Friday, 15 November 2013

Notes on the Progress Residents Association's Proposed New Constitution

Dear Resident,


This letter is being posted on the Association’s website and sent electronically to all those who have requested Making Progress by email.   We appreciate that our constitution, of necessity a somewhat legalistic document, is by no means everyone’s bedtime reading of choice.   However, it is very important that the Estate has one that ‘works’.   For example, it is usually critical when we are bidding for funding.

The Residents Association’s operations are at present governed by a constitution adopted at its December 2010 Annual General Meeting.   The passage of time always changes the milieu in which we operate and thus the document is in need of revision.   The Committee approved a proposed new constitution at the meeting held on 27th August 2013.   To become operational, it needs to be approved by a minimum of two-thirds of those present and voting at our next AGM.   This will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road on Saturday 7th December 2013.   

Under clause 15 of the 2010 constitution, the Residents Association’s Secretary has to give 14 days’ notice, together with the wording of the proposed alterations, to those entitled to vote at a meeting asked to approve changes. 

Residents will appreciate from recent editions of Making Progress that there is a new and lower limit to the printing costs we can incur.   Force majeure therefore dictates that we cannot deliver a printed copy of the proposed 7-page constitution to all 1,300 homes on our Estate.   The Newsletter we will issue in November 2013 will give people details of how they can view the document on our website and a telephone number to call to request a paper copy if they do not have access to the internet.   Finally, a small number of copies will be available at the AGM.

The following two pages summarise the material differences between our current and proposed constitutions.

Yours sincerely,

Rita Billinghurst
Chair, Progress Residents Association

The purpose of these notes is to explain the material differences between the Progress Residents Association’s current constitution and the proposed constitution that will be offered for adoption at the AGM to be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road on Saturday, 7th December 2013.

A copy of the proposed new constitution may be viewed here.   In addition, any Member may call 07962 877389 to request a paper copy at any time up to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 2nd December 2013.

The numbers below are the clause numbers in the proposed constitution.

These are essentially unchanged:
a.     To represent the views and interests of all Residents in appropriate forums be these recognised organisations, groupings or otherwise.
b.     To promote and encourage a sense of community amongst Residents.
c.     To monitor proposed alterations to, developments on and maintenance of the Estate with a view to ensuring they are in keeping with its designation as a Conservation Area covered by an Article 4 Direction.
d.     To exercise influence to ensure, insofar as is possible, that Residents receive the best possible housing, environmental and community-related services.
An AGM is to be called in December each year.
The Secretary’s need to circulate minutes to all members prior to the next AGM has been removed.
The proposed constitution allows for the possibility of the Association deciding to make a levy at a future date.   However, one can only be raised if agreed by a majority of the Members voting at an AGM or Special General Meeting.
There will not be a requirement for the Committee to call a minimum number of public meetings a year.
6.     NOTICES OF AGMS etc.
Notices of AGMs and SGMs may be placed on our website. 
The position of any member with an interest in any matter to be discussed at a Committee meeting must be disclosed prior to the discussion.
The Committee will lay down the terms upon which each sub-committee shall operate.
Any Committee member who fails to attend three consecutive Committee meetings will only be eligible to stand for re-election if the Committee agree prior to the following AGM.   Obviously if the cause was, for example, temporary illness the Committee would very likely have no objection to the person being re-elected.
We need to allow for the possibility that an Officer post (that is, Chair, vice-Chair, Treasurer or Secretary) may not be filled at an AGM.   The proposed constitution will be operable even if the Committee comprises less than four members, because it allows a Committee member to hold more than one Office until the following AGM (when, of course, the process might repeat itself).
This is a new clause designed to allow people who do not live here to join the Association but without voting rights or the right to stand for election to the Committee.

The quorum for AGMs and SGMs is proposed to be two Officers and four Members.

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