Constitution

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

URMSTON PARTNERSHIP

 MAY 2014

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE URMSTON PARTNERSHIP

 As agreed at the 2014 Urmston Partnership Annual General Meeting

  1. NAME

The name of the Association is the Urmston Partnership (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Partnership’).  The Partnership is a non-political organisation and should not enter into party politics.

 

  1. THE AREA WHICH THE PARTNERSHIP OPERATES

The accepted areas of the town centre, including Crofts Bank, Flixton, Gloucester, Higher, and Station Roads as set out in the map within the Partnership Action Plan.

 

  1. AIMS

To achieve a prosperous and vibrant town centre, offering a diverse range of activities in an attractive, clean and safe environment for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors alike.

 

To improve the vitality and economic well being of  town centre by providing a focus for the public, private and voluntary sectors to work together in partnership, encouraging and co-ordinating efforts to promote Urmston and improve the town centre’s environment and facilities.

 

A Partnership Action Plan, reviewed annually at the AGM and agreed by the membership, takes account of the Partnership aims.

 

  1. MEMBERSHIP

A membership fee structure is in place. The membership year starts in May.  New members joining after May will be charged a pro rata membership fee in the first year thereafter the full fee will be payable in May.

 

Membership will be open to:

(i)         Commercial and professional businesses who operate in the town centre.

(ii)        Trafford Council to be represented by nominated Councillors and relevant Officers (hereinafter referred to as ‘TC’).

  • Non-political voluntary/community organisations, schools, residents and market traders whose aims and activities are in harmony with the Partnership’s objects and aims.
  • Statutory organisations that have a service role within the town centre

 

Membership is not transferable to anyone else.

 

  1. MEMBERSHIP RESPONSIBILITY

 

Each member is required to adhere to the Partnership’s Code of Conduct (see appendix 1).

Each member has a responsibility not to bring the Partnership, or fellow Partnership members, into disrepute. Members must treat each other with respect and must set aside any personal and prejudicial interests.

 

When the Management Group have been informed of disrepute or of a member not adhering to the Code of Conduct, the matter is referred to the next main Partnership meeting where members in attendance will vote. Depending on the nature of the complaint and the result of the vote, the member in concern may have their membership terminated.

 

  1. MEETINGS

 

6.1       Urmston Partnership Main Meetings

Main Partnership meetings to be held 4 times per year and are open to:

All members as stated at 4 (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

 

Only paid up members, ex officio members, invited speakers and invited guests can attend meetings. Ex officio members, invited speakers and invited guests have no voting rights.

 

Only one nominated representative from each member organisation can speak at meetings and they should go through the Chairman first, announcing their name and the organisation they are representing.

 

For voting purposes, a quorum present for main Partnership meetings will be a minimum of 8 members present, to include the Chairman or Vice Chairman or other members of the Management Group.

 

The Partnership may invite non-members or Council personnel to attend meetings where considered appropriate and to report on specific items.  The main meetings will receive progress updates on the Partnership’s Action Plan, discuss developments in the town centre and discuss other appropriate business concerns or issues.

 

The main Partnership meeting will have the authority to set up specialist subgroups and to co-opt members to the said subgroups and for the subgroups to appoint a Chairman thereof and provide an update on their activities to the Management Group who will monitor their progress via the Partnership’s Action Plan.

 

5.2       Urmston Partnership Management Group

The Management Group will meet regularly between main Partnership meetings.

 

The Urmston Partnership Management Group will comprise the following:

The Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, subgroup representatives and others by Management Group invitation to represent the make up of the town.

 

The Management Group may invite specific service provider representatives to discuss an agreed agenda item.

 

Management Group Function and Duties 

The Management Group will steer the direction and business of the Partnership, taking forward the Partnership’s Action Plan, formally agreed on an annual basis at the AGM.  The Management Group will monitor progress, taking corrective action where necessary to ensure that objectives are met or adapted.

 

The Management Group has delegated powers to spend Partnership income in accordance with aims and objectives of the Partnership and costed action plan but will refer to the main Partnership for final agreement where possible and for large items of expenditure over £1,000.

 

5.3       Annual General Meetings

(Hereinafter referred to as ‘the AGM’)

 

The AGM must be held on an annual basis within a 12 week period after 31st March.  21 days written notice shall be given by the Chairman. Partnership elected representatives will be elected at this meeting. In the event of more than one nominee for any position, voting will be by secret ballot.

