Constitution

CONSTITUTION of LETSlink Wales
Draft: as at April 2018

1. NAME:
The name of the organisation is Wales Regional Local Exchange Trading Scheme, or Wales LETS, also referred to as "LETSlink Wales" or "the Hub" in this Constitution.

2. AIMS & OBJECTIVES

2.1 To develop and encourage the experience of community and sustainability through the establishment and support of Local Exchange Trading Schemes in Wales in co-operation with LETSlink UK.
2.2 To stimulate the creation of practical, economic, educational and social benefits by and for the community of Wales, by operating a regional currency, called "Dragons" to assist in sharing resources between those who contribute to the work of the organisation, as well as providing a practical trading hub for the community in Wales.
2.3 To provide a platform for members, whether individuals, or representatives of their local LETS group or other community project, to network with others and contribute to the knowledge of how to manage LETS, and develop an understanding of its relationship to other projects concerned with community, sustainability, and economic reform.
2.4 To support the principles and practices of mutuality, kindness, co-operation, and innovation.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Membership of The Hub shall be open without prejudice to any individual or organisation sympathetic to its aims.
3.2 Acceptance into membership shall be dependent on (a) the applicant's endorsement of the LETS Rules and Constitution, (b) the payment of any membership fees, renewable annually or otherwise, which may be charged (either or both in Sterling or LETS currency units) at the discretion of the Management Group.
3.3 The Hub follows an equal opportunities policy and does not discriminate on the basis of age, ability, gender, orientation, culture, race or wealth. It is non-sectarian and non-party political and will not affiliate to any party political organisation.
3.4 The Committee, failing which LETSlink UK has the right to terminate membership in event of a serious breach of the LETS membership agreement. The member concerned has the right to appeal to a Mediation Group.

4. LEGAL STATUS
4.1 LETSlink Wales is an unincorporated members' club of people willing to further its aims.
4.2 LETSlink Wales is a regional branch of LETSlink UK
4.3 LETSlink Wales aims both to abide by, and contribute to, LETSlink's guidelines for best practice in managing Local Exchange Trading.

5.0 COMMITTEE

5.1 The rights and authority of The LETS are vested in all members, who may delegate that authority to a Committee, to act on their behalf to ensure that the tasks of running the LETS are effectively carried out and the organisation operates according to LETSlink guidelines. Members of the Committee are responsible for governance, administration, funding and strategy of the scheme, and outreach to local and national organisations.

5.2 The Committee begins as a Steering Group who continue to function until the first AGM when a committee consisting will be elected.

5.3 As a regional branch or LETSlink UK, the committee may begin with one co-ordinator, working in liaison with LETSlink. Once others are appointed, they will work as a team, who may adopt traditional roles of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and/or adopt specific roles as development of the project requires.

(a) To act as, or appoint a separate Management Group (sometimes known as a Core Group), or individual Administrators, to run the scheme on a day-to-day basis. (The expression 'Administrator' is used below to indicate the persons or group acting in that capacity, and they may take on individual roles such as coordinator, directory editor, membership secretary and events organiser, according to their particular resources and talents and the requirements of the Scheme, and form sub-groups as required to meet expanding workload).
(b) To act as a member liaison and support group, presenting the proposals, opinions, advice and complaints of any members who may feel unable to speak directly to the Administrators.

(c) At least one Committee member will normally attend Administration meetings where a separate group has been appointed, and report to other members of the Committee any matters of concern.

(d) To appoint or create from within its membership a Mediation group (see below).

(e) Maintaining the financial viability of the LETS in terms of both national and local currency, including power to raise money (Sterling) by appropriate means for the purpose of promoting and operating the scheme.

(f) Liaising with the national or LETSlink, representing local LETS groups, as well as other sympathetic organisations, providing an annual report as a minimum including notice of the AGM.

6. COMMITTEE MEETINGS

6.1 The Committee shall arrange and determine the timing, format, and frequency of its meetings. This will normally be at least every three months.

6.2 They will publicise their meetings in advance to all members.

6.3 The Committee shall keep a record of all its meetings, and once they have been agreed by those present, will make them available for viewing by all members within a month of the meeting.

6.4 Committee meetings are open for any member to attend and make a contribution, but not to vote. The quorum shall be a majority or five voting members of the Committee, whichever is smaller.

6.5 Any Committee member who is absent from three consecutive meetings without good reason or notice will be deemed to have resigned their position, and if so deemed, shall be notified to that effect.

6.6 The Committee may co-opt new voting members from amongst its membership to fill vacancies or bring in additional skills/experience. Members so appointed hold office only until the following AGM, but are eligible for re-election. Members may also be appointed for a shorter trial period.

6.7 The Committee may also appoint External Advisors who are not members, to contribute to particular issues. Advisors are not eligible to vote.

6.8 Where the Administration functions are delegated, one representative of the Administration group may attend and is empowered to vote at Committee meetings.

7. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION

7.1 The Committee shall apportion such roles and functions amongst its membership, and appoint such sub-committees as are necessary to maintain the organisation in the interests of the membershi a whole, and as a model for sub-groups running LETS in more local areas, including:

(a) Maintaining an up-to-date list of all members, with contact details, in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
(b) Recording accurately members' transactions and supplying accounts.
(c) Publishing directories.
(d) Communicating with the membership and taking note of their opinions.
(e) Organising social events for members, plus public meetings and other outreach efforts, to ensure that good connections are maintained with the local community.
(f) Member support, both in relation to managing online accounts and finding trading partners, sometimes called "brokering".
(g) Creation and management of funds to achieve particular goals in relation to the task of regional coordination and development.

7.2. They may adopt appropriate tools, including online software, to maintain maximum efficiency in carrying out the above tasks.

