Proposed constitution for Common Weal North Glasgow

As the group has begun to make progress on plans for CommonFest, General Election campaign activity and the establishment of a permanent physical location in the Glasgow North area it has become clear that a constitution is required. What follows is a proposal document which we are publishing to invite responses (which can be left as comments at the bottom of the page). The intention is to compile responses and agree a final document during one of our upcoming meetings.

 

Common Weal North Glasgow
Proposed Constitution

I. Common Weal is a non-profit distributing organisation which exists to promote progressive left approaches to government, governance and society more generally. Common Weal refers to the national organisation governed by the Common Weal Board.

II. Common Weal North Glasgow (henceforth referred to as ‘the group’) is a volunteer-led local organisation which is independent of, but affiliated with, the Common Weal group at a national level.

III. The group will not affiliate to any political party but is free to work with them differentially according to their political position and to comment on them freely (including in electoral periods).

IV. The group formed in the aftermath of the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014. Although the group was initially formed by supporters of Scottish independence, the group itself is not a ‘pro-Yes’ organisation and seeks to welcome and work with any individual or group eager to pursue progressive left, ‘All of Us First’ politics.

V. The group will pursue its goals through activities including but not limited to research and policy development, campaigning and lobbying, writing and publishing, working with other organisations and grassroots campaigns, organising events and by establishing special projects.

VI. The group seeks to maintain a single-tier structure where decisions are made on a democratic and collaborative basis. Activity (including formation and activity of sub-groups) may be facilitated by nominated conveners acting on a voluntary and, if possible, rotational basis. Fortnightly meetings will be led by a rotating chairperson (who will be confirmed prior to the conclusion of each meeting).

VII. Membership of the group is on an entirely voluntary basis – no individual will receive any direct financial benefit from their work with the group. Members are not required to pay fees. It is expected that members will provide their contact details for inclusion in a central record of members, but this is not mandatory. Group meetings are open to all and anyone who regularly attends is welcome to consider themselves a member of the group.

VIII. Although members of the group agree to adhere to the standards of the Common Weal Code of Conduct (link), the opinions of members are not necessarily representative those of the group or Common Weal. Given that debate is an integral feature of the organisation, a statement made by any member should not be automatically regarded as agreed policy.

Common Weal Code of Conduct
(from Chapter 8, page 11, of Resource Pack)

1. To be involved in Common Weal is to be active in Common Weal in any way, including the following fields: Common Weal local groups, Common Policy, Common Space and The Commons’.

2. Those involved in Common Weal activity, whether it be online or offline, social media or meetings, are expected always to be courteous, tolerant, respectful and challenging of discriminatory behaviour of any kind.

3. Common Weal is not a space for part partisanship. Common Weal is about putting ideas before organisations – judge people on how much they are willing to stand up for Common Weal ideals, not what party or organisation they are from.

4. Common Weal campaigning efforts attempt to be inclusive of people from all backgrounds, regardless of political affiliation, and try to build broad-based support for ideas that are in line with Common Weal’s stated policy goals.

5. Common Weal will always attempt to maintain a positive ethos, focusing as much as possible on what we can do rather than what we can’t do, on successes rather than failures. Criticism should be fair and balanced and based on its merit, not on prejudices.

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About James McEnaney

Lecturer, Writer and Journalist

4 thoughts on “Proposed constitution for Common Weal North Glasgow

  1. Morning, this looks like a really good guiding doc for the purpose etc of the group. Do you hope to use it as basis for entering into contracts (such as hiring a venue), opening bank accounts etc?

    If you’re hoping to open a bank account for the group some ‘powers’ will need to be included for it to be approved by a bank. These might include simply including a clause that the group will ‘open and operate a bank account’. Minimum number of signatories for any banking or other formal documents, a dissolution clause (what you do with any money if the group winds up or merges), and quorum for formal meetings will also be helpful.

    If it’s a more straight forward terms of reference then it looks great! If you do hope for a bank account etc, as a bit of a community/charity governance geek, I’d be happy to make some recommendations for inclusion. Feel free to email if helpful, V

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    • Hi Virginia,

      Yes the idea is to use this to perhaps open a bank account to deal with income generated by events. There is a possibility of using the banking facilities of the national Common Weal group but, even if that does end up being the case, we’ll still need something for, as you say, entering into agreements with other organisations. Any advice regarding necessary clauses for that sort of thing would be appreciated.

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  2. Hi James, so sorry I didn’t spot your reply in my junk email. If you email me over a word doc of this, I can add some bits that should cover what a bank or similar will look for. Email to virginia@charityconsultant.org, Virginia

    PS hope to make the next meeting, but I keep having to work when they’re on. Damn it!

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