- The name of the organisation shall be THE NORWOOD FORUM (the Forum).
2. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
- The purpose of the Forum is to promote local involvement in public policy making and service provision at community level.
- The Norwood Forum shall seek to represent and serve the area comprising the Lambeth wards of Knight’s Hill, ThurlowPark, and Gipsy Hill. This area may be narrowed or widened as required by the interests of the Forum.
- The objectives of the Forum include:
i. Involve local people in shaping and strongly influencing the policies and programmes of Lambeth Council and other relevant agencies
ii. Understand the needs and aspirations of all members of the Norwood community
iii. Secure timely consultation with Lambeth Council and other relevant agencies and stakeholders to raise awareness of initiatives at local level
iv. Provide a platform for local people to voice their views
v. Monitor and comment on the impact of Lambeth Council policies, programmes, and performance on the Norwood area
vi. Act as a proactive voice on behalf of local communities in the Norwood area, proposing initiatives and identifying specific priorities and problems
vii. Identify, where possible, opportunities for regeneration and investment, whilst also protecting and enhancing the historic and diverse character of the Norwood area
viii. Use its influence to help promote and market the Norwood area
ix. Identify ways of improving the local environment and amenity
x. To promote equality of opportunity in the Norwood area such that all members of the community can partake equally in the life of the community, and are able to contribute fully to the work of the Forum.
- Membership of the Forum shall be open to any individual, organisation or business with an interest in Norwood and in furthering the Forum’s objectives, who also accept and abide by the Code of Conduct for Forum Members at Annex 1 of this Constitution.
4. EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
- The Forum shall ensure that it complies with the law in the United Kingdom and in particular the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 as amended by the Race Relations Act 2000, and the Disability Discrimination Act 2000, and promote equality of opportunity for all individuals to participate in the work of the Forum.
- Forum AGMs and public meetings shall be open to anyone to attend.
- An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in or about June of each year to receive the Forum Committee’s report, audited accounts, and to elect Officers and Committee.
- Each candidate for an Officer post or membership of the Committee must secure a total of 10% of votes to be elected.
- The Committee shall decide when other public meetings of the Forum shall be held. However, there will be a general aim of holding at least four public meetings each year in addition to the AGM.
- An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) shall be convened at any time by the Chair on behalf of the Committee or on written request for such a meeting signed by at least 15 members and specifying the business to be transacted. The Committee must convene the EGM within 35 days of receipt of a valid written request.
- Voting decisions at an AGM, EGM, or ordinary meeting shall be made by simple majority, with the Chair holding the casting vote (except for Constitutional amendments as outlined in 5.k).
- Persons may cast only one vote in any Forum vote. Any person attending in a personal and institutional capacity cannot cast multiple votes.
- Motions submitted at general meetings must be proposed and seconded by members.
- The Chair shall accept motions for consideration and hold votes on valid motions at an appropriate time on the agenda.
- A quorum for a meeting of the Forum where a vote is taken shall be 20 members.
- Changes to the Constitution can only be considered at either AGMs or EGMs. This Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less that two thirds of the members present and voting at an AGM or EGM. The notice of the AGM or EGM that considers a constitutional alteration must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.
- The Officers of the Forum shall be: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer.
- Nominations for electing Officers, supported by a seconder and with the prior consent of the nominee, shall be made to the Secretary before the start of an AGM or EGM.
- The Officers shall relinquish their office every year and shall be eligible for re-election at the AGM. The Committee shall have the power to fill casual vacancies occurring among the Officers
- The committee reserves the right to request further information from nominees regarding their application to serve on the Committee or as an officer, including information regarding association with Norwood, previous experience or expertise that may be relevant, and possible conflicts of interests. Nominees agree to make available relevant information for consideration by the Committee and Forum.
7. FORUM COMMITTEE
- The Committee shall comprise the Officers of the Forum, with a maximum of 15 members.
- The Committee shall appoint a Data Handler and Data Controller to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation and good practice regarding data.
- The Committee shall be responsible for managing and administering the Forum.
- The Committee shall hold at least six meetings each year.
- All Committee meetings shall be minuted, minutes circulated to Committee members and be available to Forum members.
- Nominations for election of other members to the Committee should be made in writing to the Secretary at least 7 days before the AGM: the nominations should be supported by a seconder or with the prior consent of the nominee. If the nominations exceed the vacancies a ballot shall be held as shall be determined by the Chair. Members of the committee shall be elected at each AGM and outgoing members may be re-elected.
- The Committee may fill any vacancies that may arise amongst its membership during the year.
- All Committee members shall have the right to vote.
- One third of the Committee’s members shall constitute a quorum.
- The Chair shall not have a vote, except that in the event of an equality of votes cast at a Committee meeting, the Chair shall have a casting vote.
- The Committee shall have the power to co-opt to fill any vacancy on the Committee, including temporary membership of individuals whose skills or expertise may be required to facilitate the work of the Forum.
- If neither the Chair or the Vice-Chair is present, the Forum shall elect one from its number to preside in an acting capacity.
- Where it would help further its objectives, the Committee may seek the Forum’s membership of other organisations and nominate individual members to represent the Forum in such organisations.