7.3. They may meet up from time to time, for liaison or training purposes, otherwise maintaining contact by phone and email, or other online systems.

7.4. They may request occasional support from other members, and may co-opt others as the need arises.

8. MEDIATION GROUP

8.1 The function of this group is to ensure the accountability of the Administration to the membership, and to adjudicate in any cases of dispute between members, or between members and the Administration.

8.2 By default it will consist of the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, or it may appoint at least two (ideally three) people, who may also be members of the Committee. They will meet from time to time as necessary.

8.3 Where mediation has failed, a member from the group will contact LETSlink nationally or through a regional organisation if there is one, for support in resolving the dispute, failing which an aggrieved member may contact LETSlink direct.

9. DECISION MAKING PROCESSES

9.1 Consensus shall be preferred means of decision-making, failing which votes are taken.

9.2 Members of each Committee or Group will agree amongst themselves what decisions may be made in the course of carrying out their normal duties, which decisions should be referred to the main committee, and which should be referred to the membership as a whole, if not already provided for in this constitution.

9.3 Members of each Committee or Group will determine, having taken advice if necessary, what roles are needed amongst their group to carry out their functions and whether a sub-group is required, and will report these to the membership, together with minutes of the meeting, within a month of an election having taken place. This structure will remain on record and available to members, and will serve as a template until updated.

10. GENERAL MEETINGS

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held once in every calendar year.

10.1 Membership entitles each holder to one vote at general meetings. Organisational members shall be entitled to one vote at general meetings, via the organisation's designated representative.

10.2 The members at the AGM shall appoint a Committee and other groups, as appropriate, to serve for the period until the next AGM.

10.3 Nominations are invited before the start of the AGM. Any member in good standing is eligible for election at the AGM.

10.4 The Committee may call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at either the request of their own meeting, or issue notice of such a meeting at the request of at least six members of the scheme within four days of such a request.

10.5 LETSlink may call the AGM or an EGM if no committee is yet in place, or if circumstances require outside support (see below).

10.6 Fourteen days notice of the AGM, or seven days notice of an EGM, shall be given to members, together with the main agenda item/s and an invitation to submit further items for the agenda if appropriate.

10.7 The quorum for general meetings will be at least two thirds of the serving Committee and five other members. If the meeting is inquorate the Committee will call for another meeting within one month. If the second meeting is inquorate they will nevertheless proceed to conduct the business.

11. FINANCE

11.1 Any monies received in the name of the Hub shall be held in an account at such bank or similar institution as the Committee shall decide from time to time and in accordance with instructions from a general meeting. The Committee shall decide from time to time on signatories for the account(s). In the absence of banking having yet been arranged, membership fees and/or donations may be paid direct to LETSlink UK.

11.2 If banking has been arranged, subscriptions to LETSlink UK will be paid out of the the LETS account at the rates currently set by the national organisation, to include membership, domain name management, and hosting, as appropriate, and may include a percentage of any membership fees collected.

11.3 The LETS is a not-for-profit organisation. No member shall derive any sterling financial benefit from the scheme, other than the payment of reasonable expenses, unless if funding is obtained they become employees, and report to the Committee.

11.4 Any member who carries out an approved activity on behalf of the scheme will be entitled to be indemnified from the LETS funds provided that such payment is in accordance with accepted practice, and that no payment shall be made, or obligation entered into, which cannot be met from the balance of funds held by the scheme. Payments from the LETS funds for special activities or projects will normally be agreed by the Committee in advance, and exceptionally may be approved retrospectively.

11.5 Members may be paid reasonable wages in LETS units for administrative work carried out in agreement with the relevant LETS budget, and will submit claims on a regular basis to the Committee for approval before payment is made.

11.6 The committee may establish Fund accounts which have access to budgets in LETS units for particular purposes, and members of the Committee may be appointed to manage specific accounts in the system to make such payments.

11.7 No member may be paid in local currency to attend meetings, unless specifically otherwise authorised by the whole Committee.

11.8 A report of both the Sterling and LETS accounts shall be presented to Committee meetings, to any member on request,and an annual statement of both accounts shall be presented at each AGM.

12. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

12.1 A minimum of two-thirds of members present and voting at an AGM or EGM is required to propose changes to the constitution.

12.2 Any changes to this constitution can only be actioned after consultation with LETSlink UK, which is to ensure consistency of practice across schemes. If the change has arisen from a problem arising, LETSlink may, as an alternative to changing the constitution, advise on another way of resolving it.

13. WINDING UP, TRANSFERS, OR MERGERS

13.1 In the case of serious problems arising within the organisation, such as system failure, reduced levels of activity, or failure to administer the scheme, any member may seek help from LETSlink, who will attempt to provide assistance to the organisers in post, and obtain contact details of all past and current members of the group. If the difficulties cannot be resolved within the current committee structure, LETSlink will circulate all members inviting feedback, and nominations for the various management roles, and inviting them to attend an EGM.

13.2 Following the EGM, voting papers will be sent to all members to decide the future of the hub, such as continuing with the same structure, or re-establshing itself as a branch of LETSlink, or winding up altogether. Decisions require two thirds majority vote of members present and voting by ballot.

13.3 If the LETS is to be wound up, those members with accounts in debit to a significant extent (the amount to be decided by consensus at the meeting) will be given a reasonable period of time in which to repay the bulk of their debit to the membership. Members whose balances are significantly in credit will be identified and efforts made to assist them in balancing their accounts.

13.4 Alternatively, details of all individual account-holders and their remaining balances will be held in a regional database, pending a new organisation being established with LETSlink's support.

13.5 After settling all sterling debts and obligations, any remaining assets shall be transferred to LETSlink UK, or in the absence of this organisation, to its successor organisation, failing which another organisation with similar aims.

Now, please check out the Members' Agreement