Constitution

Wapping Community Forum Constitution

1. NAME & COVERAGE

1.1 The association shall be known as Wapping Community Forum (WCF or Forum)

1.2 The area and blocks covered by the Forum are all areas between E Smithfield/The Highway (1203) and the Thames from Thomas More St in the West to the intersection with Butcher Row in the East.

2. OBJECTIVES

a. The objectives of the Forum shall be:

  • To further the interests of its members and those of Wapping as a whole, and to use all reasonable and necessary actions to achieve this purpose;
  • To endeavour to maintain and improve Wapping as a place in which to live, work or visit and to enjoy;
  • To hold regular meetings for members of the Forum at which matters of interest to members and to Wapping shall be discussed;
  • To encourage a sense of community by promoting a multi-racial society and opposing racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms

of discrimination;

  • To provide regular information to all members;
  • To regularly consult all members;
  • To be non-party political and non-religious.

b. The Forum’s relationship with the St Katharine & Wapping Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel shall be:

  • Supportive of the Ward Panel’s work on their key focus areas (Drugs, Dangerous Driving and General Anti-Social Behaviour)
  • Collaborative on Council programmes (such as Liveable Streets) where interests are shared
  • The Forum will maintain an open and collaborative relationship with the Ward Panel in regards to the Forum’s plans and proposals
  • A Ward Panel committee member is welcome to attend all Forum meetings
  • When requested the Forum will share details of Ward Panel meetings, events and consultations with members
  • At the Ward Panel’s request, the Forum will allocate an agenda item at all General Meetings for the Ward Panel to provide an update

3. CONSTITUTION

3.1 The Forum is an unincorporated association

3.2 All Members (and attendees to WCF meetings and events) shall be bound by the Constitution

4. AFFILIATIONS

The Forum shall have the power to affiliate to any body whose objects may benefit the membership.

5. MEMBERSHIP

5.1 Membership is open to all members of the Wapping Community, that is people that live, work or usually conduct their activities (business/community) in the defined area, (stated above 1.2).

5.2 The three types of membership available will be:

Household Membership: Every household (residential property address) within the defined area is eligible to hold a single membership with the association.  All occupants at a residential address that has a membership are included.  Each household is only eligible to vote once regardless of the number of occupants.  The household membership fee is set at £10per household per year.

Non-resident Membership: Any individual who is not a resident within the defined area can apply for a ‘Non-resident Membership’ with the support of a ‘Household Membership’ holder.  Non-resident members are not eligible to vote.  Non-resident membership is set at £10per individual per year.

Business Membership: All businesses located within the defined area are eligible to hold a membership of the association.  Business members are not eligible to vote.  The business membership fee is set with two parts; a base fee of £25per business per year, plus £5 per staff member per year (the minimum yearly charge for any business would be £30, including the base fee and the staff member fee).

5.3 Any Wapping resident who also owns/works for a business in Wapping, is eligible for two memberships at their discretion but only one vote.

5.4 Councilors of LBTH are not eligible for membership but are encouraged to attend meetings

5.5 Membership fees are non-refundable

5.6 Membership is valid for a full 12 months from the point of membership fee being collected.

5.7 Changes in personal circumstances (i.e. Moving away from Wapping) during the current membership term do not affect the rights of a member.

5.8 All household members are requested to update the association of a household move, either within or outside of Wapping so that records can be updated accordingly.  This is to ensure that two separate households are not registered at the same residential address for an overlapping period.

5.9 Member communication will primarily be distributed electronically (email and/or WhatsApp), any member not wishing to use one of these methods, must specifically request in writing to receive communications via an alternative method.

5.10 It is a condition of membership that Members (and all attendees) at all times conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings or in premises used by the Forum. A member may be suspended for breach of this condition, or for any other conduct not in line with the aims of the Forum. Any member so suspended has the right of appeal to the following General Meeting before expulsion takes place. Racist, homophobic or sexist behaviour will not be tolerated and will be grounds for suspension.

6. SUBSCRIPTIONS

6.1 The Annual General Meeting shall have the power to decide what subscriptions (if any) shall be paid by members.

6.2 As outlined (in section 5.2) above, unless a change is approved at an AGM, the annual membership fees will be:

Household – The household membership fee is set at £10per household per year.

Non-resident – The Non-resident membership is set at £10per individual per year.

Business – The business membership fee is set with two parts; a base fee of £25per business per year, plus £5 per staff member per year.

7. THE COMMITTEE

7.1 The business of the Forum shall be conducted by a committee, elected at the Annual General Meeting which shall consist of the following Officer roles: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Manager and Junior Chair (Max age 25) (the Officers), plus no more than 9 additional committee members. Not more than one committee member shall come from any one household.

7.2 The Forum shall try to ensure the composition of the Committee shall represent the multi-racial character of the area.

7.3 No officer shall hold office in the same position for more than two consecutive years unless expressly requested by the membership

7.4 Any member or officer delegated to represent the forum in consultation with any other body shall act on the instruction of the Association and shall report back to the following committee or General Meeting, whichever is the sooner.

