Bristol South Green Party (BSGP)
Standing Orders Draft 8
Made in accordance with the Constitution of BSGP.
Written/revised: 17 October 2006.
1. Constitution. (Further to Constitution item 12.3) It is advised that the Constitution accompanies the notice convening the AGM in years divisible by 5.
a. Most communications may be provided by email if the member does not object. Otherwise a business meeting should advise the Co-ordinator (CO) in what form specified documents need to be sent to members.
b. Sending Reliably.
i. Special efforts shall be made to ensure that key documents (listed in the Constitution, item 5) are received and noticed by members. (Email is often received but not noted.)
ii. If the CO knows the member has reliable email a key document may be sent by email, but acknowledgement must be requested. If acknowledgement is not received the document must be delivered by hand or mail.
iii. Key documents sent by email shall be sent in time to send hard copy by the due date if acknowledgement is not received.
3.. Officers. (Further to Const item 4.)
3.1 All officers (including the CO and the Treasurer) are required to conform to the constitution and the policy laid down by business and General Meetings (GMs) and to pay due regard to the advice and guidance from the wider Green Party.
3.2. The CO carries responsibility, as far as is reasonable, for all the BSGP’s obligations and activities other than those of any other officer or appointee.
3.3. The CO shall report all significant activities to business meetings, and shall submit a full annual report to AGM.
3.4. Members may be appointed to take responsibility for specified jobs from the Co-ordinator (CO) or Treasurer. These post holders may be called officers, co-ordinators, managers, or secretaries as appropriate. Here they are referred to as officers or appointees.
3.5. The CO is relieved of an area of responsibility by an appointee. The appointee’s responsibilities may be defined by a job description or implicitly by the appointee’s title (e.g. "Press Officer"). However, the CO shall take reasonable steps to keep aware of each appointee’s relevant plans and activities. The CO shall seek to co-ordinate their contributions to the Party’s aims, and shall seek to ensure they pay due regard to the policies etc.
3.6. Appointees shall inform the business meeting of their plans and activities, either verbally for recording in the minutes or by means of short written reports. To avoid repetition, they may assume members have read relevant minutes and newsletters.
3.7. The Treasurer is responsible for all financial aspects of BSGP, including responsibility for the control and reporting of Election Expenses. The Treasurer shall submit a financial summary to every business meeting, and a full report and accounts annually, normally to the AGM.
3.8. The Treasurer shall inform an election meeting about any member seeking to be a prospective public-election candidate who has a record of being in arrears or out of membership except at election times
3.9. The Independent Examiner shall not be an officer of BSGP. Ideally she or he should not be a member of BSGP.
3.10. Representatives to Bristol Green Parties (BGP) though not strictly mandated must present BSGP’s policies to BGP, clearly indicating when presenting their own opinions. They shall report back to BSGP either personally or with a report that can be sent out with the minutes.
3.11. Job descriptions should be prepared for each officer position approved by a business or general meeting, and reviewed at least every three years.
3.12. Suspension of Officers
3.13. Replacement of Officers.
If a CO, Treasurer, the Election Agent, or prospective public-election candidate stands down, a Business Meeting or a GM may elect a replacement.
4. Meetings (See Constitution item 6)
4.1. All meetings
a. Minutes of all meetings shall be kept.
b. Members present shall consider abandoning a meeting if the Co-ordinator (CO) is not present.
c. The Treasurer and Membership Officer shall co-operate to keep up to date lists of paid-up members and ensure they are available to every meeting.
d. All meetings shall commence by selecting a Chair.
e. The selection shall be organised by the CO.
f. The CO is not excluded from chairing.
g. The Chair shall commence by obtaining agreement on the agenda.
h. The meeting shall appoint a minute-taker.
j. Meetings shall be commenced promptly and end within two hours of starting.k. Voting shall be by secret ballot if four or more members (not including proxies) present request it; otherwise election may be by show of hands
l. Where the constitution and standing orders prescribe proportions such as two-thirds of members present, the figure to be used shall be rounded up if necessary. (i.e. two-thirds of 7 would be 5, of 8 would be 6.)
m. After a meeting has ended a further 5 to 10 minutes shall normally be spent on a review of the processes and quality of the meeting in furthering the objectives of the BSGP and enabling all members to contribute.
4.2. Business Meetings
a. A Business Meeting (BM) shall be held monthly except August and December. A BM may also be scheduled to immediately precede or follow a GM.
b. The day of the month, the time, and the venue where BMs are held will normally be the same each month. All members shall be informed of these at least once a year, and every time there is a change.
c. Within two seeks of the meeting draft Minutes of Business Meetings shall
be sent to members who either:
i. have email and do not object to minutes being sent to them by email, or
ii. ask for the minutes of a specific meeting that they have attended or to which they have sent apologies.
