the Secretary or

Chairperson, agreed by the Committee and recorded in a log by the Secretary.

  1. k) Any resident who feels that they have not been treated fairly and equally by the

Association can raise this with the Committee who will respond within twenty eight (28)

days.

  1. l) Any complaints received about the conduct of the Association or individual members will

be taken to the Committee who will respond within twenty eight (28) days. The

Committee will only deal with complaints that relate to the activities of the Association

and its members in relation to the Constitution and Code of Conduct. Committee

members will not deal with neighbour or inter-personal disputes in the area.

 

  1. The Committee
  2. a) The Committee shall monitor the work, finances and membership of the Association.
  3. b) The Committee will produce and update a simple action plan throughout the year to be

used to prepare an Annual Report to members at the AGM.

  1. c) The Committee shall have a minimum of the following 4 officers: a Chairperson, Vice

Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. The Committee shall have the power to appoint if

they wish a Vice-Secretary and Vice-Treasurer.

Committee members shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting. The Committee

will also include a named person or persons that the Council and other parties can

contact for consultation.

  1. d) Committee members shall be elected at an (AGM).
  2. e) The Committee shall have a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of fifteen (15) members

at any one time.

  1. f) The Committee may appoint sub-committees to carry out the activities of the Association.

Sub-committees shall be directly accountable to the Committee. The Committee will

agree in advance the terms of reference for any sub-committees, which may then act

and apply any finance raised within these terms. At least one committee member shall sit on any sub-committee of the Association.

  1. g) All sub-committees shall keep proper accounts and records of all meetings to be made

available as required to the Committee or general meeting. The Committee or general

meeting may dissolve any sub-committees. Any accounts, records or assets of the

sub-committee will pass to the Committee.

  1. h) Any vacancies on the Committee may be filled by co-opting members with full voting

rights until the next general meeting or AGM.

  1. i) Committee members shall declare any potential conflict of interest and withdraw from

discussion and voting where appropriate.

  1. j) The quorum for Committee Meetings shall be five (5) or 50 percent (whichever is the

greater) of committee members. This quorum should also be applied when making

decisions other than at meetings.

  1. k) The committee has the power to make decisions using electronic media outside of

committee meetings. Any vote held by electronic or other means must be logged and

recorded by the Secretary and formally approved at the next meeting (general or

committee). (Increasingly associations are using electronic media to canvass the opinions of

members and hold virtual discussions without the need to hold physical meetings.

You may like to discuss how your association will manage these arrangements

and how these arrangements and any decisions will be recorded)

  1. l) Committee meetings may be called by the Chairperson and Secretary, or at the request

of one third of committee members. At least seven (7) days notice must be given.

  1. m) A minimum of (2) committee meetings, (2) General Meetings and (1) AGM will be held

in each calendar year.

  1. n) All committee meetings are closed meetings; however members can be invited through a

majority vote of the committee.

 

  1. Duties of the officers
  2. a) All the officers of the Association have a duty to further all the aims of the

Association.

  1. b) The Chair shall conduct the meetings of the Association. If the Chair is absent, the

Vice-Chair or other committee member will take over.

  1. c) The Secretary is responsible for convening all meetings and giving the relevant

notice to members. The Secretary shall ensure that a proper record is kept of all

meetings of the Association, its committees and sub-committees in the form of

minutes. The Secretary shall keep a record of all correspondence, consultation and

activities carried out on behalf of the Association, and provide them as required by

the Committee or general meetings. The Secretary shall maintain a register of

committee members and paid up members of the Association.

  1. d) The Treasurer shall oversee all banking and financial arrangements outlined in part
  2. Finance, be responsible for keeping proper accounts of income and expenditure

and report on the Associations financial matters to the Committee and AGM. All

cheques must be signed by the Treasurer and one other committee member.

  1. e) Any officer delegated to represent the Association in consultation with any other body

shall act on the instructions of Association and shall report back to the Committee or

general meeting whichever is the sooner.

  1. f) The named officer for consultation will be responsible for ensuring that when

responses are made they are representative of the views of the Association and not

those of an individual. The named officer will keep a record of responses and provide

them as required by the Committee or general meetings.

 

  1. Annual General Meetings
  2. a) The Association shall hold an AGM once each calendar year and not more than fifteen

months shall pass between one AGM and the next. The quorum for an AGM is 10

residents.