7.5 The election or removal of officers or committee members may only be carried out by an Annual or General Meeting of the Forum. The committee may temporarily fill any vacancy arising among the officers of the Association from its other members until the next General Meeting or AGM.

7.6 Any committee member unable to attend a meeting may nominate another association member to attend and vote on their behalf.  The nominated member can be from the same Household as the committee member or hold any other membership of the association.

7.7 One or more Sub-Committees can be established if proposed and then subsequently approved via a vote at a General Meeting. Any sub-committee will adhere to the Constitution but may be designated to focus on a specific area of interest. 

8. MEETINGS

8.1 The committee will make every effort to facilitate the attendance of all members to any of the meetings outlined below by ensuring, as far as possible, appropriate times, dates and venues giving consideration to the difficulties of the membership regarding disability, childcare responsibilities, infirmity etc., and by arranging for the translation of publicity into the appropriate languages if necessary.

8.2 COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The Committee shall meet as necessary and not less than two times a year.  Committee meetings shall be open to any member of the Forum wishing to attend who may speak but not vote.  Any member wishing to attend Committee meetings must submit a request to attend to the appointed Officers.

8.3 GENERAL MEETINGS

Each year the Forum shall hold at least four General Meetings (including the AGM) which shall be open to the general membership. All decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of members present and voting. The decision of a General Meeting shall be binding on the Committee.

8.4 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Forum shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM).

8.5 The AGM shall:

• Receive an annual report from the Committee

• Present audited/verified accounts to members

• Appoint an independent auditor/verifier

• Elect the Committee

• Consider any resolutions put forward by members

• Vote on any amendments to the constitution

8.6 SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING

A Special General Meeting may be called by the Secretary if formally requested (either via email or in person) by at least 10 members at least 28 days before the date on which those members request the meeting to be held.

9 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

9.1The Wapping Community Forum is fully committed to the principle of equal opportunities in its role as a representative organisation for all those living and working in the defined area. It is our aim that no one resident or group of residents shall receive less favourable treatment than another on grounds of gender, race, colour, religion, age, carer’s responsibility’s, disability, or sexual orientation. The WCF will try to ensure that all those with whom it works shall be aware of the Equal Opportunities Statement.

10 QUORUM

10.1 The quorum for a Committee Meeting shall be 4 committee members.

10.2 The quorum for General Meetings shall be ten members or 5% of the membership whichever is the smaller.

11 NOTICE

11.1 COMMITTEE MEETINGS – All committee members shall be given not less than 72 hours notice. 

11.2 GENERAL MEETINGS – All eligible members shall be given not less than 14 days notice.

11.3 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – All eligible members shall be given not less than 21 days’ notice. The notice must include an agenda, details of nominations to the Committee and any resolutions, which include any proposed changes to the constitution.

11.4 SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING – At least 10 members or the Committee may call a SGM. Members shall be given not less than 21 days’ notice. A SGM may only consider the proposal for which it was convened.

12 VOTING

Each voting member shall have one vote on any resolution put before an AGM, General Meeting or Special General Meeting. All votes shall be

counted and entered in the minutes.

13 MINUTES

All of the above meetings must be minuted and the minutes formally approved by the next relevant meeting. All minutes shall be available for inspection by members of the Forum within 28 days of the meeting date.

14 FINANCE

14.1 The Forum shall keep proper accounts of all income and expenditure. The Treasurer shall open a bank account in the name of the Forum.  The account will be registered for Online Banking and all payments must be dual authorised.  The signatories must be from different households and not related to one another.

14.2 The accounts of the organisation shall be available for inspection by any member of the organisation or the representative of the landlord within 28 days. The request for information must be made in writing to the Treasurer.

14.3 The Forum shall be a non – profit making organisation and any surplus at the end of the financial year shall be carried forward to the next year.

14.4 The Forum account should retain a prudent reserve of at least £300 at all times, to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover the costs associated with an AGM or SGM

14.5 Each year, the accounts shall be audited – either by a suitable independent person or an appointed independent auditor. These shall be presented to the AGM.

15 CONSTITUTION CHANGES

15.1 Any proposal to alter this constitution must be submitted to theSecretary of the Forum not less than 28 days before the General Meeting at which it is to be discussed. To be valid, the signatures of at least ten members must support such a proposal. Any such alteration shall require approval of two thirds of those present and voting at the meeting.

15.2 Every member of the organisation shall be given access to a digital copy of the constitution when they join. Members shall be given access to an updated digital copy of the constitution following any changes.

16 DISSOLUTION

16.1 If the Committee decides (or if a Committee no longer exists then if any ten members decide) that the Forum should be dissolved, they shall give at least 21 days’ notice to all those eligible for membership of a meeting at which the matter shall be discussed. For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum need not apply and the Forum may be dissolved by a 2/3 majority of those present. The assets, financial and otherwise, remaining when the Forum has satisfied its liabilities, shall be applied for such purpose in accordance with the objectives, as the Forum shall decide.