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Constitution February 2011


Defined Area:    The Berecroft Estate, Harlow, Essex CM18 

1. Aims and Objectives

a) To promote the rights and interests of residents in the defined area in
all matters related to housing and the environment.

b) To encourage community spirit and to work towards the provision of
facilities that will benefit everyone.

c) To promote housing and represent the interest of residents in consultation
with the Association, the Local Authority and other community agencies.

d) To promote Equal Opportunities and the elimination of all forms of discrimination.

e) To promote good working relationships and affiliation with organisations
that may benefit our members and the community.

f) To ensure the Group will be non-party political and non-sectarian in religion.

2. Membership

a) Membership of the Group is open to all residents in the defined
area irrespective of nationality, race, colour, age, sexuality, political or religious belief.

b) All meetings will be held in a location that is suitable and accessible to all those
wishing to attend.

c) The Group shall list all households in the defined area.

d) All residents in the defined area shall be called Full members (voting).

e) Young persons under the age of 18 living in the defined area shall be called
associate Members (non-voting).

f) Membership of the Group will be free to all members.

g) Membership ends when a member moves out of the area.

h) Members will conduct themselves in a reasonable and proper manner
during meetings in keeping with the Groups’ Code of Conduct and Standing Orders.
Any infringement of these may result in suspension and dismissal from the Group.

3. Management of the Group

a) The business of the Group must be conducted by a committee elected annually at either:

 An Annual General Meeting
 An Annual General Meeting in conjunction with a postal ballot of all residents living in the defined area.

b) The panel or committee will consist of a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer and at least  ? other members of the Group.

c) Only one person from each household may be elected to a principal or executive position on the committee.

d) The make-up of the committee should, as far as possible indicate the diversity of the Group’s membership.

e) Councillors of the Local Authority and Officers employed by the Association may not be elected to the committee.

f) A public meeting of the Group may only carry out the election or removal of committee members.

4. Affiliation

a) The Group has the right to affiliate to any relevant organisation that may be beneficial to the membership.  The decisions must be taken and agreed at a General or Annual General Meeting.       

5. Committee Meetings

b) The Committee/Panel must meet not less than ? times a year.  All members must be given at least 28 days notice.

c) The quorum (i.e. minimum number) for these meetings is one third of its elected membership, or ? committee members, whichever is lesser.

6. General Meetings

a) No fewer than ?  general meetings shall be held by the Group each year and will be open to all members.

b) The quorum for these meetings is one third of its membership or ? committee members, whichever is lesser.

7. Special General Meetings

a) The Secretary must arrange an SGM at the request of the majority of the committee, or having received a petition or request from at least  ?  members of the Group.

b) The Secretary must give at least 7 days notice of the holding of an SGM, which must take place within 21 days of receiving the request or petition.

8. Extraordinary General Meetings

a) Extraordinary General Meetings should be used for urgent decisions.  The Secretary must give at least 7 days’ notice of the holding of the meeting.

9. Alterations to the Constitution

b) Any proposal to make changes to this constitution must be submitted to the Secretary of the Group at least 21days before the meeting at which it is to be discussed.

c) At least 7 days notice of such meeting shall be given together with the wording of the proposed alteration.

d) Any alteration shall require the approval of a simple majority of those present and voting at the meeting.

10. Dissolution

a) The decision to formally dissolve the Group must be taken by the majority of the membership at a General Meeting. 

b) A public meeting shall be called giving at least 14 days notice and stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed at the meeting.

c) For the sole purpose of dissolution, a quorum need not apply and the Group may be dissolved by simple majority of those present.

d) All members must then be told of the decision with at least 21 days clear notice, when a General Meeting will be held to conclude the business of the Group.

11. Funds/Grant Aid

a) Funds or items received for the Association must be returned if the group ceases to conduct business.

b) Assets, financial and otherwise, remaining when the Group has satisfied its liabilities, shall be applied for such purpose of benefit to the community, as the meeting shall decide.

12. Finance

a) All money raised by the Berecroft Residents Association or on its behalf, will be used only to further the aims of the Berecroft Residents Association and for no other purpose.

b) The Treasurer shall keep proper receipt and payment accounts of the finances of the Berecroft Residents Association and shall open a bank or building society account in the name of the Berecroft Residents Association.

c) The Treasurer will provide a brief report to each committee meeting on the state of the financial accounts (payments made or received since the last meeting). 

d) The account shall have at least 3 members nominated by the committee, one of whom will be the Treasurer, as signatories. No signatories shall be related or live at the same address.

e) All cheques and instructions to the Berecroft Residents Association bankers shall be signed by at least TWO of the three agreed signatories.

f) The accounts of the Berecroft Residents Association shall be made available for inspection by any member of the Berecroft Residents Association or any organisation that funds the Berecroft Residents Association and requests to see them, within 14 days.  The request for inspection must be made to the Treasurer in writing.

g) The Treasurer is authorised to pay from Petty Cash, travel and other expenses to representatives of the Berecroft Residents Association undertaking work on behalf of the Berecroft Residents Association, provided that each payment is supported by a receipt, ticket or voucher.  Each payment of Petty Cash will be recorded and signed by the person receiving the payment and the Treasurer.  A list of Petty Cash payments will be provided at each Committee meeting.

(The Model Constitution of South Anglia Housing, incorporating clauses F1 to F
of the Berecroft Community Association Constitution relating to finance, has been adopted
by residents of The Berecroft Estate on the)

17TH March day of   November 2011 and is signed by:

Chairperson  Graham Birch

Secretary      Zulqar Cheema   







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