East Surrey Greens’ Constitution

East Surrey Green Party Constitution

Agreed at meeting 15 February 2016

Below is a complete copy of the East Surrey Greens’ Constitution

1 TITLE AND STATUS
1.1 The name of the party is East Surrey Green Party (ESGP).
1.2 East Surrey Green Party is part of The Green Party of England & Wales (hereafter referred to as Green Party) and is subject to its rules and constitution.
1.3 The geographical area of East Surrey Green Party is the sum of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council local authority areas.
1.4 East Surrey Green Party is affiliated to the South East Confederation of Green Parties.
1.5 East Surrey Green Party is affiliated to the Federation of Surrey Green Parties.  In accordance with the Federation’s constitution, the party will ensure representation at the Federation’s meetings and pay an annual contribution which will be set by the Federation.
2 AIMS
2.1 To promote the following aims of The Green Party as stated in its Constitution:

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

(b) to that end to win seats at all levels of government

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

2.2 To offer or support candidates for election at all levels of government.
2.3 To develop local policies and activities that will lead to an environmentally sustainable, socially just society.
3 MEMBERSHIP
  Full members
3.1 The membership comprises all national Green Party members over the age of 15 resident in the borough(s) and/or district(s) as defined in section 1.3.
3.2 Members may not be a member of another political party (except for other Green Parties).   If a member joins another political party, then he or she immediately ceases to be a member of East Surrey Green Party.
Disputes
3.3 East Surrey Green Party seeks to resolve any disputes between members or with other Green Parties through discussion and conciliation. The Federation of Surrey Green Parties, the Confederation of South East Green Parties and the Green Party’s Dispute Resolution Committee may be involved if considered appropriate.  The national disciplinary procedures are used for disputes involving full members.
3.4 East Surrey Green Party has the right and responsibility to take disciplinary action (including suspension or expulsion from the party) against any 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 an East Surrey Green Party meeting provided that advance notice of this agenda item has been given.
4 Party Branches
4.1 East Surrey Green Party may set up branches to promote its aims in the geographical areas covered by the branches.  Normally these areas will comprise several wards within the party’s area so that each branch will promote the party’s aims in those wards.
4.2 The membership of a branch consists of all national Green Party members resident in the area covered by the branch.
A party branch has the following officers as a minimum: Chair, Secretary.  These officers must be Green Party members.
4.4 A party branch has its own constitution.  The constitution must be consistent with the East Surrey Green Party Constitution.
4.5 A branch may decide how to spend its funds without requiring permission from East Surrey Green Party.
4.6 Branches must keep East Surrey Green Party regularly informed of their planned and completed activities and will appoint a contact person to make sure that this happens.  East Surrey Green Party has the right to forbid an activity proposed by a branch if it considers it is against the interests of East Surrey Green Party.  In the worst case, East Surrey Green Party has the right to shut down a branch.

 

 

5 PARTY OFFICERS
5.1 The national Green Party requires that all Green Parties have the following four party officers.  (The remainder of this item 5.1 is copied from ‘Green Party.  Party In a Box.  Section 3.  Roles and Responsibilities’.)

  1. “A treasurer, who is required to maintain accounts and to inform the GPEW’s registered treasurer, via Party Office, of all donations and loans of more than £200
  2. A Coordinator or contact person to liaise with the national party;
  3. A Public Enquiry Recipient (the local party contact) whose name and phone number can be given to the general public.  Enquiries may be about a wide range of issues, ranging from local campaigns to potential membership;
  4. An Election Agent, who gets a certificate from the party’s National Election Agent to authorise election candidates in the local party’s area to use the name ‘ Green Party’ (and certain other specific variants of it).

Your local party will not be accepted by the national party until Party Office has been notified of the members filling these posts.”

5.2 East Surrey Green Party will also elect the following two officers as a minimum:

Chair, to chair meetings as required by section 6.

Secretary, to issue meeting agendas and minutes as required by section 6.

5.3 Party officers are elected at an AGM

Nominations are proposed and seconded, and won by a simple majority vote.  Any member can ask for a secret ballot.  The AGM has the discretion not to fill posts in item 5.2 if no suitable nominations are forthcoming or to propose the merging of posts with the agreement of a simple majority.

5.4 If a party officer fails to attend three consecutive monthly meetings without good reason or apology, the party may co-opt another person to act in his or her place.
5.5 If a party officer resigns, an officer may be co-opted at the next meeting of East Surrey Green Party.
5.6 Officers may be de-selected at an AGM or EGM.
6 MEETINGS AND DECISION MAKING
6.1 The business of East Surrey Green Party is managed by regular business meetings which are open to all members and potential new members.
6.2 A draft agenda is made available to all members of East Surrey Green Party at least one week in advance of each meeting.  Anyone can suggest additional items for the agenda in advance of, or at the start of, the meeting.
6.3 The business meeting is in quorum if there are three or more members present.
6.4 The attendance and business conducted at meetings is recorded in minutes to be approved at the next meeting.  The minutes are circulated to meeting attendees for comment, and subsequently made available to all members of East Surrey Green Party.
6.5 Decisions are preferably taken by consensus.   If this is not possible, decisions are made by a simple majority vote of the members present.  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 are entitled to vote.
6.6 If a decision is needed before a business meeting, an emergency decision may be made by agreement of a simple majority of the party officers.  This decision is reported at the next regular business meeting.
7 ANNUAL AND EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
7.1 An Annual General Meeting is held for the purposes of:

(a) officers’ reports on work which has been carried out over the year

(b) presentation of a financial statement for the year

(c) election of officers

(d) changing this constitution, which must be agreed by a two thirds majority of those present; such changes must be consistent with the constitution of the national Green Party

(e) agreeing the list of payment signatories (referred to in section 8.2).

7.2 Notice of the AGM and the agenda is issued at least one month prior to the meeting to all members.
7.3 The AGM is in quorum if there are five or more members present.
7.4 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at a regular business meeting or by at least 10% of East Surrey Green Party members.   An EGM has the power to carry out all the functions of an AGM if necessary.
7.5 Sections 6.4 and 6.5 apply to both AGMs and EGMs.
8 MONEY
8.1 The Treasurer operates the party’s bank account(s), and uses it to store and invest its funds, receive donations to the party, and pay bills incurred by the party.
8.2 At least two members from a list of at least three are required to approve payments of over £100 on behalf of East Surrey Green Party.
8.3 The Treasurer reports on the state of the party’s finances at each party meeting.  A statement of accounts is presented at the AGM and all financial records are available for inspection by any member.  A lay audit may be held at the request of any member.
8.4 The Treasurer reports donations over a certain size to Green Party Office as required by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA).
8.5 If a member or a Branch wants to spend money on behalf of East Surrey Green Party, they should preferably get approval for the expenditure at an East Surrey Green Party meeting beforehand, and agreement that East Surrey Green Party will refund the member or Branch.  If this is not possible, the member or Branch will have to ask to be refunded by East Surrey Green Party at the next business meeting, with the risk that this might be refused.
9 SELECTION OF ELECTION CANDIDATES
9.1 General Election candidates are selected in accordance with the current procedures of the Green Party of England and Wales.  Local election candidates are selected at East Surrey Green Party business meetings or by local branches.
9.2 Contested elections are held by single transferable vote.

 

 

10 AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
10.1 This constitution may altered by agreement at an AGM or EGM, in accordance with the provisions of section 7.1 (d).
11 WINDING UP
11.1 If the party does not meet over the course of twelve months, the party shall be wound up in accordance with the current procedures of the Green Party of England and Wales.

 

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