York Green Party Constitution

January 2024

This constitution is subsidiary to the constitution of the Green party of England and Wales and if they should differ the national constitution shall have priority.

Clarifying notes:

“The Party” refers to York Green Party

“The Constitution” refers to York Green Party Constitution

In instances where voting results in a tie, indicating an equal number of votes for and against a motion, the Chair will exercise a casting vote to break the tie. This casting vote is in addition to the Chair’s regular vote and shall be used only to resolve tied decisions. The Chair’s decision in such instances should be considered final.

1. NAME

1.1 The name shall be York Green Party.

1.2 The Party is a constituent part of the Green Party of England and Wales (“GPEW”) and a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Green Party (“YHGP”); and is subject to the rules and constitution of the national party.

1.3 The geographical remit of the Party shall be the areas covered by City of York Council.

2. AIMS

2.1 The aims shall be:

2.1.1 to uphold the constitution and further the aims of the Green Party of England and Wales which are: (i) to develop, promote and implement policies consistent with the Philosophical Basis of the GPEW expressed in its Policies for a Sustainable Society, Record of Policy Statements and Manifesto, (ii) to win seats at all levels of government, (iii) to organise any non-violent activities to promote these aims and objectives*.

2.1.2 to encourage new members to join.

2.2 The Party may participate in or support activities in areas outside its geographical remit such as may be agreed from time to time by a General Meeting (“GM”), Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) or Annual General Meeting (“AGM”).

*This may include non-violent protest, community-based activities such as Community Green Action Wildflower Planting, Litter Picks, Community Recycling, support of initiatives such as Warm Spaces or Food Banks or other activities within consistent with the Philosophical Basis of GPEW.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 A member is any paid-up member of the GPEW who is resident in the geographical areas served by City of York Council.

3.2 Members have all the rights of a member of the GPEW.

3.3 Members may not be a member of another political party in England and Wales.

4. GOVERNANCE

4.1 The Party and all its activities will be governed by its General Meetings (GM) (EGM) and (AGM).

4.2 All GMs, AGMs and EGMs of the Party shall be made accessible for all members to attend as far as reasonably possible – either in person or on-line. Any guest or prospective member may attend as an observer subject to the agreement of the meeting. They can be asked to leave at the discretion of the Chair, should the meeting be discussing items of a sensitive nature.

4.3 The vote of a simple majority of members present will apply (except when a two thirds majority is required as indicated in the relevant sections of this constitution). Those attending electronically will be provided with an opportunity to vote in an open or closed ballot in line with those attending in person). Each member has one vote and members may vote by proxy.

4.4 AGMs will be held once a year but not more than fifteen months after the previous AGM. The AGM shall consider detailed reports by the Chair, Treasurer, and other Elected Officers of the Party at the discretion of the Chair and may review or set annual goals and priorities in addition to conducting the ordinary business of the Party. A minimum of 4 weeks’ notice of an AGM shall be given to all members stating the time and place of the meeting (which may be physical, online or both).

4.5 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called by ten or more members by giving written notice to the Chair, or by a simple majority vote of the officers at a GM. A minimum of fourteen days’ notice of an EGM shall be given to all members stating the date, time, place (which may be physical, online or both) and business to be discussed. Notice must be sent to members within fourteen days of receipt by the chair. No business other than that included in the notice may be discussed at an EGM.

4.6 GMs will be held at least six times per year. Notice for all GMs (other than EGMs) of at least 14 days shall be given to all members for whom we have an email address stating the date, time. and place (which may be physical, online or both) of the meeting.

4.6.1 Non business members meetings that are social or event based shall be held at least 2 times a year.

4.7 In this constitution, all references to “written” or “in writing” include electronic communication. Notwithstanding any member’s general opt-out preferences for email communications, it is a mandatory constitutional requirement that the Party communicates certain critical information to all members who have provided an email address. This critical information includes, but is not limited to, the selection of candidates for various elections, notices of Annual General Meetings (AGMs), Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs), and other significant organisational activities essential to the functioning of the Party.

Such communications are considered fundamental to the active engagement and democratic participation of all members in the Party’s operations. Therefore, all members who have provided their email addresses will receive these communications irrespective of their general email communication preferences. This specific requirement supersedes any broader communication opt-out preferences to ensure that all members are kept informed about crucial party activities and decisions.

4.8 A quorum for any EGM or AGM shall be the lesser of 10 members or 5% of the total membership. If a quorum is not met, the meeting shall be rescheduled, and members will be notified of the new date, time, and location.

