Here’s a little intro…
A Community Forum is an independent non political voluntary group made up of representatives from the local community including residents, schools, local businesses, voluntary, community and faith groups!
We are allocated an annual budget from Thurrock Council and can apply for funding from other sources. We use this money to improve or create local projects to benefit the local community. By attending the forum meetings you can have a say in how this money is spent.
Meetings are also regularly attended by local councillors, police and other agencies. This is a two way conversation, local people can raise issues & concerns and the agencies can involve forums in consultation and information sharing.
The name of the association shall be “Orsett Community Forum”.
Orsett Community Forum is established to represent all those with an interest in Orsett, and encompassed within the catchment area defined by a General Committee. By working in partnership with all relevant interest groups, voluntary/community groups, government departments, statutory authorities and individuals, Orsett Community Forum seeks to provide for improvements within the local environs for an involved and valued community.
Orsett Community Forum will:
· Strengthen local community networks and develop constructive and effective partnerships between local people and the Council
· Provide an additional route for the public to raise concerns and issues on local matter and communicate these to Thurrock Council
· Provide information to local residents, businesses, groups, and all interested parties within the local area, and work towards developing a community spirit by holding local events that will bring the community together
· Achieve funding for local initiatives from Thurrock Council, and from other relevant bodies/organisations as appropriate.
· Form links with local health and education providers, alongside other service providers in the community including the police.
Full membership of Orsett Community Forum shall be open to individuals, community groups, voluntary organisations, partnership agencies and business representatives that are based in, or have an interest in, the area as previously defined.
Each member organisation shall appoint one representative entitled to attend and vote on its behalf at general meetings of Orsett Community Forum. A deputy may be appointed where necessary.
Honorary members may be appointed at the discretion of the General Committee, and may include such bodies as police authorities, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, and Local Ward Councillors. Honorary members shall not be entitled to vote.
Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner acceptable to the General Committee when attending meetings or any functions in connection with the Community Forum. Failure to meet the required standard may result in exclusion from the Forum.
Voting members should express a declaration of interest on financial matters. Any vested interest should be declared at the start of any relevant meeting, and the member will abstain from voting.
Membership of the Forum shall be open to any person regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.
4. Community Forum Officers
A Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Orsett Community Forum and shall hold office to the conclusion of the following AGM but shall be eligible for re-
election. After the AGM, the chair must inform Thurrock Association of Forums who the new officers are.
5. General committee
The affairs of the Orsett Community Forum shall be directed by a General Committee, which shall comprise of the Officers plus a minimum of four and a maximum of eight other elected full members.
The members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Orsett Community Forum and shall hold office for a period of one year. Members shall be eligible for re-election excepting that no member shall hold office for more than three years. On the expiry of such period one further year must elapse before any member again becomes eligible for re-election, unless there are no candidates for election.
The Orsett Community Forum may also co-opt committee members at a general meeting in the event of a vacancy on the committee.
Honorary Members shall be invited by the Committee to attend meetings but shall maintain a non-voting status.
The General Committee may establish such sub-committees as it sees fit and all sub-committees shall submit minutes to the Forum
7. Meetings of Orsett Community Forum
An Annual General Meeting shall be held at a time and place determined by the General Committee giving the public at least 21 days notice of such. No more than 15 months shall have elapsed since the preceding AGM.
In exceptional circumstances, the Chair of the Committee may call a Special General Meeting if so requested in writing, signed by a minimum of eight full members of Orsett Community Forum and giving reasons for the request.
The General Committee shall meet not less than five times a year, the actual frequency and timing to be determined by the Committee. Open public meetings will take place not less than 4 times a year, the actual frequency and timing to be determined by the Committee.
Quorum – For a valid Open meeting to be held there must be at least 2 of the officers plus 3 other full members in attendance. For a valid Committee meeting to be held, there must be at least 1 officer and 2 other adults in attendance.
Voting – At all times matters shall be decided by simple majority voting. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Minutes – Minutes of all meetings shall be maintained by the Secretary and approved by the General Committee.
A bank account in the name of Orsett Community Forum shall be opened with a bank approved by the General Committee. All cheques must be signed by not less
than 2 authorised signatories.
The treasurer shall maintain accounting records and produce an annual summary for the AGM. The accounts will also require an annual audit, commissioned by an independent auditor.
A current financial report will be made available at each meeting. Subject to the request of 2 or more committee
members, the accounts must be made available on 72 hours notice.
9. Amendments to 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. For eligibility to vote, membership must have been held for a minimum of two months.
If the general Committee decides by a majority vote that Orsett Community Forum is to dissolve, a Special General Meeting shall be called to ratify that decision. A majority of two thirds of those present and eligible (as in clause 8) to vote will be required to endorse the committee decision. Any excess funds held at that time and available for distribution shall be donated to an agreed charity.
10. In case of an extreme emergency, for example, a major Disaster/Pandemic, extra measures will be undertaken. This would apply to face to face meetings, AGM and re-selection of a new Committee.
By Angela Savage
Orsett Community Forum operates an Equal Opportunity Policy and a Safeguarding Policy
Thank you for taking the time to read this document