|CONSTITUTION of BRUM LETS
Draft at December 2017
The name of the organisation is Birmingham Local Exchange Trading Scheme,
or Brum LETS, also referred to as "the LETS" or "the scheme"
in this Constitution.
2. AIMS & OBJECTIVES
2.1 To develop and encourage the experience of community and sustainability
through the establishment of a Local Exchange Trading Scheme.
2.2 To stimulate the creation of practical, economic, educational and
social benefits by and for its members and the people of the community
2.3 To contribute to the development and knowledge of how to manage LETS
2.4 To support the principles and practices of mutuality, kindness, co-operation,
3.1 Membership of The LETS shall be open without prejudice to any individual
or organisation sympathetic to the aims of the scheme.
3.2 Acceptance into membership shall be dependent on (a) the applicant's
endorsement of the LETS Rules and Constitution, (b) the payment of any
membership fees, renewable annually or otherwise, which may be charged
(either or both in Sterling or LETS currency units) at the discretion
of the Committee.
3.3 The LETS 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.
3.4 The Committee has the right to terminate membership in event
of a serious breach of the LETS membership agreement. The member concerned
has the right to appeal to a Mediation Group.
4. LEGAL STATUS
4.1 The LETS is an unincorporated members' club of people willing to trade
4.2 The LETS is a branch of LETSlink UK and/or its local regional network
if this has been formed - or
4.2 The LETS is independently affiliated to LETSlink UK and/or its
local regional network if this has been formed
4.3 The scheme aims both to abide by, and contribute to, LETSlink's guidelines
for best practice in managing Local Exchange Trading.
5.1 The rights and authority of the LETS are vested in all members, who
delegate that authority to a Committee, to act on their behalf
to ensure that the tasks of running the LETS are effectively carried out
and the organisation operates according to LETSlink guidelines. Members
of the Committee are responsible for governance, administration,
funding and strategy of the scheme, and outreach to local and national
5.2 The Committee, begins as a Steering Group who continue to
function until the first AGM when a core group will be elected.
5.3 If the scheme is a branch or LETSlink UK, the Committee may
consist of one co-ordinator, working in liaison with central support provided
by LETSlink and local coordinators. In independent groups, the Committee shall appoint from amongst its number a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer,
and optional Vice-chair. Its functions are:
|(a) To act as, or appoint a separate Management
Group, or Administrators, to run the scheme on a day-to-day basis. (The
expression 'Administrator' is used below to indicate the persons or group
acting in that capacity, and they may take on individual roles such as coordinator,
directory editor, membership secretary and events organiser, according to
their particular resources and talents and the requirements of the Scheme,
and form sub-groups as required to meet expanding workload).
|(b) To act as a member liaison and support group,
presenting the proposals, opinions, advice and complaints of any members
who may feel unable to speak directly to the Administrators.
(c) At least one Committee member will normally attend Administration
meetings where a separate group has been appointed, and report to other
members of the Committee any matters of concern.
(d) To appoint or create from within its membership a Mediation group
(e) To maintain the financial viability of the LETS in terms of both
national and local currency, including power to raise money (Sterling)
by appropriate means for the purpose of promoting and operating the scheme.
(f) To liaise with the national or regional LETSlink, providing an annual
report as a minimum, including notice of the AGM.
6. COMMITTEE MEETINGS
6.1 The Committee shall arrange and determine the timing, format, and
frequency of its meetings. This will normally be at least every three
6.2 They will publicise their meetings in advance to all members.
6.3 The Committee shall keep a record of all its meetings, and once they
have been agreed by those present, will make them available for viewing
by all members within a month of the meeting.
6.4 Committee meetings are open for any member to attend and make a contribution,
but not to vote. The quorum shall be a majority or five voting members
of the Committee, whichever is smaller.
6.5 Any Committee member who is absent from three consecutive meetings
without good reason or notice will be deemed to have resigned their position,
and if so deemed, shall be notified to that effect.
6.6 The Committee may co-opt new voting members from amongst the Scheme
membership to fill vacancies or bring in additional skills/experience.
Members so appointed hold office only until the following AGM, but are
eligible for re-election. Members may also be appointed for a shorter
6.7 The Committee may also appoint External Advisors who are not members,
to contribute to particular issues. Advisors are not eligible to vote.
6.8 Where the Administration functions are delegated, one representative
of the Administration group may attend and is empowered to vote at Committee
7. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION
7.1 The Committee shall apportion such roles and functions amongst its
membership, and appoint such sub-committees as are necessary to maintain
the scheme in the interests of the membership as a whole including:
(a) Maintaining an up-to-date list of all members, with contact details.
(b) Recording accurately members' transactions and supplying accounts.
(c) Publishing directories.
(d) Communicating with the membership and taking note of their opinions.
(e) Organising social events for members, plus public meetings and other
outreach efforts, to ensure that good connections are maintained with
the local community.
(f) Providing ember support, both in relation to managing online accounts
and finding trading partners, sometimes called "brokering".
(g) Creation and management of funds to achieve particular goals, eg gardening
projects, social fund for vulnerable members, etc
7.2. They may adopt appropriate tools, including online software, to
maintain maximum efficiency in carrying out the above tasks.
7.3. They may meet up from time to time, for liaison or training purposes,
otherwise maintaining contact by phone and email, or by access to an online
7.4. They may request occasional support from other members, and may
co-opt others as the need arises.
8. MEDIATION GROUP
8.1 The function of this group is to ensure the accountability of the
Administration to the membership, and to adjudicate in any cases of dispute
between members, or between members and the Administration.