 

A quorum for the AGM shall be at least 8 members at the date of the meeting, to include the Chairman or Vice Chairman or other members of the Management Group.

 

At the AGM the proceedings will be as follows:-

 

  • To elect a Partnership member not standing for election who will chair the election part of the meeting.
  • To elect/re-elect Partnership representatives (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary) who will hold office for one year. Nothing shall prevent any elected officer standing for a second term of office.
  • To receive the minutes of the last AGM if applicable.
  • To receive a review the Partnership’s previous year’s Action Plan by the Chairman.
  • To receive the annual report of the Treasurer and the audited statement of accounts.
  • To receive the proposed costed Action Plan for the year ahead by the Chairman or designated person.

 

5.4       Special General Meetings

A special general meeting of the Partnership may be called at any time by the Management Committee or shall be called if at least 12 members of the Partnership request the Management Group in writing to call such a meeting stating the business to be considered.  At least 21 days notice of the special meeting must be given to all members of the Partnership and the notice must state the business that will be discussed.

 

5.5       Register of Interests

At the beginning of a meeting, the Chairman should ask individuals in attendance to declare whether they have any personal, prejudicial or financial interests in any item on the agenda.  These will be noted in the minutes of the meeting.  The Chairman and remaining voting members at the meeting will then decide whether individuals declaring an interest must leave the meeting for the relevant item or just not take part in the discussion or can take part in the discussion but not in the decision making on a particular topic. This is to avoid any actual or perceived undue benefit or unsound decision making.

 

5.6       Complaints Procedure

A complaints procedure is in place to ensure that conflicts of opinion and complaints can be avoided or resolved in a fitting manner.  Complaints are to be sent in writing to the Secretary to be discussed at a meeting of the Management Group and reported to the next main Partnership meeting where a formal decision will be agreed.

 

  1. PARTNERSHIP POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY

The Partnership will elect each year at the AGM from within its number the following posts and representatives can hold office for up to two years but can be re-elected in the event of no nominations for these positions, at the discretion of Partnership members at the AGM.

 

The Chairman of the Partnership cannot stand as a candidate or hold an active position within any political party.  All other Partnership post holders must declare their affiliation to any political party.  All elected representatives, apart from the Chairman, can hold more than one post, (eg Treasurer and Vice Chairman) at any one time.

 

Chairman:                   Business representative (essential)

Vice Chairman:           Business representative (desirable)

 

The Chairman/Vice Chairman will chair all main Partnership meetings.  The Chairman in conjunction with the Support Officers will be responsible for the compilation of the Partnership agenda.

 

Treasurer:                    Member representative with accounting experience or position (desirable)

Secretary:                   Member representative who will assist in taking notes of meetings and

collecting membership renewals, promotional campaigns and activities

 

Full details of the roles and responsibilities of these positions are documented separately.

 

Trafford Council representatives will assist in the co-ordination of meetings, subgroups, recruitment of members and business contact.

 

  1. FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

 

7.1       The year end will be 31st March in each year.

 

7.2       The yearly audit will be in the care of a financial Partnership member organisation (e.g. bank,

building society or other member representative with accounting skills/experience).

 

7.3       The Treasurer will institute the Financial Controls policy to meet the approval of 7.2, as above.

 

7.4       Three signatures will be lodged with the account known as The Urmston Partnership at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Two registered signatures will be required on each cheque, one of which must be the Chairman or Treasurer. Cheques must be fully completed prior to signature.

 

7.5       An account of income and expenditure, whenever practical, must be presented by the

Treasurer to the main Partnership meeting.

 

7.6       An annual Treasurer’s report must be made available at the Annual General Meeting.

 

7.7       All expenditure is to be authorised via the Management Group. Single items of

expenditure over £1,000 to be agreed at main Partnership meetings.

 

  • All agreed items of expenditure are to be written in a Partnership order book kept by the Support Officer/elected representative and signed by and countersigned by two elected Partnership representatives. Invoices to be passed for payment should be sent to this person.

 

7.9       When deciding expenditure, three quotes must be sought for items over £250 (taking into

account value for money), unless specialist items are provided by less than three companies.

 

7.10     The Partnership will cease to exist before debt to the bank is entered into, avoiding financial

liabilities to members.

