Constitution

1) NAME

The name of the organisation is Waltham Forest LETS, referred to as “the system” in this Constitution.

2) AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To develop and encourage the experience of community in and around Waltham Forest through the establishment of a local exchange trading system.

To stimulate the creation of social and economic benefits by and for its members and people of Waltham Forest and beyond.

3) MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the system shall be open without prejudice to any individual or organisation sympathetic to the aims of the system, subject to restrictions which may be applied by the management group in exceptional circumstances, such as abuse of the system.

Membership of the system shall be dependant on a) the payment of membership fees, renewable annually or otherwise at the discretion of the management group; and b) the applicants’ endorsement of the Waltham Forest LETS Rules and Constitution.

Waltham Forest LETS is apolitical and will not affiliate to any party political organisation.

4) LEGAL STATUS
Waltham Forest LETS is an unincorporated members’ club of people willing to trade amongst themselves.

5) ORGANISATIONAL BASIS
The rights and authority of Waltham Forest LETS are vested in all members, who delegate that authority to a management group to act on their behalf.

An advisory group is to be initiated at the first annual general meeting.

6) FUNCTIONS OF THE LETS MANAGEMENT GROUP
The management group undertakes the executive management of the system, apportioning such roles and functions as necessary to maintain the system in the interests of the membership as a whole, including:
– Maintaining an up-to-date list of all members
– Recording accurately members’ transactions and supplying accounts
– Publishing directories
– Communicating with the membership and taking note of their opinions
– Maintaining the financial viability of the system

The management group includes all those who have taken on the tasks of running the system, and especially the administrators, accountants, treasurers and directory producers.

Only members of the system can join the management group.

The first management group of the system shall consist of the initiating group and any other members co-opted by a majority of the initiating group at the Waltham Forest LETS launch meeting. The management will arrange and publicise to all members a first AGM within 12 months of their first meeting.

7) MANAGEMENT GROUP MEETINGS
The management group shall arrange and determine the timing and frequency of its meetings. This will be at least every 3 months, and more frequently at the outset.

The management group shall publicise its meetings in advance to all members, normally through the regular system mailing or newsletter.

The management group shall keep minutes of all its meetings, and make these available to any members on request.

The management group meetings are open for any member to attend and make a contribution.

The quorum shall be a majority or four members of the management group, whichever is larger.

Any management group member who is absent from three consecutive meetings without good reason or notice shall be deemed to have resigned from their position, and shall be notified to that effect.

The management group may co-opt new members onto the group, given the consent by the majority vote of the entire group. Members so appointed hold office only until the following AGM, but are eligible for re-election at the meeting. Members may also be appointed for a shorter trial period.

Any management group member may be dismissed by a three-quarters majority vote of the entire group, for reasons of exceptional mismanagement or gross misconduct.

8) FUNCTIONS OF THE LETS ADVISORY BOARD
The functions of the advisory group are as follows:
– To oversee and advise the management group on the organisation and development of the system as a whole
– To feed back information and advice on the management, organisation and direction of the system between the members and the management group
– To act as a member liaison and support group, presenting the proposals, opinions, advice and complaints of any members who may be unable to speak directly to the management group
– To adjudicate in any cases of dispute between members, or between members and the management group

The advisory group is composed of members of the system, who are not presently carrying out the regular tasks of running the system.

At least one advisory group member will normally attend regular management group meetings.

9) GENERAL MEETINGS
The management group shall arrange general meetings (including extraordinary general meetings at either the request of their own meeting, or at the request of at least four members of the system.

At least 28 days notice of annual general meetings, as least fourteen days notice of each general meeting, and at least seven days notice of an extraordinary general meeting shall be given to members.

Membership entitles each member to vote at any general meeting.

Consensus vote shall be the preferred means of decision making.

10) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
The management group shall organise an annual general meeting once every calendar year.

The members at the AGM shall elect a management group and an advisory group.

The management group shall determine the exact method of election prior to each AGM. This method must be publicised to the membership with the notice of the AGM.

Nominations for membership of the management and advisory groups are invited before the start of the AGM. Any member in good standing is eligible for election at the AGM.

11) FINANCE
Any monies received shall be paid into the Waltham Forest LETS bank account. The management group shall decide from time to time, with which bank the system account is held.

Any monies received or paid in the name of the system, shall be paid into or from the system bank account. The management group shall decide from time to time, which signatories can be accepted for financial transactions with the bank.

No member shall derive any sterling benefit from the system, other than the payment of reasonable expenses.

Members can be paid in local currency at a rate determined by the management group, for work carried out in agreement with the management group.

Any management group member who carries out an agreed activity on behalf of the system will not be held personally liable for reasonable debts, and will not be entitled to be indemnified from the system funds, provided that no payment shall be made, or obligations entered into, which cannot be met from balances of funds held by the system.

A copy of the most recent annual statement of accounts (in both sterling and local currency) shall be made available to any member on request, and shall be presented at each AGM.

Waltham Forest LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. Any surplus funds over and above the running costs and development of the system will be directed to the Waltham Forest LETS Community fund.

The Waltham Forest LETS Community Fund will be subject to consultation with the members at a meeting, publicised to all members in advance. Members may vote in person or by proxy. Decision-making will be by majority vote, and will include the votes of all the members of the management group and advisory groups.

12) CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
Any changes to this constitution can only be made by a two-thirds majority vote at a general meeting. At least two-thirds of the management group and five other members shall attend. Notices giving full details of the proposed changes shall be posted to all members at least fourteen days before the meeting.

13) WINDING UP
The system can only be wound up after a democratic consultation process with all the members. A questionnaire will first be circulated to all members inviting feedback, and nominations for the various management roles. At least one month thereafter, a notice of an extraordinary general meeting will be sent to all members at least three weeks before it is held. The notice will invite all members to attend to discuss ways of enabling the system to continue, and encourage members to come forward as candidates for the various management roles.

Following the extraordinary general meeting, voting papers will be sent to all members to decide the future of the system. The system can only be wound up by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership by ballot, the result of which shall be available at a further general meeting. At least two-thirds of the management group and five other members shall attend. A notice giving full details will have been posted to all members at least fourteen days before the meeting.

If the system is to be wound up, those members with accounts in debit to significant extent (the amount to be decided by consensus at the meeting) will be given a reasonable period of time in which to repay the bulk of their debit to the membership. Members whose balances are significantly in credit will be identified, and efforts made to assist them in balancing their accounts. As the end of this period, the names of those with large outstanding debits will be made known to the members.

After settling all debts and obligations, any remaining property shall be transferred to an organisation with an ethical track record, to be decided at the meeting.

THE END

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