4.3. General Meetings (including the AGM and Election Meetings)
a. Minutes of GMs shall be sent reliably to all members.
b.The process for calling General meetings is:
1. Issue the Convening Notice. This must:
* be sent reliably to all members. (‘Reliably’ is defined in ‘Communications’)
* include the date and time of the meeting,
* state the purpose or subject matter (but need not list motions or candidates)
* state who is convening the meeting, i.e. either the CO or a Returning Officer (RO).
* where applicable the date by which documents such as nominations and reports must be received by the CO or RO.
2. Gather in papers, e.g. Motions, Nominations, Reports.
3. Issue the Agenda.It may be sent by email. Printed copies must be available at the meeting.
* include the time, date and location of the meeting,
* where applicable the motions or other information about the topics to be considered,
* the names of candidates.
4.4. Timing Summary
Members to receive Notice convening the Meeting.
Convenor to receive documents
Members to receive Agenda.
5. Arrangements for the conduct of internal elections
The following applies only to the election of the Co-ordinator (CO), the Treasurer, the Election Agent, and of prospective candidates for public election.
5.1. Meetings called for elections may be called Election Meetings or Hustings. Provisions specified elsewhere for all General Meetings apply equally to Election Meetings. However, Election meetings may agree that the RO shall be the Chair.
5.2. If the Returning Officer (RO) is not the CO then the two shall work closely together especially over communications from and to the general membership.
5.3. The meeting must be chaired by a member who is not the RO.
5.4. The decision of the RO shall be final in any dispute about correct procedure.
5.5. In the event of dispute or doubt the RO shall if possible consult the national GP Elections specialist, and shall consult members before declaring a decision. If the RO decides to overrule the objections of two or more members present he/she shall make a full report to the next Business Meeting.
5.6. Four weeks before an Election Meeting a Convening Notice shall be sent reliably to all members. (See definition of ‘reliably’ under ‘Communications’. References to the CO can be taken as referring to the RO.) It shall include an invitation to submit nominations, where relevant, and how and when to do so. It shall also explain how proxy voting may be used and how it works.
5.7. If time and resources permit, the RO may at her or his discretion invite candidates to have election statements distributed to members.
5.8. Election statements shall be of up to 500 words printed on one side of A4 with conventional margins. They shall commence with the name of the post being sought, and the candidate’s name. They shall be provided as email attachments in a format acceptable to the RO.
5.9. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by two members neither of whom may be the nominee
5.10. Nominations must be in the hands of the RO at least 14 days before the date of the election.
5.11. Agenda. At least seven days before the election meeting the RO shall issue a confirmation of its time, date and location, an agenda, a list of candidates for each post, and the candidates’ election statements if any. It shall include the RO’s name. This communication may be by email. Hard copies shall be available at the meeting
5.12. Late Nominations. Nominations may be accepted at the election meeting for any posts for which an election was announced but for which no nomination was listed on the Agenda.
5.13. Identification and good order. The RO may at any time, without giving reasons, ban any person from taking part or continuing to take part in the election or the election meeting. However in this case the RO shall submit a full report to the next business meeting. All members not well known to the RO should bring their membership cards and means of identification.
5.14. Hustings. For each post candidates shall be entitled to speak to the election meeting for up to 5 minutes. Other members may speak in support of a candidate or for RON for no longer than two minutes, up to a total not exceeding 10 minutes per candidate.
5.15. Results. The RO shall announce who is elected, also who came second, third etc, and this shall be recorded in the minutes.
5.16. Appointment. Officers’ terms of office shall commence on the close of the election meeting. Until then the former officer if any retains the responsibility.
5.17. If the RO declares that no-one has been elected as CO then the chair of the meeting shall appoint one temporarily, who may be her/himself, and the RO shall immediately convene another election meeting. The same applies wrt Treasurer.
6. Proxy Voting.
For election meetings the RO shall process proxy voting. For other General Meetings the CO shall do so.
a. A member wishing to vote by proxy shall inform the Returning Officer (RO) by means of a paper form sent out with the convening notice, naming his/her-self, and the proxy holder.
b. The proxy holder may be the RO or may be another member.
c. Forms must be received at least half an hour before the scheduled start of the meeting.
d. The RO shall inform the meeting at the start how many votes each proxy holder holds.
e. Proxy holders who are not themselves entitled to vote shall be identified as such to the meeting.
f. Proxy holders arriving late may be debarred by the RO from voting.
g. Proxies vote at their own discretion. Members may inform proxies how they wish them to vote but whether they do so is not the concern of the BSGP.
h. Proxy holders need not cast all their votes for the same candidate or motion.
f. Being a proxy holder does not carry a right to address the meeting.
i. A member who has appointed a proxy and who then attends the meeting may only withdraw the proxy authority at the RO’s discretion.
j. The RO may at his/her discretion issue voting cards.
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