Labour Friends of Poland Constitution
Adopted on 25 October 2013
The name of the Organisation is Labour Friends of Poland.
Subject to the matters set out below the Organisation and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Steering Committee, constituted by clause G of this constitution (“the Steering Committee”). The area of benefit is the United Kingdom.
Our Objects are:
- To encourage greater number of Poles joining the Labour Party.
- To encourage greater number of Poles being involved with and supporting the Labour Party.
- To encourage greater number of Poles voting for Labour in elections.
- To increase understanding of the importance of Polish voters within Labour Party.
- To raise Polish voters voice, issues and concerns collectively to the Labour Party.
- To promote greater debate and education on Polish matters and to celebrate the positive contribution of Britain’s Polish population to national life.
- To provide a forum for the discussion, debate and formulation of policy on matters affecting the UK Polish community.
In furtherance of the objects but not otherwise this Steering Committee may exercise the following powers:
- power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Steering Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law;
- power to buy, take on lease on in exchange any property necessary for the achievement of the objects and to maintain and equip it for use;
- power subject to any consents required by law to sell, lease or dispose of all or any part of the property of the property of the Organisation;
- power to employ such staff (who shall not be the members of the Steering Committee) as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the objects and to make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and superannuation for staff and their dependants;
- power to co-operate with other organisations operating in furtherance of the objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;
- power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Steering Committee may think fit;
- power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects.
- Membership of the Organisation shall be open to any person over the age of 18 years who is a member of the Labour Party interested in furthering the objects and who has paid the annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Steering Committee.
- Every member shall have one vote.
- The Steering Committee may by unanimous vote and for good reason terminate the membership of any individual: Provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Steering Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.
F Honorary Officers
At the General Meeting of the Organisation the members shall elect from amongst themselves a chair, a secretary and a treasurer, who shall hold officer from the conclusion of that meeting.
G Steering Committee
- The Steering Committee shall consist of not less than 3 members nor more than 16 members being:
- the honorary officers specified in the preceding clause;
- not less than 1 and not more than 16 members elected at the annual general meeting who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting;
- The Steering Committee may in addition appoint not more than 2 co-opted members but so that no-one may be appointed as a co-opted member if, as a result, more than one third of the members of the Steering Committee would be co-opted members. Each appointment of a co-opted member shall be made at a meeting of the Steering Committee and shall take effect from the end of that meeting unless the appointment is to fill a place which has not then been vacated in which case the appointment shall run from the date when the post becomes vacant.
- All the members of the Steering Committee they may be re-elected or re-appointed.
- The proceedings of the Steering Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their member or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.
- Nobody shall be appointed as a member of the Steering Committee who is aged under 18 or who would if appointed be disqualified under the provisions of the following clause.
- No person shall be entitled to act as a member of the Steering Committee whether on a first or on any subsequent entry into office until after signing a declaration of acceptant and of willingness to act in the trusts of the Organisation.
H Election of officers and Steering Committee members
- Election of officers and Steering Committee members take place during General Meeting. Each officer and Steering Committee member is elected for two years.
2 Voting takes place by anonymous ballot. Candidates for officer and Steering Committee vacancies must submit their nominations to the Secretary at latest 14 days before the General Meeting. In the case of a vacancy for the Secretary position candidates must submit their nominations to the Chair of the Steering Committee.
I Determination of Membership of the Steering Committee
A member of the Steering Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:
- acts in contradiction to organisations’ aims and ethos, acts recklessly or dishonestly and when in that case by unanimous decision of the Steering Committee that person is voted to cease to be a member of the Steering Committee ; or
- becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs;
- is absent without the permission of the Steering Committee from all their meetings held within a period of 12 months and the Steering Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated; or
- notifies to the Steering Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least three members of the Steering Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect).
J Steering Committee Members not to be personally interested
- Subject to the provisions of sub-clause (2) of this clause no member of the Steering Committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Organisation or receive remuneration.