4.9 For General Meetings (GMs), the quorum shall be the lesser of 8 members or 4% of the total membership. In the event of a quorum not being achieved, the meeting shall be adjourned and reconvened at a later date, with members being informed accordingly.

4.10 Motions may be proposed in writing for a decision by a GM or an AGM by any member. They must be seconded by another member. The notice of the motion must be received by the Chair at least five days before the date of the meeting for which it is proposed. Notice of the motion must be sent to the membership at least two days before the date of the meeting.

4.11 A motion to any meeting that is received by the Chair with a shorter period of notice than those specified above should normally be postponed to the following meeting. However, the meeting may decide to consider the motion without the above notice periods, if a two-thirds majority agree that it cannot reasonably be postponed to a later meeting.

4.12 The finances of the Party will be regulated as follows: 

4.12.1 The Treasurer shall collect or arrange for the collection of all money due to the Party and shall receive and be custodian of all donations to the Party. All funds raised by members must be passed to the treasurer.

4.12.2 The Treasurer shall arrange for payment of any bills incurred by the Party and will report on the Parties financial affairs at least once each quarter to a GM. If the accounts are in danger of becoming overdrawn the Treasurer must notify the Executive Committee in good time.

4.12.3 Any money drawn from the Party’s bank account(s) must be authorised by two persons from a list of six to be agreed by the Executive Committee. Internet banking for the Party may only be conducted by the Treasurer, secretary other selected officer as agreed at AGM or EGM in the absence of the Treasurer and in accordance with national policies.

4.12.4 Whenever possible, funds will be held by a banking corporation with a policy of ethical investment acceptable to the membership, for example (but not limited to) Triodos, Cooperative Bank and Ecology Building Society.

4.12.5 Members may incur expenditure on behalf of the Party with the prior approval of the Executive Committee. Any affiliation fees or donations to another organisation or group must have the prior approval of the Executive Committee.

4.12.6 The Treasurer shall be responsible for all legal requirements in relation to financial reporting to GPEW.

5. OFFICERS

5.1 An Executive Committee will be set up for the purposes only of facilitating the management and day-to-day running of the Party between GMs and to expedite actions arising from decisions of the GM with due regard to the requirements of this Constitution. Provided that:

5.1.1 The Executive Committee shall comprise the Officers specified in clause 5.2 and may co-opt members as necessary to fill a vacancy.

5.1.2 The Executive Committee shall report quarterly to the GM and its minutes shall be available to members within 7 calendar days after each of its meetings.

5.1.3 The quorum for an Executive Committee meeting shall be 5 voting members.

5.1.4 Only members of the Executive Committee have voting rights on Executive Committee decisions.

5.2 The Executive Committee shall consist of the following Elected Officers appointed in accordance with the election procedure:

  • Chair/Coordinator,
  • Deputy Chair / Coordinator
  • Nominations Officer,
  • Treasurer,
  • Deputy Treasurer,
  • Local Party Contact,
  • Secretary,
  • Campaign Manager,
  • Membership Secretary,
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator,
  • Internal Communications Officer,
  • Press officer,
  • Social Media & Website Coordinator,
  • Fundraising and Events Coordinator,
  • Issues-based Campaigns Coordinator,
  • Data Coordinator (including GDPR compliance),
  • When there are elected councillors a Council Green Group Liaison Officer.

5.3 The Executive Committee must ensure a Local Party Contact is registered with the National Party and may be combined with any one of the above roles, but could be a single role if desired.

5.4 The Executive Committee may appoint members to fulfil additional roles outside of the Executive Committee which may include: Fundraising & Events organiser, Press organiser, Design and publications organiser, Website organiser, Young people and students Coordinator.

5.5 Councillors are invited to attend but cannot vote (unless they are also elected officers).

5.6 Members may also attend as observers but may be asked to leave if confidential or sensitive matters are being discussed. This is a decision for the Chair.

5.7 All Officer Roles will be up for re-election at the subsequent AGM.

5.8 Officers may be removed from post by a resolution of an EGM requiring a two-thirds majority vote.

5.9 Any officer role may be held as a job-share by two or more members, with one vote per position with voting rights.

5.10 At the first officers meeting after each AGM the committee shall appoint a Disputes and Complaints Officer.

6. ELECTION PROCEDURE

6.1.1 Election of Elected Officers shall be held at every AGM according to appropriate election procedures.

6.1.2 No member may hold more than one of the Elected Officer posts unless there are insufficient candidates for all posts (except the Local Party Contact see 5.3).

6.1.3 Should a vacancy arise mid-term the Elected Officer post may be filled:

  1. By co-option from York Green Party members by the remaining Elected Officers, subject to ratification by the next GM; or
  2. By election at any GM with due notification to the membership.

