Download our constitution here … The Constitution of Transition Town Eastbourne
This Constitution was adopted at our first General Meeting held on the 29th August 2013
Transition Town Eastbourne is an Unincorporated Not-for-Profit Association
- 1. NAME
The name of the Association shall be “Transition Town Eastbourne” (TTE).
- 2. AREA
The initial area covered by TTE shall be Eastbourne District, (East Sussex) and its surrounding areas.
- 3. AIMS
The Aims of TTE shall be:
We exist to introduce people to local Transition Initiatives, use creativity, motivate, offer information, ideas and resources in order to mobilise a community response to peak oil, climate change and environmental and economic uncertainty. Specifically, we will be:
- Raising awareness in the Eastbourne area about the Transition Movement and our own Transition Town
- Providing a framework for an effective response to climate change and peak oil, including facilitating the creation of an Energy Descent Plan
- Working with projects, people and groups already engaged with these issues
- Encouraging and enabling people in the Eastbourne area to respond positively to climate change and peak oil
- Initiating and supporting projects that help to make Eastbourne more resilient to economic and environmental uncertainties
We do this because a community using less energy and resources will be healthier, more abundant, closer-knit and more pleasurable than at present.
General ethos/ guiding principles:
- We work in a collaborative way because we get better results with less effort. Collectively we are greater than the sum of our parts
- Individuals take responsibility for their own decisions, actions and results in TTE.
- The leadership for TTE is shared by everyone and we have a democratically controlled Steering Group, open to all members. Steering Group Procedures are hosted on the EastbourneTransition.org website
- We trust that those who step forward have good intentions and we give autonomy and support to those who wish to be part of TTE
- We are accountable to ourselves and to each other in keeping to our core principles.
- We are open and transparent in everything we do.
- We don’t have a blueprint. We believe in multiple paths, guiding principles, ideas sharing and possibility. We think an honest search for answers is as important as the conclusions gathered. It’s fine to make mistakes and learn from them.
- We are open to working with everyone. We welcome diversity and see it as a strength, not a problem. We aim to be socially inclusive and try to avoid ‘them and us’ statements and thinking.
- We recognise that we are students, not scholars and remain open to new thinking; we value professional and practical contributions to our initiatives.
- We acknowledge other initiatives and seek to find ways to collaborate and further the aims of TTE.
- We give what we can and ask for what we need.
- Individually and as a group we work on the things we enjoy, so that we do them well.
- We work with a natural momentum, driven by our passion and positive approach.
The above principles guide the way TTE works and will continue to evolve and deepen.
There are also some specific principles that deal with our organisational structure and method:
- TTE Groups form as needed to do what needs to be done: make decisions, take action; they dissolve when the need is gone
- Each Group is responsible for raising and acquiring its own money and resources – and for using those wisely.
- Groups exist to deliver the aims of TTE in a positive and tangible way.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the free flow of information and knowledge throughout our network.
- We will always try to consider the effects of our actions on our combined public reputation.
In pursuance of these aims, TTE may:
- Publish and distribute information and comment
- Undertake, support or promote, education and research
- Raise funds
- Run events
- Recruit volunteers
- Employ staff
- Buy or lease premises and equipment
- Enter into contracts
- Undertake any trade, business, enterprise, project or venture which could contribute to the delivery of the aims and objectives.
- Participate in any other legal activity that could help deliver the stated aims and objectives.
- All TTE members shall be individuals or organisations admitted without reference to wealth, politics, religion, sex, disability, age or sexual preference, and who live, work or operate in the area described in rule 5.2 below and who are in agreement with the stated aims.
- All TTE members shall support and uphold the provisions of the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
- Membership shall be free but shall be confirmed by a formal entry on a Register of Members.
- A member shall cease to be a member if she/he:
i. resigns; or
ii. is requested to resign by three-quarters of members voting to this effect; or
Any members expelled shall be entitled to appeal against the expulsion at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
6. NOT FOR PROFIT
TTE shall not trade for profit. Any surplus funds shall:
- be deposited in a general reserve for the continuation and development of TTE;
or, subject to a formal resolution of the TTE general meeting,
- be paid, in part or in full, as payment to any member in return for services rendered, for reasonable wages, bonuses and repayments of expenses, interest on money borrowed, or reasonable rent on premises let to TTE;
- be donated, in part or in full, to another organisation or community group in pursuance of the aims of TTE
Fundraising for projects:
There are also some specific principles on fundraising for projects. These guidelines are being developed by our Finance & Funding Group. Below are the proposed guidelines so far:
- Members of TTE can earn money from doing TTE work, if there is funding available, but total transparency and openness is expected at all times.
- Projects for which funding is sought, need to be agreed with the relevant TTE groups.
- The project must support the aims of TTE and be in line with the other principles and be designed to deliver on key objectives of the group.
- If the proposer, or a group member, of the project is the intended beneficiary of the funding then the group must open it up to wider competition within TTE or beyond if appropriate.
- The TTE group which obtained the funding, or the TTE Finance & Funding Group, or another partner organisation will hold the budget for the project and account for it publicly and regularly.
- The TTE group members who developed the project are responsible for monitoring the project, its process and outcomes.
- If anyone in TTE does not agree that the project is in line with TTE aims and principles, then that person can take the project to the TTE Forum for discussion.
Detailed finance and funding procedures will be developed by the Finance & Funding Group and will be posted on the EastbourneTransition.org website.
Meetings will be held as at present monthly on alternate days of the week and dates posted no less than 1 month in advance on the EastbourneTransition.org website
- The Annual General Meeting shall appoint a treasurer and a secretary.
