Constitution of Sheffield LETSConstitution of Sheffield LETS
|Draft at Octber 2016
The name of the organisation is Sheffield Local Exchange Trading system,
or Sheffield LETS, also referred to as "the LETS" or "the
system" 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 system.
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 organisation.
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 Management Group.
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 coordinating team 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 organisation aims both to abide by, and contribute to, LETSlink's guidelines
for best practice in managing Local Exchange Trading.
5.0 COORDINATING TEAM
5.1 The rights and authority of The LETS are vested in all members, who
delegate that authority to the Coordinating Team, 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 coordinating team are responsible for governance, administration, funding
and strategy of the organisation, and outreach to local and national organisations.
5.2 The coordinating team begins as a Steering Group who continue to function
until the first AGM when a coordinating team consisting of at least is members
will be elected.
5.3 If the organisation is a branch or LETSlink UK, the coordinating team may consist
of one co-ordinator, working in liaison with central support provided
by LETSlink. In independent groups, the coordinating team 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 (sometimes known as a Core Group), or individual Administrators, to
run the system 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 system, 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 coordinating team member will normally attend Administration
meetings where a separate group has been appointed, and report to other
members of the coordinating team any matters of concern.
(d) To appoint or create from within its membership a Mediation group
(e) Maintaining 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 system.
(f) Liaising with the national or regional LETSlink, providing an annual
report as a minimum including notice of the AGM.
6. COORDINATING TEAM MEETINGS
6.1 The coordinating team 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
6.3 The coordinating team 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 Coordinating team 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 coordinating team, whichever is smaller
6.4 New version proposed on 15/7/2017: Coordinating
team meetings are open for any member to attend and make a contribution,
but not to vote. The quorum shall be a majority or three voting
members of the coordinating team, whichever is larger. If the meeting
is inquorate they will nevertheless proceed to conduct the business, but
record the fact that it was inquorate and ask for comments on any decisions
taken by emailing the whole of the membership. If objections are received,
another meeting will be scheduled.
6.5 Any coordinating team 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 coordinating team may co-opt new voting members from
amongst the 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 trial period.
6.7 The coordinating team 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 coordinating team meetings.
7. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION
7.1 The coordinating team shall apportion such roles and functions amongst its
membership, and appoint such sub-groups as are necessary to maintain
the system 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) Member 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 system.
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 coordinating team, and
which should be referred to the membership as a whole, if not already
provided for in this constitution.
9.3 Members of each coordinating team 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 year.
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 coordinating team 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 coordinating team 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 organisation 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 coordinating team and five other members. If the
meeting is inquorate the coordinating team will call for another meeting
within one month. If the second meeting is inquorate they will nevertheless
proceed to conduct the business.
10.7 Alternative version proposed at Open Forum
on: 15/7/2017: The quorum for general meetings will be a majority
of the serving coordinating team and an equivalent number of other
members. If the meeting is inquorate they will nevertheless proceed to
conduct the business, but record the fact that it was inquorate and ask
for comments on any decisions taken by emailing the whole of the membership.
If objections are received, another meeting will be scheduled.
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 coordinating team
shall decide from time to time and in accordance with instructions from
a general meeting. The coordinating team 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 management, and hosting, as appropriate,
and may include an element of membership
11.3 The LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. No member
shall derive any sterling financial benefit from the system, other than
the payment of reasonable expenses.
11.4 Any member who carries out an approved activity
on behalf of the organisation 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 organisation. Payments from the
LETS funds for special activities or projects will normally be agreed
by the coordinating team 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 coordinating team for
approval before payment is made.
11.6 The coordinating team may establish budgets in LETS units for particular
purposes, and members of the coordinating team 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 coordinating team.
11.8 A report of both the Sterling and LETS accounts
shall be presented to coordinating team 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 local groups. 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 system, 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 coordinating team 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 organisation, such as continuing with
the same structure, or becoming a branch of LETSlink, or winding up altogether.
The organisation 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 their accounts.
13.4 Alternatively, details of all individual account-holders and their
remaining balances will be transferred by LETSlink to other organisations 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
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