Constitution (As of 6th April 2014)
(latest amendments made following EGM on 6th April 2014)
The name of the organisation is CamLETS, sometimes referred to as ‘the System’ in this Constitution.
2 GUIDING PRINCIPLES
2.1 To develop the experience of community in and around Cambridge, through the establishment of a local exchange trading system.
2.2 To stimulate the creation of social and economic benefits.
3.1 Membership is to be open to any individual or group agreeing with the aims and rules of the System, within the terms of the Membership Agreement (see Appendix 1 to this Constitution).
3.2 Membership requires
(a) the payment of membership fees, renewable annually or otherwise at the discretion of the Core Group; and
(b) acceptance of the CamLETS Constitution.
3.3 The procedure for termination of membership is laid out in the Membership Agreement.
3.4 CamLETS is apolitical and non-religious.
4 LEGAL STATUS
4.1 CamLETS is an unincorporated members’ club of people willing to trade amongst themselves.
5 ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
5.1 The rights and authority of CamLETS are vested in all members, who delegate that authority to a Core Group to act on their behalf.
5.2 The Core Group
(a) is responsible for ensuring that the tasks of running CamLETS are carried out effectively by the appointed Officers, in particular in:
• supporting members in their trading activities
• recording accurately members’ transactions and supplying accounts;
• publishing directories;
(b) will always seek to maintain two-way communication with CamLETS members;
(c) will aim to maintain the viability of the system.
5.3 Core Group Meetings
(a) will be publicised in advance through the newsletter and shall aim to be held bi-monthly to a schedule which supports the production of members’ mailings;
(b) will include the CamLETS AGM which will take place annually in November;
(c) will have an agenda, drawn up by the Secretary and Chair, to ensure that all matters are discussed, possibly but not necessarily, with a division into two parts, Administrative and Policy Sessions (see Appendix 2);
(d) are fully minuted; copies are sent to each Core Group member and, upon request, to any CamLETS member;
(e) are quorate when five members of the Administration Group are present.
5.4 The Core Group is for maintaining the smooth running of CamLETS in matters of routine administration. Therefore:
(a) any Officer who is absent from two Consecutive Core Group meetings without good reason or notice shall be deemed to have resigned their position and shall be notified to that effect by the Chair; the Officer has the right of appeal at the Core Group meeting following notification.
(b) if the Officer does not appeal or if the appeal fails the Core Group will then coopt a replacement from the CamLETS membership as soon as possible; members so appointed may hold office until the following AGM, and are eligible for re-selection. Officers should give at least two months notice where possible before stepping down.
(c) any Core Group member may be dismissed by a three-quarters majority vote of the Administration Group, should their conduct seriously interfere with the principle of smooth running.
5.5 The Core Group is attended by all those who have taken on formal roles in running CamLETS; these CamLETS members form the Administration Group. Any CamLETS member may attend and speak, but only members of the Administration Group may vote at the Core Group. Non-members of CamLETS may attend, but neither vote nor speak, except briefly at the invitation of the Chair.
5.6 For Core Group Meetings:
(a) all Officers must submit a brief written report to the Secretary or Chair to be incorporated into the minutes;
(b) each Officer will report briefly on activities within their area of responsibility since the last Core Group meeting.
6 DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
6.1 Officers are appointed annually at the AGM. The maximum period of time a CamLETS member may continuously hold any single role is three years. After the previous maximum of three years has been served, the period of time a specific member may continue in the role thereafter may be extended by a period of a year in exceptional circumstances and this will be reviewed annually by the AGM. Continuity of efficient administration and regular infusion of ‘new blood’ in the Administration Group of the Core Group are both to be encouraged by:
(a) publishing requests for other CamLETS members to ’shadow’ existing Officers for each role in the April Newsletter;
(b) publishing a list of candidates for all roles in the June Newsletter;
(c) assessing the likelihood of any gaps at the June Core Group Meeting and taking appropriate action.
6.2 At the Administration Session of the AGM:
(a) the Chair will report on the previous year’s activity, with a brief written report from each Officer having been published in the Newsletter prior to the AGM;
(b) prospective Officers will be encouraged to speak about their views concerning the next twelve months.
6.3 At the Policy Session of the AGM, the Officers for the forthcoming year will be selected; this defines the new Administration Group.
6.4 For all Core Group decisions, agreement by consensus is the preferred means of decision-making, although voting is always an option. A vote may be called at the request of any one member and may be secret at the request of any one member. The mechanism will be one member, one vote and a simple majority will be accepted except in situations specified in this Constitution.
6.5 Extraordinary General Meetings:
(a) will be convened by the Core Group, giving at least seven days’ notice, at the written request of any ten or more members of the CamLETS;
(b) may be attended by any CamLETS member, each of whom may vote (non-members of CamLETS may speak but not vote).
