Our Constitution

Name

The name of the Organisation shall be Sustainable Crediton. The Steering Group could, in consultation with members, choose an alternative working title for everyday use. A formal name change for the Organisation shall be agreed at any Annual or Special General Meeting.

Core Purpose

The core purpose of Sustainable Crediton is to raise awareness and mobilise community action in order to respond effectively and positively to climate change and peak oil. Sustainable Crediton is dedicated to taking positive action to prevent further damage to the environment and prepare for changes in energy supply on four levels: individual, local, national and global.

Powers

In order to achieve its core purpose Sustainable Crediton may through its Steering Group:

  • Raise funds
  • Open bank accounts
  • Take out insurance
  • Employ staff
  • Organise courses and events
  • Work with other organisations and exchange information and advice with them
  • Do anything that is lawful which will help it to fulfil its core purpose.

Membership

  1. Membership of Sustainable Crediton shall be open to any individual without regard to age, disability, political or religious affiliation, race, sex or sexual orientation who is:
  • interested in helping Sustainable Crediton to achieve its purpose
  • willing to abide by the rules of Sustainable Crediton
  • willing to pay any annual subscription agreed by the Steering Group and
  • registered as a member in the Sustainable Crediton database

    2.  The membership of any member may be terminated for good reason by the Steering Group: Provided that the  member concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Steering Group, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

Management

  1. Sustainable Crediton shall be administered by a Steering Group of not less than six and not more than twelve individuals elected at Sustainable Crediton`s Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.). The Steering Group shall comprise of Steering Group Officers and Steering Group Members.
  2. The Officers of the Steering Group shall be: the Chair, the Vice Chair, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the Press Officer, the Membership Communications Officer, and the Publicity Officer. Officer roles may be combined.
  3. The Steering Group may co-opt onto the Steering Group members and nonmembers in an advisory and non-voting capacity that it feels will help to fulfil the purpose of Sustainable Crediton. The number of co-opted members, other than Action Group Leaders, shall be limited to six.
  4. The Steering Group shall have the ability to nominate and support Action Groups consisting of Steering Group Officers/Members and/or members in order to facilitate different programmes and activities. Action Group Leaders shall be co-opted onto the Steering Group in a non-voting capacity whilst their group is active and shall report progress on their programmes and activities to the Steering Group.
  5. The Steering Group shall agree a budget for major events or projects with the organiser. In the event that a budget increase is required, then the organiser shall submit an increase request to the Steering Group for consideration.
  6. The Steering Group shall meet as required but as a minimum bi-monthly. At least one third (minimum four) of the Steering Group including the Chair or Vice Chair must be present for a Steering Group meeting to take place.
  7. Decisions at Steering Group meetings shall where possible be by consensus, but in the absence of consensus, then decisions will be voted on by a show of hands. If there is a tied vote then the Chair (or in the Chair's absence, the Vice Chair) shall have a second vote.
  8. The Steering Group shall have the power to remove any Member of the Steering Group for good and proper reason.
  9. The Steering Group may appoint any other member of Sustainable Crediton as a Steering Group Member to fill a vacancy, provided that the maximum prescribed is not exceeded.
  10. All Steering Group Members are elected for a period of one year. All Steering Group Members shall retire at the AGM but may be re-elected as set out in 11. below.
  11. A nominating group, chaired by the Chair shall prepare a slate of consenting candidates for the positions of: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Press Officer, Membership Communications Officer, Publicity Officer and other Steering Group members. All Members of Sustainable Crediton shall have the right to be candidates for the Steering Group and Officers of Sustainable Crediton. The election for each position at the AGM shall be made by a show of hands. To be elected, a candidate shall receive the largest number of votes cast by the members present. The Chair shall conduct the election of Steering Group Members and Officers.

The Duties of the Officers

The duties of the Officers shall include but not be limited to:

  1. The Chair shall:
    • chair meetings of the Steering Group and Sustainable Crediton
    • steer Sustainable Crediton to satisfactory completion of its core purpose
    • work with other organisations and exchange information and advice with them
    • approve press releases
    • represent Sustainable Crediton at functions/meetings that Sustainable Crediton has been invited to or delegate a representative from the Steering Group/Sustainable Crediton and act as a spokesperson for Sustainable Crediton when necessary
  2. The Vice Chair shall:
    • Deputise for the Chair in the Chair's absence
  3. The Secretary shall:
    • prepare in consultation with the Chair the agenda for meetings of the Steering Group and Sustainable Crediton
    • take, keep and distribute minutes of all meetings
  4. The Treasurer shall:
    • supervise the financial affairs of Sustainable Crediton and
    • keep proper accounts that show all monies received and paid out by Sustainable Crediton.
  5. The Press Officer shall:
    • draft and issue press releases after approval by the Chair
    • make and maintain contacts and promote Sustainable Crediton with the press and media
    • act as a spokesperson for Sustainable Crediton when necessary.
  6. The Membership Communications Officer shall:
    • keep a membership list
    • collect and circulate any relevant information within Sustainable Crediton
  7. The Publicity Officer shall:
    • coordinate all aspects of publicity including but not limited to advertising, leaflet and flyer production
    • liaise with the Press Officer over press release content and timing
  8. The Action Group Leaders shall:
    • set and agree budgets for their programmes with the Steering Group
    • progress the Action Group's stated aims to a satisfactory completion
    • report progress to the Steering Group at Steering Group meetings

Finance

  1. All monies received by or on behalf of Sustainable Crediton shall be applied to further the aim of Sustainable Crediton and for no other purpose.
  2. Any bank accounts opened for Sustainable Crediton shall be in the name of Sustainable Crediton.
  3. Any cheques issued shall be signed by the Treasurer and any one of the other three nominated members of the Steering Group
  4. Sustainable Crediton shall ensure that its accounts are audited or independently examined every year.
  5. Sustainable Crediton may pay reasonable out of pocket expenses including travel, childcare and meal costs to members or Steering Group Members.

Annual General Meeting

  1. Sustainable Crediton shall hold an Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) no later than three months after the end of the financial year.
  2. All members shall be given at least fourteen days notice of the A.G.M. and shall be entitled to attend and vote. Voting shall be by a show of hands. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall have the casting vote.
  3. The business of the A.G.M. shall include:
    • receiving a report from the Chair on Sustainable Crediton`s activities over the year
    • receiving a report from the Treasurer on the finances of Sustainable Crediton
    • considering and voting on changes in annual subscription
    • electing a new Steering Group and
    • considering any other matter as may be decided.

Special General Meeting

A Special General Meeting may be called by the Steering Group or 10 members to discuss an urgent matter. The Secretary shall give all members fourteen days notice of any Special General Meeting together with notice of the business to be discussed.

Alterations to the Constitution

Any changes to this Constitution must be presented to the membership as part of the Notice calling for the Annual or Special General Meeting and agreed by a majority of those members present and voting at the Meeting.

Dissolution

Sustainable Crediton may be wound up at any time if agreed by a majority of those members present and voting at any Annual or Special General Meeting. In the event of winding up, any assets remaining after all debts have been paid shall be given to another organisation with a similar aim.