CONSTITUTION OF ST ALBANS DISTRICT GREEN PARTY

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1 TITLE AND STATUS

  1. 1.1  The name of the local party shall be St Albans District Green Party (hereafter SADGP).

  2. 1.2  SADGP is a constituent part of The Green Party of England & Wales (hereafter GPEW) and is subject to its rules and constitution.

  3. 1.3  SADGP is also part of the Eastern Region.

  4. 1.4  The geographical area of SADGP is the area administered by St Albans City and District Council plus any other areas that are included in the Parliamentary Constituency of St Albans.

2 AIMS

2.1 The object of SADGP is to promote the aims of GPEW as stated in its Constitution:

a) to develop and implement ecological policies consistent with the Philosophical Basis of the Party as expressed in Policies for a Sustainable Society;

b) to win seats at all levels of government;

c) to organise any non-violent activity which will publicise and further these aims.

3 MEMBERSHIP

3.1 The membership consists of all GPEW members resident within the geographical area of SADGP and is also open to any GPEW member living or working in or near the geographical area.

3.2 Members may not be a member of another political party (other than Green Parties abroad) at the same time. Should a member join another political party then they immediately cease to be a member of SADGP.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP

3.4 SADGP may decide to operate a category of Associate membership, which does not confer membership of the GPEW. Associate members will be encouraged to join the GPEW.

3.5 Associate members will have the right to attend and speak at all meetings of their local party, but can only vote on matters of local activity.

3.6 The subscription rates for Associate membership will be fixed at the SADGP AGM each year and the monies will accrue to SADGP.

3.7 All Associate members must adhere to the objects and aims of SADGP.

3.8 SADGP may decide to cease associate membership at an EGM or an AGM by a majority vote provided that advance notice (*see 11) has been given. In such a vote, only national members of the Green Party may vote.

Disputes

3.9 SADGP will seek to resolve any disputes between members through discussion and conciliation. The Dispute Resolution Committee may be consulted and involved if considered appropriate. However, SADGP has the right and responsibility to take disciplinary action (including suspension or expulsion from SADGP) against any local member who has acted against the aims and agreed policies of the group or brought it into disrepute. Such decisions can only be made at a properly constituted, in quorum monthly meeting where advance notice (* see 11) of the matter has been given. The national disciplinary procedures shall be used for national members.

4 OFFICE-HOLDERS OF ST ALBANS DISTRICT GP

4.1 SADGP shall elect office-holders at the AGM. These shall include a Chair, a Local Party Contact, a Treasurer, and an Election Agent. Office-holders may be elected as job-shares.

4.2 Nominations shall be proposed and seconded, and won by a simple majority vote. Any me mber can ask for a secret ballot.

4.3 The AGM has the discretion not to fill posts if no suitable nominations are forthcoming or to propose the merging of posts or the creation of other posts with the agreement of a simple majority.

4.4 Should any officer-holder, fail to attend three consecutive monthly meetings without good reason or apology, SADGP may co-opt another person to act in their place.

4.5 In the event of a vacancy any office-holder may be co-opted at the next monthly meeting.

4.6 Office-holders may be de-selected at the AGM or an EGM.

5 MEETINGS AND DECISION-MAKING

5.1 The business of SADGP shall be decided and managed by monthly meetings open to all members . Non-members can attend if members agree.

5.2 Motions should be proposed and seconded, and will be carried by a simple majority vote of members present.

5.3 Those unable to attend may make their views known to the meeting, either in writing or through representation by another member, but only those in attendance will be entitled to vote.

5.4 The monthly business meeting will be deemed to be in quorum if there are three or more paid up members in attendance, and this must include at least one office-holder.

5.5 Attendance and business conducted at meetings shall be recorded in minutes to be approved by the next meeting.

5.6 A draft agenda should be circulated to members at least one week in advance of each meeting, together with the minutes of the previous meeting. Anyone can suggest additional items for the agenda in advance of or at the start of the meeting.

5.7 In the event of a decision needing to be made before a monthly meeting, or being merely administrative, a decision may be made by general agreement of office-holders of SADGP . This decision must be reported to the next monthly meeting.

5.8 Working groups may be set up to discuss and work on specific issues. Any decision shall be ratified by the monthly meeting. All members can attend these groups.