  1. b) Members shall agree at the start of each AGM whether voting for the election of

committee members shall be carried out by a show of hand or by secret ballot.

  1. c) The AGM shall:

 Agree the minutes of the last AGM

 Receive an Annual Report from the Committee

 Present a statement of accounts to members

 Elect committee members

 Agree rates for membership fees (if any)

 Vote on amendments to the Constitution

 Consider any resolution put forward by members

  1. d) Any member over the age of sixteen (16) shall be entitled to stand for election to the

Committee, except for any youth committees where members under the age of 16 can

stand.

  1. e) Nominations for the Committee must be received by the Secretary in writing at least

three days before the meeting, unless the Committee makes a decision to accept

nominations at the AGM.

  1. f) Nominees should be present at the AGM unless they are unable to attend due to

illness, holiday, etc at the discretion of the Committee. The Secretary must be

informed before the meeting.

  1. g) An independent observer shall attend each AGM and confirm that the meeting was

arranged and conducted in accordance with the Association’s Constitution. The

independent observer can be one of the following:

 An elected Councillor

 A Council Officer/Representative

 A committee representative from another Resident’s Association

  1. h) All members must receive in writing not less than seven (7) days notice of the AGM.

Notice of the AGM shall be displayed on public notice boards in the Association’s Area.

  1. Special General Meetings
  2. a) A special general meeting may be called by the Committee or resident member

 

  1. General Meetings
  2. a) General meetings are open to all people living in the defined area. Everyone from the

defined area present is entitled to vote on proposals put forward.

  1. b) Decisions of the General Meeting shall be binding on the Committee.
  2. c) At least seven (7) days notice shall be given for a general meeting. Every eligible

household will receive an invitation.

  1. d) The quorum for a general meeting shall be a minimum of ten (10) people, including

committee members.

  1. e) If a member believes an item to be of a confidential nature this must be made known to

the Chairperson before commencement of business. The Committee must decide if the

item is to be discussed in a closed session at the end of the general meeting.

 

  1. Voting
  2. a) Decisions at meetings shall be taken by a simple majority of those voting, including any

proxy votes. All proxy votes must be submitted to the Resident Engagement team prior

to the meeting and accepted in agreement by the committee.

  1. b) The named proxy must be a member of the Association. The Secretary must be

informed of the proxy not later than three (3) days before the meeting. Each member

has one vote.

  1. c) In the event of a tie of the vote the Chairperson of the meeting shall have the casting

vote. The Chairperson of the meeting shall not otherwise vote on any resolution.

  1. d) Counted vote is needed and the numbers shall be counted and recorded in the minutes.
  2. e) Conflict of interest must be declared. A member who declares conflict of interest should

then withdraw from the discussion and voting on the issue in question.

 

  1. Minutes
  2. a) All formal meetings must be minuted and the minutes formally approved by the next

meeting (committee or general).

 

  1. Finance
  2. a) An accurate record of income and expenditure must be produced each year at the

AGM to be made available to all members on request.

  1. b) Accounts should be open to inspection by members on request
  2. c) All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the aims

of the Association and for no other purpose.

  1. d) The Resident Engagement Team will carry out any appropriate external scrutiny and/or

audit of the accounts as required by current legislation.

  1. e) Account(s) must be opened in the name of the Association. Cheques, transfers and

other banking instruments or instructions shall be signed by the Treasurer and at least

one (1) other signatory who must also be members of the Committee.

  1. f) Signatories must not be related to, or be members of, the same household.
  2. g) Proper records of all transactions including petty cash transactions must be kept.
  3. h) Finances raised for or on behalf of any sub-committee must be applied only within the

terms agreed by the Association Committee.

 

  1. Dissolution
  2. a) The Committee, or if a committee no longer exists, a majority of remaining members of

the Association, can propose that the Association should be dissolved. They must give

at least fourteen (14) days notice to all eligible members that a meeting is taking place

proposing to dissolve the Association. For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum

need not apply, and the Association may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of those

present. Any assets remaining after settling any liabilities shall be applied for the

benefit of the community in accordance with the aims of the Association.

  1. b) TMO Officers are available to provide all reasonable support to help the Association

remain active.

The Constitution must be signed annually and within 28 days of the AGM by all the main elected

officers of the committee.

This Constitution was agreed and signed by officers of the RA

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