A Better Smallthorne Constitution


Adopted on the 15th day of January 2015


1. Name


The name of the Community group is “A Better Smallthorne”


2. Area


The area represented by the Community group is shown below. This document refers to this defined boundary as the “Area”.



3. Aims


The aims of the Community group shall be to unite residents/members in a common effort to:

  • A group set up by ordinary folk who want to make a lot of small differences to our area, hoping that it will make a big difference to us all.

  • To take on new ideas of how we can improve the quality of life for local people

  • Promote social and sporting activities for all members of the community and encourage a community spirit;


  • Support and promote our local businesses and services.


  • Provide support and direction to residents/members when liaison with the City Council and other bodies is required in order to resolve issues.


  • Regularly communicate with residents in the area; utilising notice boards, social media and regular open meetings


  • Work towards improving the area as a whole by taking pride in where we live and have respect for each other and make a difference.


The Community group is non party-political and shall not ally itself with any political party or group.


4. Powers/Authority


The Community group shall have the following powers:

  • To raise funds to further the aims of the Community group ;


  • To arrange events and activities for the benefit of residents/members in the area and to produce leaflets and other publicity material;


  • To consult residents by arranging meeting, carrying out surveys and preparing social media updates;


  • To work in conjunction with other voluntary or statutory organisations to further the aims of the Community group ;


  • To buy or lease any property and equipment necessary for the achievement of the Community group s aims, and if necessary to sell, lease and dispose of the same;


  • To arrange any insurance cover necessary against risks incurred by the Community group  and volunteers in the course of their duties;


  • To do all such lawful things as necessary for the achievement of the Community groups aims.

5. Membership
  • Membership of the Community group shall be open to

    • Any persons who are currently, or have previously, resided within the area.

    • Any persons, who currently own, operate or are employed by a commercial business within the area.

    • Any person providing existing charitable or voluntary services within the area, which are not related to this Community group.


  • Members will not be subject to payment of any mandatory membership fee.


  • Membership to the above groups will be regardless of  tenure, nationality, political party, ethnic origin, disability, gender, sexuality or religion will not


  • All members have the right to vote at public meetings. The committee shall keep a record of all persons attending public meetings.


  • Anybody living outside the area will not be eligible for nomination for Chairman, treasurer or secretary unless they have a vested interest in the wellbeing and development of the area and the residents therein. l. Anyone who lives outside the area but does not have a vested interest in the area may be invited to attend meetings as observers or advisors, but cannot be members and will not be entitled to vote.


  • Elected members (councillors) who live in the area or who fulfil the above criteria may be invited to attend committee meetings and public meetings but may not be on the committee and are not entitled to vote.


  • The committee shall have the power by a two-thirds majority vote to expel any member who has acted against the interests of the Community group, either permanently or for such period as the committee shall determine. The reasons for expulsion shall be given in writing and recorded by the secretary. A right of appeal shall be afforded within four weeks of the original decision and the person may be accompanied by another person of their choice at the hearing. The final choice on excluding any members will be made jointly between the committee and the relevant City Council officers.


    6. Meetings


    a) Annual General Meetings (AGMs)


  • The committee shall arrange an AGM to be held in the month of January or within fifteen months of the previous AGM.


  • The secretary shall give at least 21 days notice in writing of an AGM to all members (notice shall be via email)


  • The committee shall inform all residents within the area of the AGM at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.(via notice boards and social media)


  • At the AGM the committee shall report on its work, present a statement of accounts and resign.


  • The AGM shall elect a new committee and vote on recommendations and any amendments to the Community group’s constitution.


  • Any changes to the constitution must be agreed by two thirds of the residents present at the meeting. A proposal for change must be made to the secretary, in writing, at least 21 days before the meeting. The proposal for change must also be publicised to the residents within the area when informing them of the AGM.


    b) Other General Meetings (including Extraordinary General Meetings)


    Other meetings open to all members may be called:


  • By the current chair of the committee calling a General Meeting


  • The Community group will hold a minimum of two open meeting each year.


  • At the written request of at least 25% of the members of the Community group .


    The secretary shall arrange all General meetings (including EGMs) within four weeks if being called and publicise them at least 5 days prior to the date of the meeting.


    7. The Committee


    a) The Committee


  • Voting at all committee meetings will be by simple majority. The chair shall not vote unless a tied vote is reached; in which case the chair will have the casting vote.


  • A committee will be elected for one year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to carry out the business of the Community group.


  • The committee will be made up of a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and up to Eight General Members.


  • If desired, the committee can also appoint a Vice Chair, Vice Secretary and Vice Treasurer.


  • Any member wishing to resign from their post must do so in writing, both to the Committee and relevant City Council officer.


  • If vacancies occur between AGM’s the committee can introduce or appoint new members as necessary.