6 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

6.1 An AGM shall be held for the purposes of:
(a) Reviewing the minutes of the previous year’s AGM and matters arising from it
(b) Reports from each of the office-holders of the party
(c) Presentation of the year’s accounts by the Treasurer
(c) Election of office-holders
(d) Agreeing the cheque signatories
(e) Setting the membership fee for local membership (where applicable)
(f) Reviewing strategy and setting goals for the following year and beyond (not mandatory)
(g) Any other business on the agenda (to be determined in the same way as for a monthly meeting)

6.2 The Chair shall be taken by the existing chairperson or, if the chairperson is absent, by another member agreed by members at the AGM.

6.3 All members of SADGP who are present have one vote each, and resolutions must have the support of a simple majority.

6.4 Notice of the AGM shall be given at least one month prior to the meeting and any motions for consideration should be submitted in writing to the Chair at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

6.5 The Agenda will be circulated in advance at least one week prior to the meeting.
6.6 The Chair has the right to rule on the admissibility of any emergency motions put forward.

6.7 The quorum of an AGM shall be 4 or 25% of members of SADGP , whichever is the smaller, and this must include at least one office-holder.

6.8 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on a particular agenda may be called on the request of the monthly meeting or at least 4 or 25% of members of SADGP , whichever is the smaller, members of SADGP . The same general rules apply to EGM’s as to AGM’s.

7 FINANCE

7.1 The Treasurer shall collect or arrange the collection of all money due to SADGP and shall receive all donations to SADGP and shall be the custodian thereof.

7.2 The Treasurer will arrange payment of any bills incurred by SADGP , and will notify the group if it is in danger of becoming overdrawn.

7.3 All monies drawn from SADGP’s bank account shall be signed for by two authorised persons, to be agreed at the AGM, except in the case of electronic or phone banking, where the Treasurer will seek prior approval of at least one other signatory.

7.4 Wherever possible, funds will be held by a banking organisation with a policy of ethical investment acceptable to the membership.

7.5 Members or sub groups of SADGP may only incur expenditure on behalf of SADGP provided prior approval is obtained from a monthly meeting or the Treasurer or the Election Agent if appropriate.

Expenditure may be subject to certification by the Treasurer that there are sufficient funds to cover it.

7.6 Any affiliation fees to another organisation or donations to another group must have the approval of a monthly meeting.

8 SELECTION OF ELECTION CANDIDATES & TARGET ELECTORAL AREAS

8.1 Target electoral areas for a particular local (ie. District or County) election may be selected by agreement at normal meetings of SADGP . The selection for each area shall be at one of the following levels.

8.1.1 Target level 1, for which candidates shall be selected from among the membership by a secret ballot of all members of SADGP . If there are more than two candidates for a position, the Single Transferable Vote system shall be used. It shall be the aim of the party to devote enough of its resources to campaigns for elections in target level 1 areas to secure election of candidates so selected.

8.1.2 Target level 2, for which candidates shall be selected from among the membership at a monthly meeting. The party may choose to allocate some resources to campaigns at this level, providing that such allocation does not detract from campaigns for elections at target level 1.

8.1.3 Target level 3. All other wards/divisions in the election will by default be at level 3. The Election Agent responsible for the election will have the right to make decisions regarding the selection and allocation of local government candidates to wards/divisions as they see fit. Campaigns in these level 3 wards/divisions will usually have no call on the resources of the party beyond the assistance of the Election Agent, except in a by-election.

8.2 Candidates for Parliamentary Elections, European Elections and any other elections covered by the rules of GPEW will be selected according to the rules of GPEW. If there are no applicable GPEW rules, they shall be selected as if they were local government elections at target level 1 as outlined in 8.1.1.

9 AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION

This constitution can only be altered by an AGM or EGM of SADGP . Amendments to this constitution require advance notice (* see 11).

10 WINDING UP

SADGP may cease to exist or join with other local green parties, only by agreement of an EGM or AGM. In the event of SADGP being wound up, the balance of funds shall be transferred to GPEW, or to EasternRegionGreenParty,ortoaspecifiedneighbouring GreenParty.

11 DEFINITIONS

Some business requires advance notice. This is written notification to the entire membership eligible to vote at the meeting. For an AGM or EGM it shall be posted 15 days before the meeting. For a monthly meeting, 8 days. Motions requiring advance notice may not be substantially amended at the meeting.

As amended at SADGP AGM 17 July 2016

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