Constitution and rules

WHAT THE LABOUR PARTY STANDS FOR

The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many and not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

1.NAME

The name of the group shall be Small & Medium Enterprises for Labour, also known as SME4Labour

2.OBJECTS

The objects of the Small & Medium Enterprises for Labour (called the Group in this document) are to support and promote the values and principles of the Labour Party in order to engage the small & medium enterprise businesses community in Britain.

In pursuance of these objects, the Group shall:

  • Promote the values and principles of the Labour Party to the small & medium enterprise businesses community in Britain
  • Ensure the Labour Party, at all levels, are made aware of the strengths, contributions and needs of the small & medium enterprise businesses community in Britain in order to engage and promote the profile of the small & medium enterprise businesses community in Britain
  • Engage the small & medium enterprise businesses community in actively participating in the political and democratic processes and structures of the Labour Party at the local, regional, national and European levels by the encouragement of membership and support of the Labour Party
  • Forge international links with similar organisations in Europe and elsewhere in order to enhance the work of Small & Medium Enterprises for Labour
  • Encourage more small & medium enterprise business people to become Labour Party political representatives at the local, regional, national and European levels
  • To encourage more small & medium enterprise business people to take an active part in political and public life and to bring the values of the Labour Party into this work and service
  • To ensure that all activities we carry out offers the equality of opportunity to all sections of the small & medium enterprise businesses community, in particular women, people with disabilities and those sections within our small & medium enterprise businesses communities who face particular disadvantages and exclusion.

3.MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Group is open to:

  1. any person who is an individual member of the Labour Party, who supports the objects of the Group and in the opinion of the Executive Committee should enable that person to contribute effectively to the achievements of the objects of the Group
  2. any other person, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, provided that such a person shall be an individual member of the Labour Party
    1. Any person who is not a member of the Labour Party, but is otherwise qualified for membership, may be accepted by the Executive Committee as a member of the Group. No person shall be a member who is not eligible for individual membership of the Labour Party
    2. Any organisation or individual which supports the aims and objectives of the Labour Party and Small & Medium Enterprises for Labour, may be accepted by the Executive Committee as an Associate Member of  Small & Medium Enterprises for Labour. Associate members shall not  hold office or be entitled to vote at any general meeting, or in anyelection of officers or of members of the Executive Committee, but in other respects shall be deemed to be full members of the Group and may attend study group and general meetings with the permission of the Executive Committee or the study group
    3. Associate members and associated organisations will be encouraged to join the Labour Party as individuals or be affiliated to the Labour Party by the Group.
    4. Any person seeking to become member of the Group shall send to the Secretary a membership form approved by the Executive Committee.   The application shall include details of the applicant’s Labour Party and Trade Union membership.
    5. It shall be in the absolute discretion of the Executive Committee (EC), to decline to accept an application for membership.
    6. The EC may expel members of the Group, or decline to accept the renewal of the membership for conduct which, in its opinion, is detrimental to the interests of the group of the Labour Party and/or the Group. All expulsions shall be reported to subsequent General Meeting of the Group.
    7. If the subscription to the Group of any member is unpaid at the expiration of three months from the date when it is due, the EC shall have the power to declare the person concerned to be no longer a member of the Group and upon such declaration being made, such person shall forthwith for all purposes cease to be member of the Group. The EC shall declare that that person, upon application being made accompanied by arrears of subscription, be reinstated as a member of the Group.
    8. If a member resigns or ceases to be eligible for membership of the Group, the Group shall be entitled to retain as a donation any subscription or other monies which he/she may thereafter pay to the Group.
    9. A member who participates in the activities of the Group must declare a relevant interest to the Executive Committee or the Chair. A relevant interest is one which involves a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which could conflict with the interests of the Group or the Labour Party or an item on the agenda of any meeting of the Group.

 4. POLICIES AND REPRESENTATION

  1. Unless authorised by the Group or the Executive Committee, views expressed at meetings and in publications shall be clearly identified as the views of the individual/s and not the Group.
  2. Officers of the Group will only use their titles in public forums when representing the Group and the Group’s interests.
  3. Officers can write for publication or give a public presentation in the name of the Group if it is agreed by the Executive Committee or the Chair.

 5. OFFICERS

  1.  The Officers of the Group ie the Executive Committee, shall consist of:
    • Chairperson

      2 Vice Chairs

      Secretary

      Treasurer

      Membership Secretary

      Press and Communications

      Up to 4 members of the Executive Committee

      All Officers must be members of the Labour Party.

  2. The Executive Committee may appoint a person to fill a vacancy among the Officers of the Group and any person so appointed shall hold office until the next AGM
  3. The Executive Committee may appoint additional officers to assist in the management of the Group but persons so appointed shall not be members of the Executive Committee. The appointed person will be accountable to the Executive Committee.
  4. The Executive Committee may appoint honorary officers as it may deem appropriate, but persons so appointed shall not be members of the Executive Committee.

6. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. The Executive Committee is the executive authority of the Group, except during General Meetings. The membership (up to 12 members) shall be those listed in 5.1.
  2. The Executive Committee may appoint or co-opt members to fill any vacancies arising during the course of the year, from the general membership. Any such person appointed or co-opted shall hold office until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting following his/her co-option or appointment.
  3. The quorum of the Executive Committee shall be 4 members. The decisions of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by reason of any vacancy among its members.
  4.  The Executive Committee shall have the powers to set up sub-committees or working/task groups, consisting of members of the Group, to assist in carrying out any objects of the Group. At least one member of the Executive Committee shall be a member of each sub-committee and wherever practical, be a member of the working group.
  5. The members of the Executive Committee shall be indemnified our of the funds of the Group against all liabilities and expenses which they may incur in the management of the Group.

