Constitution

HANOVER AND ELM GROVE COMMUNITIES FORUM CONSTITUTION 

(As agreed at the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Communities Forum on December 1st 2018)

1. Name of Organisation

Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum

2. Aims

2.1       The Forum aims to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in the Hanover and Elm Grove Neighbourhood area, particularly through the preparation and implementation of a Neighbourhood Action Plan.

3. Membership

3.1       The membership of the Forum is open to:

  • individuals who live and/or work in the area of the Hanover and Elm Grove – defined as the Hanover and Elm Grove local election ward.
  • Up to two representatives from constituted community organisations based in Hanover and Elm Grove
  • individuals who work in the area
  • elected councillors representing Hanover and Elm Grove area on Brighton and Hove City Council

3.2       The Communities Forum must have a minimum membership of 21 individuals, each of whom either

  • lives in the area
  • works in the area
  • is an elected member of the Brighton and Hove City Council for Hanover and Elm Grove

3.3       The Communities Forum must have a minimum of one member from each of the categories       in 3.1 and 3.2 above.

3.4       The Communities Forum will be as representative as possible of the people who live and work in the area. Thus, membership will be drawn from different places in the area and from different sections of the community.

3.5      More than two thirds of the membership should live in Hanover and Elm Grove

3.6       Membership will begin as soon as the membership form has been received.

3.7       A list of members will be kept by the Secretary.

4          Ceasing to be a Member:

4.1       Members may resign at any time in writing to the Secretary

4.2       Offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Taking a restorative approach, anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy will be warned by the chair of the meeting. If the behaviour persists (or is not accepted as contravening the equal opportunities policy and apologised for) a vote of the whole meeting will be taken to exclude them from the meeting. A meeting will be arranged between the chair and a committee member with the individual (who may have a friend attend to support) to reconcile differences. If this fails a decision on permanent exclusion will be made by the committee. The individual may then appeal and address the committee if desired and having heard this appeal the decision of the committee is final

5.        Equal Opportunities

5.1       The Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum will not discriminate on grounds of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability (Including mental health), social class, gender identity, religious or political belief, marital status or age.

6.           Officers and Committee

6.1       The business of the Forum will be managed by a Committee.

6.2       The membership of the Committee will be as follows:

  • Chairperson
  • Vice Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Conveners and Deputy Conveners of the Working Groups
  • Neighbourhood Plan Coordinator
  • Online Content and Communications Co-Ordinator
  • Nominated representatives of community groups

6.2       The members and officers of the Committee (Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary and Treasurer) will be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Forum.

6.4       In the event of a vacancy occurring during the year a replacement may be appointed by the committee and ratified by the next General Meeting of members.

6.5       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.

6.6       The Officers’ roles are as follows:

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

6.7       The Committee has the power to co-opt up to 5 additional members to ensure maximum feasible representativeness of the people who live and/or work in the area.

7          Committee responsibilities:

7.1       The Committee shall be responsible for:

  • The overall management of the business of the Forum seeking to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in the Hanover and Elm Grove Neighbourhood area
  • Agreeing and ensuring the implementation of a Communications and Community Engagement Strategy;
  • Coordinating the work of the Working Groups;
  • Drafting, agreeing, monitoring and promoting the implementation of the Hanover and Elm Grove Neighbourhood Action Plan

8          Committee meetings

8.1       The Committee will normally meet monthly, using a variety of venues across the area.

8.2       Committee Meeting will be open to all Forum Members.

8.3       Agenda Papers and Minutes will be posted on the Forum Website and will be         available in printed format on request.

8.4       The quorum for the Committee will be 7 members.

9.          Meetings of the Forum

9.1       Annual General Meeting

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

9.1.2    All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting,       giving the venue, date and time.

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

9.1.4    The quorum for the AGM will be 20% of the membership or 10 members, whichever        is the greater number.

9.1.5    Proceeding of the AGM:

  • The Committee will present a report of the work of the Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum over the year;
  • The Committee will present the accounts of the Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum for the previous year;
  • The Officers and Committee for the next year will be elected;
  • Any proposals given to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.

9.2       Special General Meetings

9.2.1    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.

9.2.2    The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request.

9.2.3    All members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda. Notice may be by telephone, email or post and these details will be posted on the Forum website.

9.2.4    The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 20% of the membership or 10            members, whichever is the greater number.

10        Rules of Procedure for Committee Meetings, Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings.

10.1     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.

10.2     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             are equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.

11        General Meetings of the Forum: Community Conversations.   

11.1     These events are open to all Forum members and members of the public.

11.2     There will be a minimum of three Events in the year following the AGM.

11.3     The content and structure of these Events will vary according to priorities determined       by the Committee. Generally, the programme will enable the Forum to:

  • showcase its activities, particularly the evolving Neighbourhood Plan;
  • recruit new members;
  • enable Forum Working Groups to have discussions with wider groups of local people;
  • facilitate Q&A sessions with BHCC officers, councillors and developers with an interest in the area; and
  • share experiences with voluntary and community sector organisations from elsewhere in the city, and other towns and cities which are preparing and involved in implementing Neighbourhood Plans.

12.         Working Groups

12.1     The Working Groups and their Conveners shall be established by the Committee.

12.2     Each Working Group shall be a minimum of 2 people from the Communities Forum area.

12.3     Each Working Groups shall develop working arrangements which suit them best and        shall meet as required to investigate and discuss the issues assigned to them.

12.4     The Convener, or their Deputy, shall report to the Communities Forum Committee once per month.

13.         Partner Organisations

13.1     To further its aims, the Forum will work in partnership with relevant public, private  and community/voluntary sector organisations.

13.2     In particular, the work of the Forum will complement, rather than duplicate, the work of voluntary and community sector organisations in the area.

14.           Finances

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

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

14.3     All money raised by or on behalf of the Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this Constitution.

 15.          Amendments to the Constitution

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

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

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

16.       Dissolution

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

16.2     If it is agreed to dissolve the group, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation to receive the donation would be agreed at the meeting held to agree the dissolution.

This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of the Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum on

Name and position in the Forum ………………………………………………………………………………..

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ……

Name and position in the Forum……………………………………………………………… ………………..

Signed …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Name and position in the Forum…………………………………………………………………………………….

Signed …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


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