- The treasurer shall be responsible for keeping a true record of accounts
- The secretary shall be responsible for:
i. giving proper notice of all general meetings
ii. receiving items for inclusion on the agenda of general meetings up to three days before
iii. keeping proper records as stated in rules 14(1) and 14(2)
- These meetings would as now be open to everyone interested in TTE to attend
- Contact details will be given on the website for information on dates, venues, agendas and minutes.
- However, only steering group members at the meeting would be involved in decisions to spend funds.
- Agendas with any decisions to be made would be sent out in advance to steering group members.
- Decisions would be made by consensus.
- Quorum shall be at least 50% of steering group members, but 4 people at minimum.
- The chair will be rotated. Draft minutes will be circulated to all members for approval and sent out within 14 days of the meeting.
- The steering group would encourage the setting up of working parties including other non-steering group people as and when necessary to consider issues on which decisions need to be made and take their considered advice in making decisions.
- The steering group will regularly review the way it is working.
8. STEERING GROUP MEMBERS AND COMMITEES
The steering group manages and makes decisions on matters that affect TTE generally, including decisions regarding unallocated funds/donations, broad communications issues, strategic issues, helping groups to work in accordance with TTE principles and agreed procedures, supporting the formation of new groups and providing guidance on current projects to ensure they fit with TTE principles and strategy.
The steering group cannot change the system by which the steering group members are chosen, or deselected, but rules can be changed by a majority vote of all members who care to vote.
9. RESPONSIBILITIES OF STEERING GROUP MEMBERS
Members should be prepared to:
- Commit for a year initially
- Attend monthly meetings on a regular basis
- Read minutes and the agendas
- Be prepared to contribute and to take responsibility for helping keep the rest of TTE informed and involved
10. FORMATION AND COMPOSITION OF STEERING GROUP
The steering group is comprised of:
a) A named representative from each core and support group (defined below)
b) Any other person from the TTE network who applies when the steering group asks for new members. At least once a year (or other period to be agreed) the steering group will ask the TTE membership for nominations or offers from people wishing to be involved. Potential steering group members would be asked if they wished to stand. Those willing to stand would provide a short summary of who they are and what they feel they could contribute (no more than about 150 words), and they would have seen and read the steering group criteria. The existing steering group can decline applications by consensus. Should the potential steering group member wish to proceed, then they should attend two meetings. After that their application will be considered by the existing steering group members.
The steering group can ask members to resign, preferably giving at least two months’ notice. A steering group member can be asked to stand down if requested by consensus between the other members of the steering group.
11. CRITERIA FOR STEERING GROUP MEMBERSHIP
Members of the steering group should:
- have understanding of Transition principles and agree to operate by them
- have no history of defamatory or negative behaviour towards TTE or the transition movement
- agree to abide by the principles by which the steering group works
- actively seek to contribute to and enhance the good name of TTE
12. PRINCIPLES BY WHICH THE STEERING GROUP WORKS
- Confidentiality – members of the group are free to share whatever they wish but whatever is shared in the group stays in the group.
- Respect – all members should feel their contributions are valued and be sensitive to others concerns
- Commitment, responsibility and participation – be clear about whether you want to be involved and how and stick with it
- Make clear requests and agreements
- Equal access to power – ensure that all in the group are able to participate fully
- Patience – listen carefully and let others finish
- Cooperation – try to build a shared decision rather than getting one point of view to win
- Accountability – we give reasons for our decisions
13. OTHER CORE AND SUPPORT GROUPS
These are defined as:
- having a minimum of three people
- be active i.e. should have met and discussed actions purposefully within the last six months
- have an identity
- be appropriate topics to TTE
- avoid duplication (with boundaries)
- have clear aims
- acting in accordance with TTE aims and principles and those of the Transition movement
- TTE shall keep a register of members stating when members were admitted and when they relinquished membership and any members appointed roles or committee memberships held.
- TTE shall keep minutes books in which the dates, times and places of general meetings, along with decisions reached during those meetings and members present at those meetings are noted for all members to refer to.
- TTE shall keep a record of the sum and nature of expenditure and receipts of monies, all sales and purchases of goods and all its assets and liabilities.
- The records, including accounts, shall be kept in a place decided by the general meeting, and shall always be open to the inspection of all members at reasonable hours and by other persons authorised by TTE in general meeting.
Every Member or Auditor or Officer of TTE shall be indemnified out of the assets of TTE against all losses or liabilities incurred by him/her in or about the execution and discharge of the duties of his/her office, except to the extent that such losses or liabilities shall be attributed to either:
- fraud or other matters in respect of which such person concerned shall be convicted of a criminal offence; or
- negligence; or
- actions knowingly beyond the scope of a specific authority or limit thereon on the part of such person.
17. SECONDARY RULES, BYLAWS AND STANDING ORDERS
Rules, bylaws and standing orders can be made by TTE in general meeting and/or by those officers or committees that have been delegated authority by general meeting so long as any rules, bylaws and standing orders do not conflict with this constitution.
18. CHANGING RULES
- Any rule in this constitution can be dropped or changed or a new rule made at a General Meeting where all members have been given 21 clear days prior notice of the change proposed and the date, time and location of the general meeting.
- A General Meeting that will consider a new or changed rule cannot be called with less than 21 days notice.
In the event of winding up or dissolution of TTE, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, the assets remaining shall be given or transferred to some other not for profit organisation chosen by the members and having aims similar to those of TTE.