Central Bedfordshire

Neighbourhood Watch

Promoting Safer Communities in Central Bedfordshire
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Central Bedfordshire NHW Association


CONSTITUTION






1. Name

 

The name of the Association shall be the Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch Association. Within this document it is called "the Association".



2. Orientation


The Association shall be non-political and non-sectarian and shall operate an equal opportunities policy.


3. Aim


The Aim of the Association shall be to promote safer communities, the reduction of the fear of crime and public participation in the prevention and solution of crime, so that effective liaison can be achieved between the public and the police.



4. Achievement of the Aim


 In furtherance of the Aim, the Association may:


a) Provide services for and on behalf of all Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Schemes in Central Bedfordshire.


b) Liaise with other Neighbourhood Watch Groups and Associations.


c) Liaise with relevant Police organisations and other voluntary and statutory bodies to achieve the Aim.


d) Promote and organise co-operation, locally and more widely, to achieve the Aim.


e) Arrange and provide for, either individually or in cooperation with others, exhibitions, meetings, seminars and training courses, appropriate to the Aim.


f)  Promote, conduct and assist in NHW surveys and investigations and the publication and/or dissemination of the results.


g) Collect and disseminate information relevant to the Aim and exchange information with other bodies having similar purposes and aims.


h) Arrange for relevant data to be written, printed, published and circulated in hard copy or electronic data format.


i) Maintain an active website to describe and promote the Aim of the Association.


j) Raise funds and accept gifts and donations relevant to the Aim, subject to any legal constraints, and with the proviso that the Association shall not undertake any permanent trading activities to raise funds.



5. Definition of a NHW Scheme


Within Central Bedfordshire, individual NHW groups are organised locally and are known as Street Schemes.  Each Street Scheme has one or more Street Scheme Coordinators and, wherever possible, are grouped into designated areas under the supervision of an Area Coordinator. The number of coordinators per Street or Area is not specified and is governed by what is most appropriate for the respective locality.



6. Membership of the Association


Membership of the Association shall be open to all NHW Street Schemes within Central Bedfordshire.  

Any other organisation which wishes to become an Associate Member of the Association shall apply in writing to the Secretary.    Election to Associate Membership shall be at the discretion of the Association Steering Committee. The Committee may require reasonable information from the applicant before election to membership, but shall not reject an applicant without sufficient reason. The applicant shall be informed of the reason for any rejection.  



7. Termination of Membership


An individual Street Scheme may resign on written notice to the Secretary. The Steering Committee shall have the right to suspend or terminate membership of the Association, provided that the individual representing the Street Scheme shall have the right to be heard by the Steering Committee before such termination is ratified.



8. Steering Committee


a) The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the policy and general management of the Association.

b) The Steering Committee shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting and shall meet at least three times per year. It shall consist of no more than nine members, including Officers of the Association, as specified below.

c) When circumstances require it, the Steering Committee may co-opt other members to assist the Steering Committee.

d) The Steering Committee may nominate an individual as a representative to any national Neighbourhood Watch organisation extant, subject to the invitation and agreement of that organisation.

e) The proceedings of the Steering Committee shall not be invalidated by any accidental failure to elect or any accidental defect in the election, appointment, co-option, qualification or resignation of any member.

f) The Steering Committee shall have the power to enter into contracts on behalf of the Association, but only as voted for and agreed by the Association.

g) The Steering Committee may appoint such special or standing sub- committees as they consider necessary and shall define their terms of reference, powers, duration, composition, reporting procedures and requirements.

h) Expenses shall not normally be paid to members of the Steering Committee, but the Steering Committee may consider requests for expenses, if circumstances so dictate.



9. Officers of the Association


a)  A Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer shall be appointed.

b) Each Officer shall be elected at an AGM and shall retain that position for at least three years, unless others are nominated for election at a subsequent AGM, or the Officer chooses to stand down.

c) Officers shall have a degree of autonomy when representing the Association at external organisations, subject to subsequent review by the Steering Committee.



10. Rules of Procedure at Meetings of the Association.  

 

a) The quorum at an AGM shall be achieved if there are more than ten full members or their designated representatives, attending.

b) The quorum at a Steering Committee meeting (or any appointed sub-committee) shall be a minimum of three.

c) All questions or proposals arising at a meeting shall be decided by a simple majority vote of those present and entitled to vote(see paragraph 11). No member shall exercise more than one vote, but in the case of equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

d) All election of Officers of the Association shall be by nomination and subsequent vote. The Chairman shall specify the format of the vote, which shall normally be by show of hands, but may be by secret ballot should the Chairman consider it to be appropriate.

e) Where the nomination of an Officer is unopposed, no ballot need be held for that position and the nominee shall be deemed to be elected.


