The below is the constitution of York Community Energy as adopted on March 1st 2015.
- The name of the association is York Community Energy.
- The values of York Community Energy (YCE) can be summarised as follows:
- We are concerned by climate change and the need to reduce the impact of energy generation on our environment.
- We believe that community ownership is a powerful way to engage people in developing an understanding of the resources on which we depend.
- We would like to see communities benefit from the expanding development of renewable energy.
- The objects of YCE are:
- To encourage better understanding of renewable energy generation, clean energy sources, community ownership and environmental sustainability.
- To promote the principle of community-owned renewable energy and encourage the development of any appropriate type of renewable energy.
- To establish and promote community-owned renewable energy generation, in which residents have ownership and control over the management and income from an energy source, in or around the City of York area.
- In pursuing these objectives, YCE may engage in the following activities:
- Organising events and study trips.
- Writing, designing, printing, publishing and disseminating information in various forms.
- Raising funds, inviting and receiving donations and contributions.
- Hiring or purchasing equipment, services, rights or licenses.
- Liaising and lobbying other groups, as well as associating and affiliating with groups whose aims are compatible with those of YCE.
- Responding to consultations and planning applications.
- Offering advice.
- Forming a company with similar objects to those of the association, and, if considered appropriate, to transfer to any such company the whole or any part of the association’s assets and undertaking, without any payment being required from the company
- The structure of the association shall consist of:
- the MEMBERS – who have the right to attend any normal meeting of YCE
- the MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE – who attend normal meetings and may hold additional committee meetings not open to all members, and generally control and supervise the activities of the association; in particular, the management committee is responsible for monitoring the financial position of the association and maintaining the membership register.
- Membership of YCE is open to anyone over the age of 16 who accepts the objects of YCE and who has paid a membership fee of £1 and provided their name and address.
- The Secretary will retain a record of both normal and management committee membership, setting out the full name and address of each member as well as the date on which s/he was admitted to the membership, and the date on which any person ceased to be a member.
- The Management Committee may refuse or remove a person’s membership if they believe it is in the best interests of the group. The member has the right to be heard by the Management Committee before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend.
- Any member may resign their membership by notification to the Management Committee.
- YCE will hold an Annual General Meeting once per year. No more than 15 months shall elapse between AGMs.
- Extraordinary General Meetings may be called by the management committee or by 10% of the membership to amend the constitution or elect new members to the management committee.
- Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, all votes are taken by simple majority of those present plus those voting by post, SMS, email, or other means of direct communication. Votes may not be relayed verbally by another member.
The following apply to both AGMs and EGMs:
- Every member shall have one vote when passing resolutions, amending the constitution or electing committee members.
- All members shall be given at least 14 days’ written notice – this notice may be sent by email, SMS or post.
- The chair of the association shall (if present and willing to act as chairperson) preside as chairperson of each general meeting; if the chair is not present and willing to act as chairperson within 15 minutes after the time at which the meeting was due to commence, the members of the management committee present at the meeting shall elect from among themselves the person who will act as chairperson of that meeting.
- If there is an equal number of votes for and against any resolution, the chairperson of the meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote.
The following apply to all meetings
- Minutes will be taken at all meetings, be distributed to the membership after the meetings, and be approved at the next meeting of the same group.
- Meetings may be attended by observers in a non-voting capacity at the discretion of the Management Committee (or sub-committee).
The Management Committee
- The Management Committee (the Committee) shall be composed of members of YCE.
- The Committee shall meet as required but not less than three times a year.
- The Committee will be appointed by the membership at an AGM or EGM. It will consist of the following members: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as between one and five ordinary committee members.
- The Committee will stand down at each AGM but be immediately eligible for re-election.
- Resignations from the Management Committee must be received 14 days in advance of the meeting in order for members to be notified of a new vacancy.
- At least half of the Committee members must be present for a Management Committee meeting to be quorate.
- The Committee may co-opt additional Committee members as may from time to time be necessary to further the aims of YCE.
- A member will be removed from the Management Committee if —
- they resign their position or their membership of YCE
- they are absent (without permission of the Management Committee) from more than three consecutive meetings of the Management Committee, and the Management Committee resolve to remove him/her from office.
- they become incapable of fulfilling their role for medical/personal reasons and such incapacity is expected to last for more than six months.
- In the case where a named role is vacated as a result of removal or resignation, an interim appointment may be made by the rest of the Committee until the next AGM or EGM.
- The Management Committee may delegate their powers to sub-committees which must be composed entirely of members of YCE. Clauses 17 and 18 apply to meetings of such subcommittees.
- A member of the management committee who has a personal financial interest in any transaction or other arrangement which the association is proposing to enter into, must declare that interest at a meeting of the management committee and before any vote taken on the matter; he/she will be debarred from voting on the question of whether or not the association should enter into that arrangement.
- For the purposes of clause 28, a person shall be deemed to have a personal interest in an arrangement if any partner or other close relative of his/hers or any firm of which he/she is a partner or any limited company of which he/she is a substantial shareholder or director, has a personal interest in that arrangement.
- The Management Committee may not decide a matter where a majority of those present have a personal financial interest in the matter.
- s/he has declared his/her interest and
- s/he has not voted on the question of whether or not the association should enter into the relevant arrangement
a member of the management committee will not be debarred from entering into an arrangement with the association in which he/she has a personal interest and may retain any personal benefit which he/she gains from his/her participation in that arrangement.
- YCE is not affiliated with any political party and will not endorse any party.
- Members of political parties may join YCE but no elected MP, Councillor or Peer shall sit on the Management Committee.
- Notwithstanding the above, YCE may affiliate to any association, trade group, charity or campaigning organisation whose own aims support those of YCE.
- Money and property owned by YCE must only be used for the group’s purposes as set out in clause 3 of this constitution.
- The group will have a bank account in the name of York Community Energy. Between a minimum of two and a maximum of five members will be signatories to the account; these signatories must include the Treasurer and at least one other member of the Management Committee.
- Financial records shall be kept by the Treasurer and a report presented to each AGM.
Amendments to the Constitution
- Changes to the Constitution will be considered by the Management Committee and then voted on at an AGM or EGM.
- The Committee will not accept proposed changes which would fundamentally alter the objects of YCE as defined in clause 3 above.
- Changes to the Constitution require a two-thirds majority vote at the EGM or AGM.
- The group may be dissolved if deemed necessary by the members in a majority vote at an AGM or EGM.
- Any assets or remaining funds after debts have been paid shall be returned to their providers or transferred to local charities or similar groups at the discretion of the Committee.
Adoption of the Constitution
This constitution was adopted by the members present at the meeting held on March 1st 2015.