Information: Constitution and Equal Opportunities Policy


1. NAME
The name of the organisation is Falmouth LETS, referred to as the system in this constitution.
2. AIMS & OBJECTIVES
2.1 To develop and encourage the experience of community in Falmouth through the establishment of a local exchange trading scheme.
2.2 To stimulate the creation of social and economic benefits by and for its members and the people of the locality of Falmouth.
3. MEMBERSHIP
3.1 Membership of the system shall be open without prejudice to any individual or organisation sympathetic to the aims of the system, subject to restrictions that may be applied by the Admin Group in exceptional cases, such as of abuse of the system.
3.2 Membership shall be dependent on
(a) the payment of membership fees, renewable annually or otherwise at the discretion of the Admin Group; and
(b) the applicant's endorsement of the Falmouth LETS Members Agreement and Constitution.
3.3 Falmouth LETS is apolitical and will not affiliate to any party political organisation.
4. LEGAL STATUS
Falmouth LETS is an unincorporated members' club of people willing to trade amongst themselves.
5. ORGANISATIONAL BASIS
5.1 The rights and authority of Falmouth LETS are vested in all members, who delegate that authority to an ADMIN GROUP to act on their behalf.

(a) The Admin Group is responsible for ensuring that the tasks of running the system are effectively carried out.

(b) The Admin Group includes all those who have taken on the tasks of running Falmouth LETS, and especially the coordinator, accountant, treasurer, directory producer, membership secretary and fundraiser.

(c) Only members of Falmouth LETS can join the Admin Group.
5.2 AN ADVISORY GROUP is initiated by the members, or otherwise by the Admin Group. Its functions are as follows:

(a) To oversee and advise the Admin Group on the organisation and development of the system as a whole.

(b) To feed back information and advice on the management, organisation and direction of the system between the members and the Admin Group.

(c) To act as a member liason and support group, presenting the proposals, opinions, advice and complaints of any members who may be unable to speak directly to the Admin Group.

(d) It is composed of Falmouth LETS members who are not presently carrying out the regular tasks of running the system.

(e) It may also include advisors who are not members of the system.

(f) At least one Advisory Group member will normally attend regular Admin Group meetings.
5.3 AN ARBITRATION GROUP is set up with the following functions:

(a) To ensure the accountability of the Admin Group to the membership.

(b) To adjudicate in any cases of dispute between members, or between members and the Admin Group.

The group consists of three people, who may also be members of the Advisory Group. They will meet from time to time as necessary. Admin Group meetings will also normally be attended by one Arbitrator.
5.4 THE FIRST COMMITTEE of the system shall consist of the initiating group members. They will arrange and publicise to all members a first AGM within 12 months of their first meeting.
6. DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
6.1 Membership entitles each holder to one vote at general meetings.
6.2 The members at the AGM shall appoint an Admin Group, an Advisory Group, and Arbitrators.
6.3 Nominations for membership of the Admin, Advisory and Arbitration Groups are invited before the start of the AGM. Any member in good standing is eligible for election at the AGM.
6.4 Consensus vote shall be the preferred means of decision making. (The exact method of election shall be determined by the first committee for the first AGM, thereafter by the Admin Group).
7. FUNCTIONS OF THE LETS ADMIN GROUP

The Admin Group undertakes the executive management of the LETS, apportioning such roles and functions as necessary to maintain the system in the interests of the membership as a whole, including:

(a) Maintaining an up-to-date list of all members.

(b) Recording accurately members transactions, and supplying accounts.

(c) Publishing directories.

(d) Communicating with the membership and taking note of their opinions.