11. Voting Procedures at Meetings of the Association.

 

Only Full Members of the Association are entitled to vote at meetings of the Association. The Street Scheme Coordinator will be the appointed person to represent their respective Street Scheme at Meetings of the Association and shall be entitled to vote at such Meetings of the Association. Where circumstances require it, a Street Scheme may appoint an alternative person to represent them and that appointee shall retain the rights to vote on behalf of that Street Scheme. Each Street Scheme shall have one vote. The Chairman shall not vote unless it be to provide a casting vote when equality of votes has been achieved (see paragraph 10).



12. Minutes

 

Minutes of proceedings shall be taken at all meetings of the Association, including those held by the Steering Committee. The minutes shall be recorded by the Secretary of the meeting and shall be subject to acceptance at the following meeting.



13. Annual General Meeting

 

There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association. The place, date and time of each AGM shall be decided by the Committee, but there shall not be more than fifteen months between one AGM and the next. At least twenty-one days notice of an AGM shall be given by the Secretary, either in writing or by electronic means.



14. Business proceedings at the AGM


The order of business at an AGM shall include:


a) The election of members to serve as Officers of the Association.

b) The appointment of members to serve on the Steering Committee.

c) The report of the Chairman as to the standing of the Association.

d) The consideration of an annual report of the work of the Steering Committee and any sub-committees.

e) The consideration of the Association’s accounts.

f) Consideration of any proposals to amend the Constitution.

g) Any other business **.

** Members may propose items for the meeting Agenda.  Such proposals must be submitted to the Secretary in writing, or by electronic means, not less than 14 days before the meeting.


15. Extraordinary General Meeting


The Chairman may call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at any time.


Individual members may also request an EGM, provided that the reason for the request is clearly stated and is given in writing, or by electronic means, and is supported by not less than six other members.



16. Nomination of Officers of the Association and Steering Committee Members


Nominations for Officers of the Association and members of the Steering Committee Members may only be made by Full Members of the Association. Nominations must be received by the Secretary at least seven days before the Annual General Meeting.


Should nominations exceed vacancies, an election shall be held at the Meeting and decided by a simple majority vote of those present and entitled to vote . No member may exercise more than one vote, but the Chairman shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes.



17. Finance


a) A bank account shall be opened in the name of the Association.


b) Three members of the Steering Committee shall be appointed and authorised to issue and sign cheques on behalf of the Association. All cheques must be signed by two of the authorised signatories, one of which shall be the Treasurer.


c) All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied solely to further the Aim of the Association.


d) The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of the Association and these shall be audited by members of the Steering Committee.


e) A financial statement, together with a set of audited accounts, shall be submitted by the Steering Committee at the AGM.



18. Alterations to the Constitution


a) Any alteration to this Constitution shall only be considered at the AGM or any specially convened EGM and must receive the agreement of not less than two-thirds of the membership of the Association, present at such a meeting.


b) Notice of proposals to alter the Constitution shall have been received by the Secretary in writing or by electronic means not less than twenty-one days before the meeting at-which-the alteration ·is proposed.   


c) At least fourteen days notice of -such a meeting shall be sent by the Secretary to each member, setting out the terms of the alteration.


d) No alteration to the Aim of the Association, the requirements for the Dissolution of the Association, or this clause, shall be made until approval by an AGM or properly called EGM.



19. Dissolution of the Association


a) If the Chairman or the Steering Committee decides that it is necessary, or advisable, to dissolve the Association, an EGM shall be called of all members entitled to vote.


b) At least two weeks notice shall be given and the terms of the Resolution to dissolve the Association shall be stated in the calling notice.


c) A two-thirds majority of those present and voting at the meeting shall be required to dissolve the Association.


d) If the decision is confirmed, the Steering Committee shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of the Association. Any assets remaining after the clearance of any debts and liabilities shall be transferred to any appropriate organisation(s) having similar aims to the Association.  


e) A copy of the Statement of Accounts for the final accounting period and a statement of how the assets were disposed of shall be retained with the formal minutes and papers of the Association. The Steering Committee shall decide where these records shall be kept.



20. Adoption of the Constitution


This Constitution was adopted on the date and by the persons whose signatures appear below.





SIGNED :   Mr Tony Howells, Chairman        DATE :  30 May 2015