  • New members may join the committee between AGM’s with the prior agreement of the committee and relevant City Council officers.


  • No more than two members of one household shall be eligible to stand for election to the management committee.


  • Elected members (councillors) are not eligible to stand for election to any part of the committee, including General Members.


  • The committee shall hold no less than four minuted committee meetings per year.


  • No committee meeting shall take place if less than a third of the committee are present.


  • If any member of the committee is absent for more than 3 consecutive committee meetings without good reason (in the committee’s reasonable opinion) they may be asked by the committee to resign. If the member refuses to resign their post, the matter will be passed to the relevant City Council officer to resolve the issue in the best interests of the Community group.


  • Committee meetings shall be open to all committee members.




    b) Sub-Committees


  • The management committee may appoint such sub-committees as it sees fit for supervising or performing any activity or service of the Community group.


  • The main committee will define terms of reference, the sub-committees composition and the duration of its activities.


  • The chair of the sub committee must be a member of the Community group. All members of the full committee are eligible to join the sub-committee.


  • The sub-committee may also co-opt new members as necessary. These will be eligible to vote at sub committee meetings; they will not be eligible to vote at full committee meetings unless the committee agree for them to join the Community group as full members.


  • Residents who live outside the area covered by the Community group  may be co-opted onto a sub-committee but are not eligible to join the full committee unless they fulfil the criteria laid out in section 5 – Membership.


  • If necessary, the sub-committee may appoint a treasurer and open a separate bank account. This separate account will be subject to the same terms and conditions as laid out in Section 9 – Finance.


  • The sub-committee will feed back to the main committee at regular, pre-determined intervals on any discussions held or decisions made.


  • Any decision to dissolve the sub-committee will be made solely by the members of the main committee. Any funds or assets at the point of dissolution will be transferred to the main committee to use as they see fit.


  • The sub-committee will have the same powers as the full committee. All other aspects of the proper running of the sub-committee will remain the same as for the main committee, unless otherwise specified in their separate terms of reference.












    8. Conduct of meetings of the Community group


  • Voting at all committee meetings will be by simple majority. The chair shall note vote unless a tied vote is reached; in which case the chair will have the casting vote.


  • The secretary shall keep minutes and all correspondence concerning the affairs of the Community group.


  • The chair shall conduct all meetings of the Community group.


  • In the absence of the chair or secretary the first business of the meeting will be to ensure that a substitute is appointed for the duration of the meeting.


  • The committee may invite non-members to attend all or any part of any meeting of the Community group as observers or advisors. These invitees will not be entitled to vote.


  • If any member of the committee has a conflict of interests on any subject discussed at a committee meeting, they must declare this at the start of the discussion. They will then leave the meeting for the duration of that discussion. They will not be eligible to vote on any points raised as a result of that discussion.


  • All members will observe strict confidentiality – all discussions, agenda items, information shared is done so in the strictest confidence unless the person giving the information clearly states that it can be passed on.


  • Members should share responsibility for the conduct of a meeting, supporting the chair, being mindful of the time allocated for the meeting and any individual items, taking care not to dominate others in debates and setting an example to each other. Members should respect the contributions of others by not interrupting when someone is speaking even when you may not agree with their point of view.


  • Individual and personal disputes should not be allowed to affect conduct within the meeting but should be resolved elsewhere. Members should make sure that comments they make do not amount to a personal attack on another individual and should avoid using heated, emotional or value loaded language and behaviour.


    9. Finance

  • The financial year shall run from the first of the month following the Residents’ Community group formation until the end of a twelve month period.


  • Any money belonging to the Community group shall only be used for the purposes of the Community group .


  • No money shall be paid as profit to any member of the Community group. However, this will not prevent the payment of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred to anyone carrying out the Community group s’ business, with agreement from the members of the Community group. Any payment of expenses will be receipted and properly recorded by the treasurer.


  • A bank account shall be opened in the name of the Community group. The Community group shall appoint two signatories, with only one signatory per address. One of these signatories must be the treasurer of the Community group.


  • The treasurer shall keep full and proper records of all instances of income and expenditure.


  • The accounts shall be checked by an independent person before being submitted to the AGM.



    10. Dissolution or Winding Up


  • If the committee decides that it is necessary to wind up the Community group it shall call a Special General Meeting of all members.


  • Committee members shall be given at least 21 days notice of this meeting, and details of the resolution to be discussed at the meeting.


  • A proposal to dissolve the Community group shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the committee members present at the meeting.


  • All funds, possessions and property shall be put to charitable purposes or to the benefit of any organisation or body that shares common aims with the Community group. The decision will be made by a majority vote at the Special General Meeting according to the wishes of the committee members present at the meeting.


  • The final account shall be checked and verified by an independent person.


11. Constitution Version Control


Version 1.0         Approved 15/01/2015       Reason Group Formation

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