(e) Maintaining the financial viability of the system.
8. ADMIN GROUP MEETINGS
8.1 The Admin Group shall arrange and determine the timing and frequency of its meetings. This will normally be at least every 3 months, and more frequently at the outset.
8.2 The Group shall publicise its meetings in advance to all members, normally through the regular system mailing or newsletter.
8.3 The Group shall keep a record of all its meetings, and make these available to all members on request.
8.4 Group meetings are open for any member to attend and make a contribution.
8.5 The quorum shall be a majority or 4 members of the Group, whichever is larger.
8.6 Any Group member who is absent from 3 consecutive meetings without good reason or notice shall be deemed to have resigned their position, and shall be notified to that effect.
8.7 The Group may co-opt new members onto the Group, given the consent by majority vote of the Group. Members so appointed hold office only until the following AGM, but are eligible for re-election at the meeting. Members may also be appointed for a shorter trial period.
8.8 Any Group member may be dismissed by a three-quarters majority vote of the entire Group, for reasons of exceptional mismanagement or gross misconduct.
8.9 At least one member of the Advisory Group and one Arbitrator shall also normally be present and empowered to vote at Group meetings.
9. GENERAL MEETINGS
9.1 The Admin Group shall organise an Annual General Meeting once in every calendar year.
9.2 The Group shall arrange General Meetings (including Extraordinary General Meetings) at either the request of their own meeting, or at the request of at least 4 members of the system.
9.3 Fourteen days notice of each General Meeting, or seven days notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting, shall be given to members.
9.4 Membership entitles each holder to vote at any General Meeting.
10. FINANCE
10.1 Any monies received shall be paid into the Falmouth LETS account of the Falmouth branch of the Co-operative bank (or at such other bank as the Admin Group shall decide from time to time).
10.2 Any monies received or paid out in the name of the system shall be paid into or from the system account. The Admin Group shall decide from time to time which signatories can be accepted for financial transactions with the bank.
10.3 No member shall derive any sterling financial benefit from the system other than the payment of reasonable expenses.
10.4 Members can be paid reasonable wages in local currency for administrative work carried out in agreement with the Admin Group.
10.5 Any Admin Group member who carries out an agreed activity on behalf of the system will not be held personally liable for reasonable debts, and will be entitled to be indemnified from the system funds provided that no payment shall be made, or obligations entered into, which cannot be met from the balances of funds held by the system.
10.6 A copy of the most recent annual statements of accounts (in both the sterling and local currency accounts) shall be made available to any member on request, and shall be presented at each AGM.
10.7 Falmouth LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. Any surplus funds over and above the running costs and development costs of the system will be directed to the Falmouth LETS Community Fund.
10.8 Decision-making on the uses of the Falmouth LETS Community Fund will be subject to consultation with the members at a meeting, publicised to all members in advance. Members may vote in person or by proxy. Decision-making will be by majority vote, and will include the votes of all the members of the Admin, Advisory and Arbitration Groups.
11. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

Any changes to this constitution can only be made by a 2/3rd majority vote at a General Meeting. At least 2/3rds of the Admin Group and 5 other members shall attend. Notices giving full details of the proposed changes shall be posted to all members at least 14 days before the meeting.
12. WINDING UP
12.1 The system can only be wound up after a consultation process with all the members. A notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting will be sent to all members at least one month before it is held. The notice will invite all members to a meeting to discuss ways of enabling the system to continue, and inviting members to come forward as candidates for the various management roles.
12.2 The system can only be wound up by a 2/3rds majority vote at a General Meeting. At least 2/3rds of the Admin Group and 5 other members shall attend. A notice giving full details will have been posted to all members at least 14 days before the meeting.
12.3 After settling all debts and obligations, any remaining property shall be transferred to an organisation with similar aims, to be decided at the meeting.

Falmouth LETS Equal Opportunities Policy
We believe in the inherent worth of each individual, and the right of each individual to reach their full potential.

Falmouth LETS is accessible to all regardless of race, gender, sexuality, disability, age and creed, and aims to enhance the quality of life for the community itself and all within it, recognizing its responsibility to the local and global environment.

We acknowledge the importance of information availability and the sharing of skills, leading to the empowerment of individuals through personal choice.

We agree to strive to alleviate areas of inequality arising from isolation, poverty and low self esteem, and hope that positive direct individual action within the community will increase self respect, confidence and mutual support.


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