8.2 By default it will consist of the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer,
or it may appoint at least two (ideally three) people, who may also be
members of the Committee. They will meet from time to time as necessary.
8.3 Where mediation has failed, a member from the group will contact
LETSlink nationally or through a regional organisation if there is one,
for support in resolving the dispute, failing which an aggrieved member
may contact LETSlink direct.
9. DECISION MAKING PROCESSES
9.1 Consensus shall be preferred means of decision-making, failing which
votes are taken.
9.2 Members of each Committee or Group will agree amongst themselves
what decisions may be made in the course of carrying out their normal
duties, which decisions should be referred to the main committee, and
which should be referred to the membership as a whole, if not already
provided for in this constitution.
9.3 Members of each Committee or Group will determine, having taken advice
if necessary, what roles are needed amongst their group to carry out their
functions and whether a sub-group is required, and will report these to
the membership, together with minutes of the meeting, within a month of
an election having taken place. This structure will remain on record and
available to members, and will serve as a template until updated.
10. GENERAL MEETINGS
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held once in every calendar
10.1 Membership entitles each holder to one vote at general meetings.
Organisational members shall be entitled to one vote at general meetings,
via the organisation's designated representative.
10.2 The members at the AGM shall appoint a Committee and other groups,
as appropriate, to serve for the period until the next AGM.
10.3 Nominations are invited before the start of the AGM. Any member
in good standing is eligible for election at the AGM.
10.4 The Committee may call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at
either the request of their own meeting, or issue notice of such a meeting
at the request of at least six members of the scheme within four days
of such a request.
10.5 LETSlink may call an EGM in exceptional circumstances (see below).
10.6 Fourteen days notice of the AGM, or seven days notice of an EGM,
shall be given to members, together with the main agenda item/s and an
invitation to submit further items for the agenda if appropriate.
10.7 The quorum for general meetings will be at least two thirds of the
serving Committee and five other members. If the meeting is inquorate
the Committee will call for another meeting within one month. If the second
meeting is inquorate they will nevertheless proceed to conduct the business.
11.1 Any monies received in the name of the LETS shall be held in an
account at such bank or similar institution as the Committee shall decide
from time to time and in accordance with instructions from a general meeting.
The Committee shall decide from time to time on signatories for the account(s).
11.2 Subscriptions to LETSlink UK will be paid out of the the LETS account
at the rates currently set by the national organisation, to include membership,
domain name amd email management, and hosting, as appropriate, and may
include an element of membership fees.
11.3 The LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. No member shall derive
any sterling financial benefit from the scheme, other than the payment
of reasonable expenses.
11.4 Any member who carries out an approved activity on behalf of the
scheme will be entitled to be indemnified from the LETS funds provided
that such payment is in accordance with accepted practice, and that no
payment shall be made, or obligation entered into, which cannot be met
from the balance of funds held by the scheme. Payments from the LETS funds
for special activities or projects will normally be agreed by the Committee
in advance, and exceptionally may be approved retrospectively.
11.5 Members may be paid reasonable wages in LETS units for administrative
work carried out in agreement with the relevant LETS budget, and will
submit claims on a regular basis to the Committee for approval before
payment is made.
11.6 The committee may establish budgets in LETS units for particular
purposes, and appoint fund managers from amongst the membership, and members
of the Committee may have access to designated budget accounts in the
system to make such payments.
11.7 No member may be paid in local currency to attend meetings, unless
specifically otherwise authorised by the whole Committee.
11.8 A report of both the Sterling and LETS accounts shall be presented
to Committee meetings, to any member on request,and an annual statement
of both accounts shall be presented at each AGM.
12. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
12.1 Any changes to this constitution can only be actioned after consultation
with LETSlink at national or regional level, which is to ensure consistency
of practice across schemes. If the change has arisen from a problem arising,
LETSlink may, as an alternative to changing the constitution, may be able
to advise on another way of resolving it.
12.2 A minimum of two-thirds of members present and voting at an AGM
or EGM is required to endorse proposed changes to the constitution.
13. WINDING UP, TRANSFERS, OR MERGERS
13.1 In the case of serious problems arising within the LETS, such as
system failure, reduced levels of trading, or failure to administer the
scheme, any member may seek help from LETSlink, who will attempt to provide
assistance to the organisers in post, and obtain contact details of all
past and current members of the group. If the difficulties cannot be resolved
within the current committee structure, LETSlink will circulate all members
inviting feedback, and nominations for the various management roles, and
inviting them to attend an EGM.
13.2 Following the EGM, voting papers will be sent to all members to
decide the future of the scheme, such as continuing with the same structure,
or becoming a branch of LETSlink, or winding up altogether. The scheme
can only be wound up by a two thirds majority vote of members present
and voting by ballot.
13.3 If the LETS is to be wound up, those members with accounts in debit
to a significant extent (the amount to be decided by consensus at the
meeting) will be given a reasonable period of time in which to repay the
bulk of their debit to the membership. Members whose balances are significantly
in credit will be identified and efforts made to assist them in balancing
13.4 Alternatively, details of all individual account-holders and their
remaining balances will be transferred by LETSlink to other schemes of
the members' choice, or held in a regional membership pool, pending a
new organisation being established with LETSlink's support.
13.5 After settling all sterling debts and obligations, any remaining
assets shall be transferred to LETSlink's local regional network, failing
which LETSlink UK, or in the absence of this organisation, to its successor
organisation, failing which another organisation with similar aims.
Draft updated at December 2017
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