 7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. The Officers of the Group and the elected members of the Executive Committee shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.
  2. Written nominations, signed by the nominee and at least two other members must be submitted not less than 14 days before the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting. Nominations by fax and emails will be accepted if they meet the closing deadline, provided such nominations are also received by post, even if the post confirmation is received after the deadline.
  3. Where the number of persons nominated for any office exceeds the number of persons to be elected, the Secretary shall issue ballot papers for the election to office to all members of the Group, who are eligible to vote, who are present at the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Nominations must be accompanied by a 200 word written statement from candidates (or a verbal statement at the Meeting), which will be sent out with the agenda papers for the Annual General Meeting.
  5. The actual counting will be supervised by the Secretary, assisted with at least two tellers who are members of the Group and who are not candidates.
  6. In the event of the Secretary standing in a contested election, this function will be assumed by an appointee made by the Executive Committee.

8. GENERAL MEETING

  1. An Annual General Meeting will be held once in every calendar year.
  2. At least 28 days advanced notice shall be given to members of the Group of the date of the Annual General Meeting.
  3. A special general meeting may be convened at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
  4. A special general meeting shall be convened by the Secretary at the written request of not fewer than 10% of all members of the Group, specifying the purpose for which the meeting is to be held.
  5. Any member of the Group desiring to move a motion at a special general meeting shall ensure that the motion/s are incorporated in the written request.
  6. A special general meeting shall be convened at not less than 14 days notice for a date within 28 days of the receipt by the Secretary of the written request and shall not be within 6 weeks of any other general meeting.
  7. The quorum for a general meeting shall be 10% of all members of the Group. If no quorum is present within 30 minutes of the announced time of the Annual General Meeting, the meeting shall stand adjourned for 14 days. At the adjourned Annual General Meeting, the quorum shall consist of the members then present.
  8. At all general meetings, the Chair shall be taken by the Chairperson of the Group or by another member of the Executive Committee.
  9. At a general meeting no decision shall be made on nay matter which the Chair of the meeting rules to be contentious, unless the agenda for the meeting gave members a fair opportunity of knowing the matter in question was to be considered at the meeting.
  10. Notice of any meeting shall be deemed to have been effectively given to each member on the date on which the notice is posted at the address last notified by the member to the Secretary. Inadvertent failure to post any notice or to address it correctly shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

9. MOTIONS AND AGENDA

  1. Any member of the Group desiring to move a motion/s at the Annual General Meeting shall give written notice thereof, together with the written motion/s, to the Secretary not less than 28 days before the date of the AGM.
  2. The Executive Committee may include any motion, or an amendment to any motion, in the agenda for any general meeting.
  3. The agenda for every Annual General Meeting shall include:
  4. an annual report on behalf of the Executive Committee
  5. Treasurer’s report with the audited accounts of the Group
  6. Declaration of the election of Officers and other members of the Executive Committee
  7. Appointment of auditors for the ensuing year
  8. The agenda for any general meeting shall be posted to all members of the group not less than 14 days before the date fixed for the meeting.

10. SUBSCRIPTIONS

  1. The Annual General Meeting shall determine the annual subscription rate payable by members. This meeting may determine other rates for members who are unemployed or on low incomes. The subscription shall be due and payable on the first day of each calendar year.
  2. The Executive Committee shall take other measures it deems necessary to secure other financial support for the Group.

11. ACCOUNTS

  1. The Treasurer shall ensure that proper books of accounts are kept and to explain any transactions.
  2. The auditors shall be appointed by members in the Annual General Meeting. Casual vacancies of the auditors shall be filled by the Executive Committee’s decision.
  3. At each Annual General Meeting, the audited accounts of the Group, as approved by the Executive Committee, in respect of the previous year shall be presented by the Treasurer or someone acting on his/her behalf. Such accounts will consist of an Income and Expenditure Account for the year and a Balance Sheet as at the end of the year.
  4. The Executive Committee via the Treasurer shall make appropriate banking arrangements for the Group and shall determine signatories for such accounts.
  5. No financial commitments, actual or contingent, shall be incurred by or on behalf of the Group, except with the prior authorisation of, or in accordance with the procedures established by the Executive Committee.

12. RESIGNATIONS AND ABSENCES

  1. An Officer of the Group or a member of the Executive Committee may resign from office at any time on given notice to the Secretary to that effect.
  2. If a member of the Executive Committee shall be absent from three consecutive quorate meetings, except for a reason accepted by the Executive Committee, he/she, on resolution of the Executive Committee being passed, shall be deemed to have resigned as a member of the Executive Committee and from any office held by him/her.

13. DISSOLUTION

  1. The Group shall only be dissolved at an annual or special general meeting by two-thirds majority of those present and voting.
  2. In the event of dissolution, the Executive Committee shall recommend to the said meeting the manner in which the assets of the Group, if any, shall be used. The assets shall then be applied in such a manner as the meeting shall determine after providing for all liabilities of the Group.

12. INTERPRETATION AND ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION

  1. Any question as to the meaning or application of this Constitution arising during the course of a general meeting shall be determined by the Chairperson of the meeting, and any such question arising at any other time shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
  2. This Constitution may be altered at any duly convened annual or special general meeting by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.