- Any Officer or Committee member absent from three consecutive meetings without sending apologies shall be removed from their position.
- The Committee may set up sub-committees as it deems necessary from the membership of the Forum. The Committee shall appoint a Chair and a Secretary of each sub-committee. All actions and proceedings of each sub-committee shall be reported to and be approved by the Committee at the earliest possible opportunity. Forum Officers, who shall have the right to attend Sub-Committee meetings ex-officio, shall be advised in advance of the dates, venues and agendas of all such meetings. Members of the Committee may be members of any sub-committee. Membership of a sub-committee shall be no bar to appointment to the Forum Committee. Sub-committees shall be subordinate to and may be regulated or dissolved by the Forum Committee.
9. FUNDING AND EXPENDITURE
- The Forum Committee may raise funds and invite and receive grants, subscriptions and donations
- The Committee may open and operate bank accounts in the name of the Forum.
- The Committee shall, out of the Forum’s funds, pay all properly authorised administrative and management expenses. After paying these expenses, the remaining funds shall be applied by the Committee to further the Forum’s objectives.
- No expenditure shall be made or financial commitment entered into without the prior agreement of the Committee.
- The Forum Treasurer shall keep proper accounts, monitor income and expenditure, reporting as required to the Committee and presenting annual accounts independently audited by independent accountant to the Forum AGM.
- The Forum’s financial year shall run from 1st April to 31st March.
- Up to three members of the Committee shall be empowered to sign cheques drawn on the Forum’s bank account(s). Signatures of two of these members shall be required on each cheque drawn.
10. WINDING UP
- The Forum may be dissolved by a two thirds majority of eligible members voting at an AGM, EGM, or a General Meeting. If a motion for the Forum’s dissolution is to be proposed, specific reference shall be made to this motion when giving notice of the meeting. In the event of dissolution, the Forum’s available funds shall be transferred to one or more organisations having similar objectives, to be chosen by the Committee. However, any unspent or uncommitted funds given for a specific purpose shall, wherever practicable, be returned to the donor. On dissolution the Forum’s minute books and other records shall be deposited with the Lambeth Archives.
- All Norwood Forum members must conduct themselves in a way that does not cause offence to others or bring the Forum into disrepute.
- Members must treat others with respect and must avoid racist, sexist or other derogatory remarks or actions.
- Members must allow others to speak without interruption or other inappropriate behaviour.
- Members must be sensitive to the needs of those who may not be used to speaking in public or whose first language is not English.
1. Code of Conduct of Forum Members
- Members who feel that this Code of Conduct has been breached should raise the matter with the Chair at the earliest opportunity, for the Chair to take appropriate action, including removal from meetings and/or membership of the Forum.
Annex 2 – Officer’s Duties
This Annex does not form part of the Norwood Forum Constitution
- Provide leadership to the Committee and the Forum
- Chair public meetings of the Forum and meetings of the Forum Committee
- Represent the Forum at meetings of other organisations and public bodies.
- Act as the public face and spokesperson for the Forum.
- Produce an annual report of the Forum’s work, for presentation at the AGM.
- Act as the main point of contact between the Forum and local authorities, as well as with London and national Government representatives.
- Prepare agendas for Forum Committee meetings, in consultation with the Secretary and Vice-Chair.
- Prepare agendas for the public meetings, in consultation with the Forum Committee.
- Approve minutes of Committee and public meetings.
2. Vice Chair
- Act as the deputy to the Chair and deputise for the Chair in his/her absence.
- Provide general support for the Chair.
- Agree agendas for Committee meetings with the Chair and Secretary.
- Arrange meetings of the Forum Committee and public meetings, including booking the venues.
- In consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair, prepare and publish agendas as appropriate.
- Arrange publicity for public meetings.
- Organise speakers for public meetings, ensuring they are familiar with the Forum and with what is expected of them.
- Arrange any necessary public address, projection and sound recording systems required by speakers.
- Arrange for all meetings to be minuted and for minutes to be approved by the Chair and published.
- Ensure that all agreed actions are carried out.
- Arrange for venues to be set up before the meeting.
- Ensure that the Forum carries adequate and appropriate insurance cover for its meetings and for those undertaking activities on the Forum’s behalf
- Ensure the Ensure the Forum’s financial viability and that resources meet current and future needs
- Maintain accurate records of all items of income and expenditure.
- Maintain the Forum’s bank accounts.
- Report on the Forum’s finances to all Committee meetings.
- Prepare an annual statement of accounts, arranging for its independent audit.
- Present a financial report to the AGM.
- Pay all agreed Forum expenses as appropriate.
- Prepare and send out invoices and ensure payment.
- Ensure, where necessary, that speakers’ expenses are paid.
- Arrange fund raising activities as needed by the work of the Forum.
5. Committee Members
- Ensure that the Forum complies with its constitution and any statutory and other obligations.
- Ensure that the Forum’s financial stability and use of its resources only in accordance with its objectives.
- Contribute actively to the Forum’s work, supporting the Officers and participating in Committee and public meetings.
- Volunteer to take on specific duties as the need arises.