Constitution for Cheltenham for Europe
The name of the group shall be Cheltenham for Europe.
2. Aims and Mission Statement
Cheltenham for Europe is a grass roots and non-party group which campaigns for close alignment with the European Union and for the UK to rejoin the EU as soon as possible.
We believe that:
- It is in the UK’s political, economic, security, social and environmental interests to stay as close as possible to the most progressive and democratic regional intergovernmental organisation in history and to rejoin it as soon as this is possible
- Young people and future generation of UK citizens should have the best possible prospects for their education and their careers as citizens of a free and united Europe
- UK society would continue to prosper from close interaction and exchange of goods, ideas and culture that we have with EU member states
- Most people in the UK share the values which the EU embodies – democracy, justice, tolerance, collaboration, human rights and the rule of law.
Membership is open to anyone with links to Cheltenham who shares the aims of the group and irrespective of their political affiliation. There is a joining fee which will be agreed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be payable by all members. Membership will begin as soon as payment has been received. If an annual membership fee is introduced, this will be agreed at the AGM. A list of members will be kept by the membership secretary. Members may resign at any time in writing to the secretary or by unsubscribing from email communications. Offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will be grounds for expulsion from the group.
4. Equal Opportunities
Cheltenham for Europe does not discriminate on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.
5. Officers and committee
The business of the group will be conducted by a Committee. The officers and committee members will be elected at the AGM. The committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year. The Committee will consist of a maximum of 12 members, and be composed of four officers and up to eight ordinary members. Additional members may be co-opted onto the committee at the discretion of the committee.
The officers 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 appointed by the Committee. 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. The Committee meetings will be open to any member of Cheltenham for Europe wishing to attend, who may speak but not vote.
6.1 Whenever possible the Annual General Meeting and Special General Meetings will be held in person. Other events organised by Cheltenham for Europe, including committee meetings, may be held using remote technology.
6.2 Annual General Meetings
Unless impossible because of truly exceptional circumstances, an Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM and no more than 9 months after the financial year end. All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time. Nominations for the committee may be made to the Secretary before the meeting, or at the meeting.
The quorum for the AGM will be 10% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.
At the AGM:-
- The Committee will present a report of the work of the Group since the previous AGM.
- The Committee will present the accounts of the group 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.
6.3 Special General Meetings
The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting (SGM) 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 twenty-one days of the receipt of the request by the secretary. 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 10% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.
Notwithstanding the above, the Secretary will automatically convene a SGM when a General Election is called. At that SGM, the membership shall decide by majority vote how Cheltenham for Europe will campaign..
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 three 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. In the case of a Special General Meeting called at the time of a General Election a vote will be taken.
An account will be maintained on behalf of the Association 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) the treasurer will keep a record.
Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting. An annual financial report will be presented at the AGM.
All money raised by or on behalf of Cheltenham for Europe is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.
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.
If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group. If it is agreed to dissolve the group, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to an organisation sharing the same aims. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.
This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of Cheltenham for Europe on 6 February 2017 and modified at the AGM on 29 April 2022
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