DRAFT at 4th June 2020
1. NAME: The name of the organisation is Manchester Local Exchange Trading Scheme, or Manchester LETS, also referred to as "the LETS" or "the scheme" in this Constitution.
2. AIMS & OBJECTIVES
2.1 To encourage the experience of community and sustainability through the establishment of a Local Exchange Trading Scheme covering the area of Greater Manchester.
3.1 Membership of The LETS shall be open without prejudice to any individual or organisation sympathetic to the aims of the scheme.
4. LEGAL STATUS
4.1 The LETS is an unincorporated members' club of people willing to trade skills, goods and services amongst themselves, using a system of mutual credit using their own community currency.
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, as well as outreach to local and national organisations and the local community.
5.2 The Committee begins as a Steering Group consisting of at least THREE members who continue to function until the first AGM at which members will elect a committee to serve a further term with specific roles as below.
5.3 The Committee shall appoint from amongst its number a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and optional Vice-chair, who carry out the statutory functions of running the organisation.
(a) They may undertake additional administrative tasks, or if agreed, appoint a separate Core Group, or individual Administrators, to run the scheme on a day-to-day basis. The expression 'Administration' is used below to indicate the persons or group acting in that capacity, and they may take on individual roles (see below) according to their particular resources and talents and the requirements of the scheme).
(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 form /create from within its membership a Mediation group (see below).
(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 scheme.
(f) Liaising 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 months.
7. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION
7.1 The Committee shall apportion such roles and functions amongst its membership, as are necessary to maintain the scheme in the interests of the membership as a whole including (NB roles may be shared, or new ones created):
7.2. The LETS may adopt appropriate tools, including online software, which allows member access to maintain maximum efficiency in carrying out the above tasks., editing and printing from databases and arranging distributing in print if required.
7.3. The Administrators 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 combine or subdivide roles, request occasional support from other members, and co-opt others as the need arises, until the next AGM, when appointments may be confirmed or new ones made.
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, and which shall be subject to a group decision, 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 carrying out their functions, and will report these to the membership, together with minutes of the meeting, within a month of the election having taken place.
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.
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 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 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.
11.0. In the early stages, before an organisational account has been set up, or long-term, if a local bank account is not set up, LETSlink UK may receive donations direct from members.
12. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
12.1 Any changes to this constitution can only be made at an AGM or EGM after consultation with LETSlink UK at national or regional level, so that the national organisation may take note of changes which may be needed elsewhere. 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 solving it.
12.2 A minimum of two-thirds of members present and voting at an AGM or EGM is required to make 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 (in digital format and/or paper format as required) 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 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 UK, or in the absence of this organisation, to its successor organisation, failing which another organisation with similar aims. their accounts.
Draft as at 7th June 2020
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