Constitution of Bristol LETS

Provisional draft (13/12/10) of the Constitution of Bristol LETS, to be ratified at the first AGM.
Development process: Please make Comments / Suggestions / Requests to be involved in discussions prior to the AGM by email to administrator Karaline (karaline@freeuk.com)

  1. NAME
    The name of the organisation is Bristol LETS, also referred to as "the scheme" in this constitution.

  2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
    1. To develop and encourage the experience of community and sustainability in the Bristol area through the establishment of a Local Exchange Trading System (LETS).
    2. To be the successor within the city of Bristol area to the Southville and Ashley LETS and Bristol InterLETS.
  3. MEMBERSHIP
    1. Membership of the scheme shall be open to any individual or organisation sympathetic to the aims of the scheme.
    2. The scheme follows an equal opportunities policy and does not discriminate on the basis of age, ability, gender, orientation, culture, race or wealth. It is non-sectarian and non-party political and will not affiliate to any party political organisation.
    3. Membership shall be dependent on payment of the current membership fee and the applicant's endorsement of the scheme's Members Agreement.
    4. In exceptional circumstances the Core Group may refuse membership to a new entrant or suspend or terminate the membership of an existing member (see 7.1 (e))

  4. LEGAL STATUS
  5. Bristol LETS is a not-for-profit membership society of people willing to trade between each other and offers no guarantee of the quality of work done or goods supplied by any member.

  6. ORGANISATIONAL BASIS
    1. The rights and authority of Bristol LETS are vested in all members, who delegate the running of the scheme to the Core Group (see section 7).
    2. Consultation with the membership, as well as much of the administration, will be carried out primarily online.

  7. GENERAL MEETINGS
    1. The Core Group shall organise an Annual General Meeting (AGM) once in every calendar year. Members shall be given an opportunity to submit items for inclusion in the agenda before it is circulated.
    2. The Core Group shall arrange Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) either following its own decision or at the request of at least three members.
    3. Fourteen days notice of the AGM, or seven days notice of an EGM, shall be given to members, together with the agenda item/s.
    4. The quorum for general meetings will be one half of the Core Group and three other members. If the meeting is inquorate the Core Group will call another meeting within one month. If the second meeting is inquorate it will nevertheless proceed to conduct the business.
    5. All members are entitled to vote at any General Meeting. Organisational and joint members shall have only one vote.
    6. Business to be done at the AGM will include:
        (a) The approval of the sterling accounts for the year
        (b) A report on the numbers of members and trades for the year
        (c) The election of the Core Group for the coming year. At least 3 members and not more than 8 should be elected. Any member is eligible for election.
        (d) The election of the Mediation Group for the coming year. Any member is eligible for election.

  8. THE CORE GROUP
    1. Functions
      The Core Group is responsible for
        (a) the day-to-day management of the scheme which will be carried out as far as possible online, and the maintenance of the website www.BristolLETS.org.uk which will provide:
          (i) an up-to-date list of members, including their offers and wants
          (ii) for each member, a statement of his/her individual account
          (iii) a record of members' trades
        (b) maintaining the sterling financial viability of the scheme. The Group shall appoint one of their members as Treasurer responsible for managing the scheme's sterling bank account
        (c) communicating with members and taking note of their opinions. Consultation with the membership will be carried out primarily online
        (d) organising social, promotional and educational events as appropriate.
        (e) The Core Group may refuse an application for membership or suspend or terminate an existing member's membership when the person's activity or behaviour is causing serious concern. The decision requires a two-third's majority and may be overridden by a General Meeting.
    2. Decision-making
        (a) The Core Group shall meet only when necessary.
        (b) Core Group members will use online communication to inform each other and to reach decisions.
        (c) Diligent efforts will be made to enable ordinary members to follow these discussions and engage in them.
    3. Membership
        (a) If the number of the Core Group is less than 8, the Core Group may co-opt new members to bring it up to 8, to serve until the next AGM.
        (b) The Core Group may at any time co-opt not more than 2 additional members to fulfil newly identified roles, to serve until the next AGM.
        (c) Any Core Group member may be suspended following a 2/3rds majority vote of the entire Core Group. The suspended member has the right of appeal to a specially convened Extraordinary General Meeting .

  9. THE MEDIATION GROUP
    1. The Mediation Group is responsible for seeking to resolve disputes between members when such mediation appears to the Core Group or the parties concerned to be necessary.
    2. If the dispute is between the Core Group and the membership, and the Mediation Group is unacceptable to either party, then a mediator acceptable to both parties will be appointed from another LETS group.
    3. The Mediation Group will consist of three members elected at the AGM. If a vacancy appears during the year the Core Group is responsible for appointing a member to fill it.

  10. FINANCE
    1. Bristol LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. This shall not prevent a member from receiving remuneration in Sterling in respect of work approved by the Core Group or expenses incurred.
    2. Bristol LETS has no responsibility regarding members' tax or benefit liabilities, and has no obligation or liability to report to the tax or benefit authorities or collect any payments on their behalf.
    3. Members can be paid reasonable wages in LETS units for administrative work carried out by prior agreement with the Core Group.

  11. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
    Changes to the Constitution can only be made by a 2/3rds majority vote at a General Meeting.
  12. WINDING UP
    1. Before the scheme can be wound up an EGM must be called and an appropriate democratic consultation process agreed and then subsequently acted upon.
    2. A ballot of all members must be included as part of the consultation process.
    3. Provision must be made for assisting members who wish to transfer to another LETS scheme.
    4. After settling all sterling debts and obligations any remaining property shall be transferred to an organisation with an ethical track record to be decided by the EGM.