CONSTITUTION OF THE SWIFTGEORGE RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

1. Name and area covered

1.1 The name of the association shall be the SwiftGeorge Residents’ Association.  For the purpose of this document it will be referred to as ‘the association’.

1.2 The association is for the residents of George and Swift Houses, Albert Road, Kilburn, London.

2. Aims

2.1 To promote and represent the interest of the residents and leaseholders in matters which affect their rights regarding the management, maintenance and improvements of their homes, local amenities and environment.

2.2 To provide regular information to members and consult with the community on matters of concern.

2.3 To build a working relationship and improve communications with L&Q.

2.4 To act as a negotiating body with any relevant L&Q division, the local authority and other statutory or voluntary bodies or individuals whose business interest directly or indirectly affect the members of the SwiftGeorge Residents’ Association.

2.5 To raise funds to meet the aims of the association.

2.6 To engender a sense of community and social cohesion between and amongst the residents and leaseholders.

3. Equal opportunity statement

3.1 The association recognises that society discriminates against certain groups. These groups include black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, women, lesbian and gay people, religious groups, young people, older people and the unemployed, among others.

3.2 The association is committed to placing equal opportunities at the core of all their practices, in the formulation of policies and in our relations with all people who come into contact with us.

3.3 The association will promote equality of opportunity to the members and the wider community we serve.

3.4 The association will comply with all statutory requirements where they apply, including the Equality Act 2010.

3.5 The association agrees with and supports L&Q’s equality and diversity policies.

3.6 The association will act as an advocate for vulnerable or marginalised residents to ensure that they have a voice.

4. Membership

4.1 Full membership is open to all residents who live in, and leaseholders who own properties in, George and Swift Houses, Albert Road, Kilburn, London, who are 18 and over and are interested in the work of the association. Full members shall have an equal vote.

4.2 The Secretary of the association shall keep a register of all members.

4.3 All members should actively seek to represent the association positively, especially with regard to the aims and our commitment to equality of opportunity.

4.4 All members shall receive a copy of the constitution and equal opportunity policy from the Secretary.

4.5 A member ceases to be a member automatically upon:

  • informing the Secretary in writing that they no longer wish to be a member; and
  • ceasing to be a resident or leaseholder a property George and Swift Houses, Albert Road, Kilburn, London or ceasing to be an L&Q resident (assured or secured), leaseholder or part owner.

4.6 In the event of gross misconduct, which includes persistent violation of the association’s equal opportunities policy, membership can be suspended or withdrawn by a two-third majority vote of the committee. In this situation the person has the right to have the action reviewed at the association’s next open meeting.

5. Meetings

5.1 The annual general meeting (AGM).

5.1.1 The Secretary will arrange for the AGM to take place within 15 months of the date of the previous AGM.

5.1.2 At the AGM the committee will:

  • report on its work during the previous year;
  • present a verified or audited account;
  • stand down and members will elect a committee for the next term of business;
  • consider any resolutions or proposals by members (this should include changes to the constitution); and
  • vote on changes to the constitution.

5.1.3 The Secretary will inform all members of the time and venue of the AGM at least 21 days before the meeting. A request for nominations the committee will be included in this information. A representative of L&Q must be invited to the AGM.

5.1.4 All nominations for committee members need to be with the Secretary 14 days before the AGM. If nominations exceed committee places then elections will take place, decided by simple majority.

5.1.5 The Secretary will send the following information to members and L&Q at least 14 days before the AGM:

  • A copy of the agenda;
  • Minutes of the last AGM;
  • Names and nominees to the committee;
  • Notice of resolutions or proposals (including changes to the constitution); and
  • A copy of the verified or audited annual accounts.

6. Other open meetings

6.1 The association shall hold a minimum of four open meetings a year (one will be the AGM). These meetings will be open to all local residents and leaseholders, and those attending shall have the right to make their opinions known. All decisions made at these meetings shall be by simple majority of members. Decisions voted on at these meetings will be binding on the committee.

6.1.1 The Secretary will notify members of the date, time and venue of meetings 14 days in advance.

6.2 A special general meeting open to all members of the association can be called in the following ways:

  • At the Chair’s discretion;
  • If three or more committee members request one in writing; and
  • If one third of the association, or 20 members, request one in writing.

6.2.1 Once the Secretary has received a request for a special general meeting, he or she will arrange for the meeting to take place within 28 days of the meeting being requested.

6.2.2 The Secretary will notify members of the time, date, venue and agenda for the meeting.

6.2.3 No business other than that stated on the agenda will be discussed. A simple majority of members will take decisions.

7. The committee

7.1 The association will be managed by a committee elected at the AGM.

7.2 The committee shall consist of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer (the executive officers) and other members. The committee will not exceed 15 members. The committee will seek to be as representative of the community as possible.

7.3 The AGM will elect the executive officers and other members of the committee.

7.4 The committee shall meet a minimum of four times a year.

7.5 The Secretary will ensure that minutes are taken at all committee meetings. These will be made available to the members, on request, after they have been agreed as an accurate record at the subsequent meeting.

7.6 Committee members will carry out the tasks given to them.

7.7 If a committee member fails to attend successive meetings without giving adequate apologies, the Chair shall ask, in writing, for their resignation.

7.8 The committee may co-opt people with specialist knowledge onto the committee. These people must agree to the aims of the association. A co-opted person will not be able to hold a position or vote.

7.9 The committee can establish a sub-committee, on a permanent or temporary basis. The sub-committee can be taken from all association members, but a committee member will chair the sub-committee.

8. Rules of procedure at all meetings

8.1 Quorum

8.1.1 The presence of ten per cent of members will constitute a quorate open meeting. All decisions made at a quorate open meeting of the association shall be carried by a majority vote.