- Any member of the Steering Committee for the time being who is a solicitor, accountant or other person engaged in a profession may charge and be paid all the usual professional charges for business done by him or her or his or her firm when instructed by the other members of the Steering Committee to act in a professional capacity on behalf of the Organisation: Provided that at no time shall the majority of the members of the Steering Committee benefit under this provision and that a member of the Steering Committee shall withdraw from any meeting at which his or her own instruction or remuneration, or that of his or her firm, is under discussion.
- The Steering Committee members shall not be paid for their work done to govern the Organisation. To ensure equal opportunities, reasonable expenses, incurred to govern the organisation, might be reimbursed to the Steering Committee members. These include travel, food, childcare, care expenses and loss of income expenses incurred to attend Steering Committee meetings and governance training.
- If the Steering Committee members have a conflict of interest they must declare it and if appropriate, leave the meeting while this matter is being discussed or decided.
K Meetings and proceedings of the Steering Committee
- A special meeting may be called at any time by the chair or by any two members of the Steering Committee upon not less that 4 day’s notice being given to the other members of the Steering Committee of the matters to be discussed.
- The chair shall act as chair at meetings of the Steering Committee. If the chair is absent from any meeting, the members of the Steering Committee present shall choose one of their number to be the chair of the meeting before any other business is transacted.
- There shall be a quorum when at least over half of the number of members of the Steering Committee for the time being or three members of the Steering Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at a meeting.
- Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Steering Committee present and voting on the question but in the case of equality of votes the chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
- The Steering Committee shall keep minutes, in books kept for the purpose, of the proceedings at meetings of the Steering Committee and any sub-committee.
- Meetings can take form of physical meetings and virtual conference meetings.
- Decisions can also be taken via email communications by a majority of votes. Email decision to be valid only when an email is send to all Steering Committee members at the same time and sufficient time left for everyone to reply. Sufficient time means 5 days unless a decision is being taken within shorter space of time. The Secretary will minute each decision taken by email and distribute to all Steering Committee members.
- The Steering Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
- The Steering Committee may appoint one or more sub-committees consisting of three or more members of the Steering Committee for the purpose of making any inquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which in the opinion of the Steering Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee: provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committees shall be fully and promptly reported to the Steering Committee.
- The funds of the Organisation, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Steering Committee in the name of the Organisation at such bank as the Steering Committee shall from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by at least two members of the Steering Committee.
- All funds and property belonging to the Organisation shall be applied only in furthering the objects and no other purpose.
- Any income/expenditure shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer who will be accountable to ensure funds are utilized effectively and that the Organisation stays within budget.
- An annual financial report shall be presented at the AGM. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request.
- The Organisation’s accounting year shall run from 06 April one year to 5 April next year.
- The most recent annual accounts can be seen by member on request.
The Steering Committee shall
- keep accounting records for the Organisation;
- preparation of annual statements of account for the Organisation;
N General Meetings
- They shall be General Meetings of the Organisation held every two years.
- Every General Meeting shall be called by the Steering Committee. All the members of the Organisation shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.
- Before any other business is transacted at the first annual general meeting the persons present shall appoint a chair of the meeting. The chair shall be the chair of subsequent annual general meetings, but if he or she is not presents, before any other business is transacted, the persons present shall appoint a chair of the meeting.
- The Steering Committee shall present to each General Meeting the report and accounts of the Organisation for the preceding years.
O Procedure at General Meetings
- The secretary or other person specially appointed by the Steering Committee shall keep a full record of proceedings at every general meeting of the Organisation.
- There shall be a quorum when at least one tenth of the number of members of the Organisation for the time being or two third of the Steering Committee members, whichever is the greater, are present at any general meeting.
If the Steering Committee decided that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Organisation it shall call a meeting of all members of the Organisation, of which not less than 21 days’ notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting the Steering Committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Organisation. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Organisation as the members of the Organisation may determine.
R Arrangements until next General Meeting
Until the next general meeting takes place this constitution shall take effects.
This constitution was adopted on the date mentioned above.