 

  1. VOTING RIGHTS

Voting rights at meetings shall be:

 

In the case of the Management Group:

1 vote per member, excluding ex-officio members

 

In the case of the AGM, main or special meeting:

1 vote per Partnership member organisation

 

In all cases in the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.

 

All resolutions shall require to be passed by a simple majority.

 

There shall be no provision for voting by proxy at any of the meetings of the Urmston Partnership.

 

  1. AUTHORITY AND CODE OF CONDUCT

A code of conduct that Partnership members should adhere to when at meetings and representing the Partnership is in place and available on request.

 

In the event of any dispute over the interpretation of any clause in this Constitution or the application of any clause then the decision of the Management Group will be final.

 

  1. INSURANCE COVER

The Partnership is covered by Trafford Council’s public liability insurance for events.

Any other necessary public liability insurance cover to be included in costed action plans where applicable.

 

  1. EXIT STRATEGY

The Treasurer/Supporting Officers will undertake an audit of assets annually.

 

Prior to disbanding, a decision will be made at the last main Partnership meeting on the distribution of its own assets and monies after all financial commitments have been met.  All Partnership assets and monies left will be allocated to projects and/or groups that provide benefit to the town centre and meet the aims and objectives of the Partnership.

 

Any Council assets used for the benefit of the Partnership will be automatically returned to the Council.

 

 

Appendix 1

 

THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PARTNERSHIPS

 

These are the main points of the Members’ Code of Conduct for Partnerships which each Member is expected to adhere to whilst representing and attending Partnership meetings.

 

 Do….

 

  • Follow the Code of Conduct when you are representing your Partnership.
  • Be aware of what personal and prejudicial interests are (see below).
  • Notify your interests to the Partnership as soon as possible.
  • Treat others with respect.
  • Register gifts and hospitality, received in your role as a member, worth more than £25.
  • When at Partnership meetings address all comments/questions through the Chairman.

 

Don’t….

 

  • Bring your Partnership, your position of office or the Town that you are representing into disrepute (i.e. publicly speaking out against the stated aims of the Partnership or its elected representatives/staff or using the Partnership logo or name without prior management group approval).
  • Use the Partnership for party political purposes.
  • Compromise the impartiality of people who work for your Partnership.
  • Discriminate against people on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.
  • Bully, intimidate or attempt to intimidate others.
  • Use your position improperly for personal gain or to advantage your friends or close associates.
  • Attend meetings or be involved in decision-making where you have a prejudicial interest.
  • Disclose confidential information, if stated that it is confidential.
  • Prevent anyone getting information they are entitled to.

 

Personal and prejudicial interests

 

You have a personal interest if the issue being discussed in the meeting affects the well-being or finances of you, your family or your close associates affected by the issue. Personal interests are also things that relate to an interest you must register.

 

Prejudicial interests are personal interests that affect you, your family, or your close associates in the following ways:

 

  • Their finances or the Council’s regulatory functions such as licensing or planning which affect them.
  • And which a reasonable member of the public with knowledge of the facts would believe likely to harm or impair your ability to judge the Partnership interest.

 

If you have a personal or prejudicial interest you must normally declare it in the meeting.

 

If you have both a personal and prejudicial interest you must not debate or vote on a regulatory or financial matter that relates to that interest.

 

Complaints Procedure

 

Any complaint must be made in writing to the Secretary to be discussed by the Management Group.  Such communications should clearly set out the basis for the complaint and detail the relationship, if any, between the complainant and the member concerned.

 

The Management Group will investigate all complaints in a timely manner and establish whether a case has been made and is justified.

 

Where the Management Group concludes that a case has not been made, the complainant will be advised in writing.

 

Where the Management Group feels that such a complaint is justified, the member concerned will be notified in writing and a written response requested within 28 days of the date of sending the notification. Upon receipt of the response from the member concerned, or at the conclusion of 28 days, whichever is sooner, the Secretary will refer the complaint back to the Management Group for a decision to be reported back to the next main Partnership meeting for formal agreement.

 

Depending on the nature of the complaint, it may be necessary for the complainant and the member concerned to be present at the Management Group meeting where the complaint is being discussed for a decision to be formally agreed at the main Partnership meeting.

 

If a case is found not to be substantiated, the complaint will be dismissed.

 

If the complaint is upheld, the member can be:

  • Warned as to their future conduct
  • Have their membership terminated

 

The Secretary shall inform the complainant and the member concerned of the decision of the Partnership in writing.