6.6 Difficult or time-consuming matters will be delegated to a Working Party, convened for the specific task and disbanded afterwards.
6.7 Proposals to share roles should be brought to the Core Group for agreement.
7 RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES AND COMPLAINTS
7.1 Disputes and complaints that cannot be resolved informally will be dealt with by a Working Party convened by the Chair of the Core Group. The Chair holds a confidential permanent file of all formal written complaints which must be handed over to the new Chair as soon as possible after the AGM. At regular intervals the Chair will bring to the Core Group suggestions about expunging the complaints. With the permission of the CamLETS member who has made a formal complaint, the Core Group Chair may contact the member about whom this has been lodged to offer them the opportunity to provide ‘their side of the story’, also to be kept permanently on file. They will also be informed that any of all of their listings can be removed from the Directory, should further similar complaints be received.
7.2 In establishing such a Working Party, the Chair will take particular care always:
(a) that the Working Party is composed of members not directly connected with the issue under discussion; and
(b) to be able to justify to the Core Group (if required, at the next meeting) the choice of individuals selected for the Working Party.
7.3 Should the Working Party be unable to resolve the dispute, it should report back to the next Core Group Policy Session for further discussion/action.
8A.1 Money received will be paid into the CamLETS account held at an ethical bank, or held as petty cash up to the sum of £50.
8A.2 The Core Group will decide the three signatories to the account, one of whom will always be the Sterling Treasurer.
8A.3 (a) The sterling budget will be prepared in the months leading up to the AGM. (b) The sterling budget will be formally presented for implementation at the AGM.
(c) Any member can request an update of the system’s accounts with two weeks’ notice; these will, in any case, be presented at the Administrative Session of each Core Group meeting.
d) CamLETS requires all members to pay the sterling renewal fee by standing order or to make a credible arrangement with the sterling treasurer.
8A.4 No member shall derive any sterling financial benefit from the system other than the payment of authorised expenses.
8A.5 No expenditure will be automatically sanctioned without the agreement of the Core Group.
8B.1 Cams received through subscriptions or other sources will be paid into CamLETS account #1.
8B.2 The signatories for account #1 will be the Cam Treasurer, General Secretary and the Trading Activator.
(a) The cam budget will be prepared in the months leading up to the AGM.
(b) The cam budget will be formally presented for implementation at the AGM.
(c) Any member can request an update of the system’s accounts with two weeks’ notice; these will, in any case, be presented at each Core Group meeting.
8B.4 Members can be paid for administrative and development work within the agreed budget.
8B.5 No expenditure will be automatically sanctioned without the agreement of the Core Group. A contingency fund of 100 cams will be allocated which can be spent at the discretion of the Cam Treasurer with any disbursements reported at the following Core Group meeting.
8C CamLETS is a not-for-profit organisation.
(a) Any sterling or cam surplus or deficit due to the running costs will be taken into consideration in setting the following year’s budgets.
(b) The sterling budget will aim to maintain a reserve of three to six months’ running costs.
(c) The cam budget will aim to balance within the range +/- 500 cams.
9 CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
9.1 Changes to the Constitution can only be made at the AGM or at an EGM. Full details of any proposed changes will first be circulated to all members via the Newsletter.
9.2 The changes will be debated in the Policy session of the General Meeting.
9.3 Any changes to the Constitution (including the roles of Officers) can be made only when at least two-thirds of the Administration Group are in attendance and then by a two-thirds majority vote of the meeting.
10 WINDING UP
10.1 The System can only be wound up after a democratic consultation process. A document will be circulated to all members explaining the circumstances and detailing the time and place of an Extraordinary General Meeting (see paragraph 6.5), four to six weeks later, to discuss ways of enabling the System to continue. Members will be encouraged to come forward as candidates to take over the various Administrative roles.
10.2 Following the Extraordinary General Meeting, within four weeks a postal ballot of the membership will be held to decide the future of the System. The System will be wound up if two-thirds of the votes cast call for winding up. The ballot papers and results will be available at a Final Core Group Meeting. Full details must be sent to all members at least fourteen days before this meeting.
10.3 If the System is to be wound up, those members with accounts significantly in commitment (the amount to be decided at the Final Core Group Meeting), will be given a reasonable period of time in which to compensate the membership. Members whose balances are significantly in credit will be identified at this meeting and suggestions made to assist them in balancing their accounts. At the end of this period, the names of those with large outstanding commitments will be made known to the members.
10.4 After settling all debts and obligations, any remaining CamLETS assets will be entrusted to ethical organisations to be selected at the Final Core Group Meeting.