6.1.4 The Committee shall appoint or co-opt an Electoral Returning Officer. This will be an individual who is not intending to seek nomination or re-nomination as an Elected Officer.

6.1.5 Call for nominations: this shall be made with the announcement of the AGM or GM.

  1. Nominations must be in writing, with a supporting statement to be considered by electors; proposed and seconded by members of York GP, and received by ERO at least 7 clear days before the date of the GM.
  2. Where there is more than once candidate elections for Elected Officers shall be by separate Single Transferable Vote (STV) ballots at the AGM.
  3. All ballots or other selection of Elected Officers will include provision for negative voting, in the form of “re-open nominations” (RON).
  4. Where insufficient valid written nominations have been received to fill the vacant Elected Officer posts, verbal nominations and seconding may be accepted by the Chair on the day of the meeting.
  5. Where there is only one nomination, a simple show of hands may be used at the AGM to indicate acceptance of either this candidate or RON, but a count must be held if any three members demand it.

6.2 EXTERNAL: CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIONS

6.2.1 Nominations for candidates for local and national elections will be invited by the Returning Officer at least six weeks before the selection process takes place.

6.2.2 Nominees must be eligible to stand as a candidate and perform the tasks of the elected office as required by this Constitution and electoral legislation.

6.2.3 All election candidates shall be proposed and seconded in writing by members of the Party. A candidate must be:

6.2.3.1 member of the Party for least one year by the date of the relevant election; or

6.2.3.2 if not already a member, or if a member for less than 1 year: (i) they must join the Party (if not already a member); (ii) they must have a minuted interview with at least three people, being the

Party councillors or officers, to assess and endorse their suitability.

6.2.4 For all Target Ward Candidates and General Election Candidates, nominees must provide a written statement to highlight their suitability to be made available to all members and a hustings must be held prior to voting to select the candidate. This does not apply to paper candidates. Notification for hustings with the nominee statement must be sent to all members 14 days prior to the hustings date.

6.2.5 No member may be a candidate for any other party (except another Green Party) in an election for any level of government and no member of another party may be a candidate for the Party in any such election.

6.2.6 Party candidates for local and national elections shall be decided by ballots of members using either simple majority vote or preferential voting (members select 1st, 2nd, 3rd preferences) as chosen by the Returning Officer with an option to re-open nominations. Ballots may be held in meetings (GMs or EGMs), by post, via email or using digital methods such as Opavote. 

6.2.7 In the event of unexpected elections such as snap General Elections or by-elections, the Party may adopt a candidate by vote at a meeting called for that purpose of which all members have been notified at least 24 hours in advance.

6.2.8 Members may vote in the selection of candidates for all elections associated with the Party.

6.3 DESELECTION AND REMOVAL

6.3.1 An elected or non-elected officer or post-holder, or a selected candidate of the Party for any level of government may be de-selected/removed from their post by a two-thirds majority vote of those present for a motion at a GM or EGM.

6.3.2 Such a motion shall be signed by ten or more members and be submitted to the Chair at least 14 days before the meeting. The Chair shall circulate the motion to all members at least ten days before the meeting.

7. DISPUTE RESOLUTION

7.1 The Party will follow procedures as may be put in place from time to time by GPEW. Members may only be expelled through national GPEW procedures.

7.2 The Party will seek to resolve any disputes between members through discussion and conciliation. The Dispute Resolution Committee of GPEW could be consulted regarding any potential breaches to the National GPEW Code of Conduct. and may be involved.

7.3 The Party shall refer to the Local Party Disputes and Complaints Procedures document.

8. REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

8.1 Amendments to the Constitution require a two-thirds majority vote at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Proposed amendments must originate from Party members or the Executive Committee.

8.2 Amendments cannot be made through emergency motions. However, minor textual edits that do not alter the substantive meaning or intent of the Constitution can be proposed and approved at any AGM or EGM. All proposals for amendments, including minor textual edits, must be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least 20 days prior to the AGM or EGM for inclusion in the meeting agenda.

8.3 Motions to amend the Constitution must be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least 20 clear days before the scheduled date of the AGM or EGM and the text of the amendment circulated with the formal notice of the meetingIf there is a proposal to amend the amendment then this must be sent to the Chair within 14 days of issue of the motion.

9. DISSOLUTION

9.1 The Party may cease to exist or join with other local Green Parties only by a two thirds majority decision of an EGM or AGM.

9.2 In the event of the Party being wound up, the balances of any funds held by the Party shall be transferred to the regional Green Party. In the event of the Party becoming defunct, GPEW rules shall apply.

ENDS

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