8.1.2 The committee shall be deemed quorate if 33% of members, with voting rights, are present at the meeting. One of these must be either the Chair, Treasurer or Secretary.

8.1.3 In meetings where the quorum is not achieved, no decisions can be made and the meeting should be reconvened. If this situation occurs at the AGM, the Chair will reconvene the meeting one week from that date at the same venue. Any decisions taken at the reconvened AGM shall be carried by majority vote of those in attendance entitled to vote.

8.2 Voting

8.2.1 All questions or resolutions put forward at any meeting will be decided by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote. This will be done by a show of hands, except where a poll is demanded or directed.

8.2.2 In the case of an equal number of votes, the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.

8.3 Voting by proxy

8.3.1 If notified in advance, the Secretary can make arrangements for those members who are unable to exercise their vote personally to vote by proxy. Proxies may not speak on behalf of the person at the meeting.

8.4 Minutes

8.4.1 Minutes shall be taken at all the association’s meetings and kept by the Secretary.

8.4.2 The Secretary will make minutes available to members within seven days of a request.

8.4.3 Minutes will be distributed 14 days before the appropriate meeting.

8.4.4 Copies of general and committee meetings’ minutes will be available at the AGM.

8.5 Standing orders and rules

8.5.1 The committee shall have the power to adopt standing orders or rules for the association. Copies will be attached to the constitution.

9. Finance

9.1 All monies raised by the association or on its behalf will be used to further the aims of the association and for no other purpose.

9.2 The Treasurer shall keep proper receipt and payment accounts of the finances of the association and shall open and maintain a bank or building society account in the name of the association.

9.3 The Treasurer shall provide regular reports on the finances of the association to the committee.

9.4 The account shall have three signatories, nominated by the committee, one of which must be the Treasurer. No signatories shall be related or reside in the same house.

9.5 All cheques or drafts shall be signed by two or three signatories.

9.6 The Treasurer shall submit the accounts for audit to an auditor who has been appointed at the AGM by 31 March of each year. The auditor shall be someone independent of the association, such as a qualified auditor, or a representative of a community organisation or of L&Q. The accounts must be approved by the Resident Association Champion before any further grant assistance becomes payable.

9.7 The committee members at the first committee meeting after the AGM will decide how much petty cash the Treasurer can keep. Any amount over this must be paid into the association’s account.

9.8 The Treasurer is authorised to pay from petty cash any expenses occurred by members in carrying out the business of the association. Each payment must be supported by relevant receipts and recorded in the petty cash book.

9.9 The Treasurer will provide a list of petty cash payments at all committee meetings,

10. Information and communication

10.1 The association will provide information to all members on matters that relate to them.

10.2 Every member of the association will be given a copy of the constitution when they join. Any changes to the constitution will be distributed for discussion at the relevant meeting. Copies of the altered constitution will be distributed once changes have been ratified.

10.3 All the association’s business will be open to challenge by members. To enable this, copies of the minutes will be available to members on request from the Secretary.

11. Changes to the constitution

11.1 The constitution can be changed at an AGM or at a special general meeting called for that purpose.

11.2 Proposed changes to the constitution must be handed to the Secretary 28 days before an AGM or with the request for a special general meeting at which the proposal will be discussed.

11.3 Changes to the constitution will only be effective if agreed by 67% of the members voting at the meetings.

12. Dissolution

12.1 A proposal to dissolve the association can be put forward in two ways:

  • If the committee decides to dissolve the association they shall instruct the Secretary to convene a special meeting of the members for that purpose; or
  • If members wish to dissolve the association, at least 15 members should write to the Secretary proposing the dissolution. They should state their reasons and request a special general meeting to discuss and vote on the matter. The Secretary will convene a meeting to discuss and vote on the matter either way.

12.2 A proposal to dissolve the association shall take effect if agreed by 51% of people attending and voting at the meeting.

12.3 Funds and possessions (after the final accounts have been produced) will be handed to L&Q for a period of two years. If in that time another resident association is established on behalf of the residents of George or Swift Houses, Albert Road, London these funds and possessions may be released to them. If no association is established, a representative from L&Q will, after discussion with remaining committee members, distribute the funds and possessions to another association within L&Q.

12.4 All records relevant to the association will be placed with L&Q’s nominated representative for safekeeping.

13. Miscellaneous

13.1 The committee has the right to employ such persons (not being members of the association’s committee) on such terms as may be deemed necessary.

13.2 The committee may enter into any agreement, for the purpose of achieving the aims, which are deemed necessary (eg a management agreement for a community facility, or an estate agreement).

13.3 The committee agrees to give decision-making power to the executive officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) on matters that require a decision and arise between committee meetings.

13.4 The SwiftGeorge Residents’ Association will establish standing sub-committees for residents from individual landlords (or tenures).

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY OF THE SWIFTGEORGE RESIDENTS’ ASSOCATION

The SwiftGeorge Residents’ Association believes that any form of discrimination, either direct or indirect, is wrong. Harassment of any person or persons on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, disability, illness, age, dependents, class, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or identity, political persuasion, or financial situation will not be tolerated. This list is not exhaustive. We believe that such behaviour is counter-productive and harmful, not only to the association, but to our community.

All members of our community can, if given the opportunity, make a positive contribution and we will welcome and encourage those contributions. We will actively encourage residents to participate in the decision-making process, ensuring that no one is treated less favourably than another, especially on the grounds mentioned above.

The association will at all times operate within and actively promote its equal opportunities policy and report achievements at the annual general meeting.

Where harassment or discrimination (either real or implied) is brought to the association’s attention, we will offer our support to the victim and act in accordance with their wishes.

If committee members have harassed or discriminated against a resident and the association receives grant funding from L&Q, it should be reported to an L&Q Resident Association Champion. They will investigate the matter and seek a resolution.

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