HARLOW ALLIANCE PARTY CONSTITUTION
NAME AND LOCATION
1 This is the constitution of a political party which shall be known as “The Harlow Alliance Party” (HAP) referred to in this constitution as “The Party”.
2 The geographical location primarily referred to in this document shall be Harlow (Essex) and surrounding villages as defined within the boundaries of the Harlow Parliamentary Constituency.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1 The objectives of The Party include Preserving Harlow’s heritage and Promoting Harlow’s future.
2 The Party will promote the interests of Harlow and it’s community first and enhance the quality of life for all who live and work within the constituency.
3 In pursuance of it’s objectives The Party will encourage-
a) The appropriateness, quality and scale of new and adapted buildings within the town and it’s immediate surroundings.
b) The timely provision of infrastructure required to support new development which shall recognise the needs of local residents as priority above the financial ambitions of any development companies.
c) Provision within the town for enhance public services, including transport, health, education, youth services, libraries, leisure and other cultural activities.
d) Effective management of traffic, parking, road safety and cycling.
e) The idea of localism and the provision of appropriate private sector retail, leisure, commercial and industrial premises and facilities.
f) Biodiversity and ecological management.
4 Living and working in Harlow involves many criteria from housing to transport, from education to healthcare. The Party cares for it’s community and insists that residents must be fully consulted in all matters which impact their quality of life.
5 The Party intends to stand candidates at all elections within the Parliamentary boundary of Harlow.
1 The Party is open to all regardless of race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. The Party will not tolerate any discrimination by a member on the basis of any of these attributes. In accordance with the requirement of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (Cap.41) as amended, The Party has registered the name Harlow Alliance Party and it’s logo in order to continue to support candidates on a party platform in local government elections. The Party remains entirely independent of any national, regional or local political party.
2 Membership shall be open to all residents above the age of 15 who must reside within the boundaries as set out above.
3 All members must accept The Party’s constitution and the principles and philosophy of The Party.
4 Applications for membership may be made at any time. Exceptionally, the Central Committee may refuse an application on the grounds stated in 6 b and c below. If an application for membership is declined, the subscription paid shall be returned. A person or persons whose application is declined shall have a right of appeal to the next Annual General Meeting, at which it shall be decided by a vote on an exclusion motion.
The member concerned shall be allowed to attend only the relevant meetings of the Central Committee or Annual General Meeting at which the question of his or her membership is to be discussed.
5 Members whose subscription is three months in arrears shall cease to be members.
6 Exceptionally. any member
a. Who uses his or her Party membership for the benefit of another political organisation, or for personal gain,
b Whose actions and/or public statements appear to the Central Committee to be in conflict with the Aims and Objectives set out in 2 and/or in the opinion of the Central Committee bring, or are likely to bring, The Party into public disrepute,
c Who is an Opposition Candidate (see below) and who does not, on receipt of a request from the Central Committee to resign from membership of The Party or to stand down from being a candidate, do so within a reasonable period
shall be suspended from membership of the Party with immediate effect by the Central Committee at a meeting of the committee. Such suspension shall be provisional until the next Annual General Meeting, at which it shall be confirmed or otherwise by a vote on an expulsion motion.
An “Opposition Candidate” is a member, other than a member nominated by The Party
stands as a candidate in any election to public office for which a candidate is (or has been) nominated by The Party,
who, having been elected as a candidate of The Party, subsequently joins another political group, or sits as a non-affiliated member unconnected with the Party.
A suspended member shall be allowed to attend only the relevant meetings of the Central Committee or Annual General Meeting at which the suspension or expulsion is to be discussed.
7 Upon the suspension or expulsion of a member, any and all privileges of membership of The Party shall cease forthwith in respect of all residents of the relevant household including, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, attendance at any meeting thereafter save for the Annual General Meeting at which the expulsion is to be voted upon (if applicable). Other residents in the relevant household may re-apply for membership under 3 ii b above.
