Constitution of the LETSConstitution of the LETS
The name of the organisation is The Local Exchange Trading Scheme, or
The LETS, also referred to as "the Group" 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
2.2 To stimulate the creation of practical, economic, educational and
social benefits by and for its members and the people of the local 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 intomembership 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 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 affiliated to LETSlink UK and its local regional network,
and aims to abide by, and contribute to, LETSlink's guidelines.
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 organisations.
5.2 There shall be a minimum of five Committee members, elected at an
AGM / The Committee begins as a Steering Group who continue to function
until the first AGM when a committee consisting of at least THREE members
will be elected.
5.3 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 (sometimes known as a 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 such as coordinator, directory editor,
membership secretary and events organiser, 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 /createfrom 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
(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.
6.2 They will publicise their meetings in advance to
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 trial period.
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, 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.
(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.
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, 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
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 any other group that the Scheme shall determine (such as a Management
Group, Mediation Group) 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
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
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.
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 at national or regional
level. 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, 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 their accounts.
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.
LLUK/MF December 2010
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