The name of the group shall be the Belhus and Ockendon Community Forum
The Forum is established to:
- Represent all Residents, Community groups, Statutory departments, and local Businesses with an interest in Belhus and Ockendon Wards, South Ockendon, (the area of benefit) to create a platform for community debate and action, that will seek to educate and improve the social welfare, recreation and leisure facilities of our residents and the environs of our community
- Provide mechanisms for a safe, creative and vibrant community by working in partnership with individuals and agencies, enabling effective two-way communication that will strengthen our community and provide facilities that will be an alternative route for raising concerns and other issues on local matters
- Promote and carry out, or assist in promoting and carrying out, research, surveys and investigations relevant to the community and publish the useful results obtained
- Organise, or assist in organising, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and community events to promote community engagement
In order to achieve its objects the Forum may:
- Raise money
- Open Bank Accounts
- Take out Insurance
- Make such payments as shall be necessary
- Work with any other group organisation and individuals deemed necessary and exchange information
- Do anything that is lawful which will help fulfil its aims
- Membership of the Forum shall be open to any resident over the age of 16yrs of age, living or located within the area of benefit, or any voluntary organisation, community group, local business that is interested in helping the Forum to achieve its aims, is willing to abide by the rules of the Forum and also willing to pay any subscription agreed by the Management Committee
- Membership shall be available to anyone without regard to gender, race, nationality, disability, sexual preference, religion or belief
- Each Individual Member shall have one vote at General Meetings once membership form is completed and handed in to Forum, Secretary
- Each Organisation shall have one vote and appoint a Representative to attend and vote on its behalf as a Group Member at General Meetings. A second representative may deputise where necessary. Both contacts must be indicated on membership form and given to Forum Secretary
- Interested parties not fitting membership criteria (4a) may opt to become Associate Members which enables them to participate in General Meetings but not have a vote.
- The membership of any member may be terminated for good reason by the Management Committee, but a member has a right to be heard by the Management Committee before a final decision is made.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Members are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a reasonable manner when attending meetings or Forum activities
- We are a non-party political organisation and embrace inclusion and diversity. Racism, sexism, ageist, homophobic, and discriminatory language aimed at disabled people, will not be tolerated.
- All members are to be honest and open in their dealings and show respect for each other.
- Speakers need to be polite and not use raised voices or offensive language and to direct their comments through the Forum Chairperson.
- Speakers need to follow the subject under discussion and allow one person at a time to speak. The Chair will ensure every member present has an opportunity to speak on each issue.
- In the event of there being a conflict of interest (or a potential conflict of interest) this must be disclosed to the meeting and a decision made as to whether the member needs to absent themselves from the meeting whilst the subject is under discussion.
- All members shall abide by the decisions taken at the meeting.
- If any member does not abide by the Code of Conduct there will be a warning that they may be asked to leave the meeting. Up to three warnings may be given.
- The Forum shall be administered by a Management Committee of Officers and not more than six other members elected at the Forum’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
- The officers shall be the Chairperson, the Secretary, the Treasurer.
- The Management Committee shall meet at least six times a year, times and frequency to be determined by Management Committee. All meetings shall be open to the public, have an agenda and be recorded in the minutes by the Secretary.
- The Quorum for meetings is for two Officers to be in attendance plus three other voting
- Matters at all times shall be decided by a simple majority vote. The Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote when necessary.
- Minuted accounts of meetings must be approved by Management Committee before being circulated.
- Members who have attended a minimum of two meetings in between AGMs will be entitled to vote and stand for election to the Management Committee at the AGM.
- Applications to stand will be accepted on receipt of a completed Nomination Form in the period designated by Management Committee.
- Management Committee reserves the right to co-opt members to the Committee when a vacancy arises. They will serve until the next AGM, where they may stand for election.
DUTIES of the OFFICERS
- The Chairperson shall Chair meetings of the Committee, represent the Forum at functions/ meetings and activities to which the Forum are invited, act as spokesperson for the group when necessary.
- The Secretary shall take and keep minutes of meetings, prepare, with the Chair an Agenda for meetings, maintain the membership list, deal with correspondence, collect and circulate any relevant information within the Forum.
- The Treasurer shall supervise the financial affairs of the Forum and keep proper accounts that show all transactions of income and expenditure.
- Any money obtained by the Belhus and Ockendon Community Forum shall be used only for furthering the aims of the Forum.
- Any bank accounts opened for the Forum shall be in the name of Belhus and Ockendon Community Forum.
- Any cheques or electronic banking transactions issued must be authorised by the Treasurer and one other nominated officer. The three officers shall be the nominated signatories.
- The Treasurer shall maintain accounting records and produce an annual summary . The summary must be signed off by an independent witness. A current financial update will be given at each meeting. Subject to the request of two or more committee members the accounts must be available at three days’ notice.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- The Forum shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the month of September.
- All members shall receive at least fourteen days’ notice of the AGM and shall be entitled to attend and vote. The Quorum for an AGM shall be ten voting members.
- The business of the AGM shall include receiving a report from the Chairperson on the Forums activities over the year, a Financial Report from the Treasurer, and the election of a new Management Committee.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
Special General Meetings may be called by the Management Committee to discuss an urgent matter. The Secretary shall give all members fourteen days’ notice of a Special General Meeting plus notice of the matter to be discussed.
Members may also request a Special Meeting by writing to the Management Committee with a description of the issue and at least two signatures. If the Management Committee agrees the request, the above notice shall be given. All members are entitled to attend and vote.
ALTERATION to the CONSTITUTION
Once adopted, the constitution may only be amended by reference to a Special General Meeting at which a majority of two thirds of those present and eligible to vote is required for ratification. Eligibility requires a completed membership form and attendance at two previous meetings in last twelve months.
The decision to dissolve the Forum must be made at a Special General Meeting and any assets distributed to a charitable organisation to be agreed by Management Committee
This Constitution was adopted at the Inaugural Meeting of Belhus and Ockendon Community Forum held on 25th September 2017 at South Ockendon Centre, Derry Avenue RM15 5DX