8 The Treasurer shall, on an expulsion being communicated to him, promptly refund the member’s subscription pro rata to the point of suspension in the financial year, unless another resident of the relevant household re-applies for membership and the application is accepted by the Central Committee.
9 A member who has been expelled from The Party may not subsequently be re-admitted to membership unless such re-admission is approved by a majority vote at a further Annual General Meeting. Any application for membership without such approval shall not take effect unless and until such approval is granted, whether or not The Party has accepted a payment as a subscription from the individual concerned, or from any other person on behalf of the same household. If such a payment has been received and approval for re-admission is not granted, the Treasurer shall, on the decision being communicated to him, promptly refund the amount received.
VOTING POWERS OF MEMBERS
All members shall be allowed to vote unless the person concerned has been suspended or expelled from membership.
1 The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The Party shall be held between September and November of each year (or as near thereto as the Central Committee shall decide is practicable and convenient for the business of the Association).
2 All members shall receive at least 21 days’ notice of the AGM. Postal or other delivery to the member’s address, or sending an email to the member’s last-notified email address, shall be deemed to constitute receipt for the purpose of this sub-paragraph. The accidental omission to give notice of an AGM, or the non-receipt of such notice by any person entitled to receive such notice (but not a general omission to give such notices or the general non-receipt of such notices) shall not invalidate any resolution passed or proceeding taking place at an AGM.
3 The election of the officers of the Central Committee and the auditors for the ensuing year will take place at the AGM and at that meeting the audited accounts will be presented.
4 A quorum shall consist of not less than 4 fully paid up members, 3 of whom shall be officers of the Central Committee. Should a quorum not be present the meeting shall be reconvened within 10 days.
5 Motions for the AGM and nominations for the election of officers shall be received by the General Secretary at least seven days before the meeting. If any position remains unfilled, the Central Committee shall have the power to fill such vacancies. The Chairman of the meeting may, at his/her discretion, accept motions, properly proposed and seconded at the meeting. If there is more than one nomination for a position, a vote shall be taken. If only one nomination is received for a position that person shall be elected.
6 The Central Committee shall call an Extraordinary Meeting (EM) within 21 days from the date of receipt of the request of not less than 7 of the registered voting members, or a quarter of the membership whichever is fewest. Requests for such a meeting specifying what topic or business is to be debated, shall be made in writing to the Secretary, and at such meetings, business only shall be transacted as included in the notice calling the said meeting.
7 Rules for the conduct of an EM shall be the same as for an AGM.
1 The Central Committee shall consist of
The Party Leader
The Party Deputy Leader
The Party Treasurer
The Party General Secretary
Plus a maximum of six additional officers
All of whom shall relinquish their office every year and shall be eligible for re-election at the AGM.
2 The Central Committee shall have the power
• to co-opt up to six other members as they consider necessary
• to fill any vacancy, including officers of The Party, which may arise during the year.
3 Four members shall form a quorum at a meeting of the Central Committee.
4 The Central Committee may appoint sub-committees or working groups to deal with such matters as are deemed necessary. The Chairman of each group so formed must be a member of the Central Committee.
5 The Central Committee shall ordinarily meet monthly, but in any case on not less than nine occasions each year.
6 The Central Committee shall have the power to replace Committee members failing to attend three consecutive meetings.
7 If so requested by two-thirds of the members of the CentralCommittee present at a Meeting of the Central Committee, an Officer shall forthwith stand down from his/her position until the next AGM, at which an election for the post shall be held.
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
1 The Central Committee shall cause minutes to be kept of the proceedings of all Central Committee, AGMs and EMs, including a list of those present. Minutes of Central Committee meetings shall be submitted for approval at the next Central Committee, and the minutes of AGMs and EGMs shall be submitted for approval at the next AGM and, if approved, signed by the person presiding over the subsequent meeting. Any member of The Party may make a request to see the minutes of the meetings. The first item on the agenda of each meeting shall be to appoint a person to chair that meeting.
2 Each member of the Committee being present shall be entitled to one vote at any meeting of that Committee except where otherwise provided in these rules.
3 Each member of The Party being present at any AGM or EM shall be entitled to one vote at that meeting subject to the restriction contained in rule 4.
4 In any case of an equal number of votes being given for and against any resolution at any Committee or AGM or EM the Chairman of that meeting shall be entitled to a second or casting vote.
The financial year of The Party shall run from 1 January to 31 December. Members’ subscriptions fall due on joining The Party and then on 1 January each following year. Members who join after 1 September in any year shall pay at the rate for the following year, and their membership shall last to the end of that year. Any change to the rates to be charged as subscription shall be put to an AGM on the recommendation of the Central Committee, and to be approved must be supported by a majority of members voting at such AGM.
1 The Central Committee shall cause proper books of accounts and records to be kept.
2 The books of accounts and records shall give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of The Party.
3 The Party shall maintain a current account in the name of The Party, and may maintain a savings account in the name of The Party.
4 The account is to be audited internally each year, by two members of the Central Committee.
5 It is likely that The Party shall operate mostly electronic banking systems, with two authorisations.
6 No person may authorise a payment to themselves.
7 Expenditure may be incurred on behalf of The Party provided prior approval is minuted at a meeting of the Central Committee. This expenditure is subject to certification by the treasurer to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover it.
8 During election periods, candidates may not incur expenditure from party funds without authorisation from the Central Committee. This is also to include any personal expenditure by candidates so as to ensure that it is within limits set by The Electoral Commission.
9 The Party Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accounts. The annual accounts will be signed off by the Central Committee before each AGM in accordance with PPERA
10 Accounts will be presented in written form at Central Committee meetings twice a year or more frequently if the Committee so request.
11 A register of paid up members will be maintained.
1 Candidates nominated by The Party in elections to public office must be members of The Party. In accordance with the requirement of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (Cap.41) as amended The Party has registered the name Harlow Alliance Party and it’s logo in order to continue to support candidates on the parties platform in elections. The Party remains entirely independent from any national, regional or local political party. Candidates will continue to be described as “Harlow Alliance Party”.
2 The holding of office in, or active involvement in, The Party shall not affect a member’s eligibility to stand as a candidate for The Party. Party members elected to Council should understand and accept the need to take into very careful consideration the views of the members regarding items and policies which affect the aims and objectives of this Party.
3 Selection of candidates should take place at the AGM, on the basis of a motion or motions proposed by the Central Committee. The selection may be generalized, in that a motion may be made to approve a person as a candidate without stating which ward or authority she or he is to be a candidate for, and may be made at any time, not just before an election. The AGM may empower the Central Committee to select a candidate or candidates where necessary and the Central Committee may delegate this power to the Liaison Group, such candidates to be submitted for confirmation of approval at the next AGM.
4 Members seeking to promote the electoral aims of political parties or groups other than The Party shall not use reference to their membership of The Party in their publicity. Failure to observe this restriction shall be referred to the next AGM for their expulsion from membership to be considered.
5 The Party shall not attempt to mandate the vote in any way of a councillor elected under its name who sits on a body which determines planning applications, or where a councillor exercises any quasi-judicial function (for instance, on panels considering Housing or Licensing Appeals).
ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION
The Constitution may be amended only at an AGM or EGM of The Party, and by a 75% majority of the voting members present. Proposals to amend the Constitution, duly seconded by members, must be delivered in writing to the Secretary 14 days before the AGM or EM as appropriate. Members shall receive a copy of such proposals at least seven days before the meeting.
LIQUIDATION OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Party shall remain in being until an EM shall resolve by majority that it be dissolved. After liquidation of all debts and outstanding liabilities of The Party, and remaining assets shall be distributed as the meetings of the members shall decide, for the benefit of the people of Harlow. If affairs of The Party lapse through lack of support, and the remaining members find it impossible to attain a quorum to manage affairs, they may take action to dissolve The Party.
Note that for the purpose of openness and transparency the Party has chosen to publish its Constitution. Whilst every effort is made to ensure this web page is current, for the avoidance of doubt the definitive copy of the Constitution is held by the Leader of the party.