Royal Docks Communities Voice (RDCV)
Neighbourhood Forum Constitution
As reviewed and agreed at the first AGM on 25/08/2016 and revised on 23/12/2018
Present version ratified at the AGM on 13/01/2019.
The Royal Docks Communities Voice referred to elsewhere in this Constitution as “RDCV”, is the name of our neighbourhood forum as defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Localism Act 2011.
2. NEIGHBOURHOOD AREA
The RDCV neighbourhood area is shown on the attached map (Appendix 1), referred to elsewhere in this constitution as the neighbourhood area. The RDCV neighbourhood area falls within the boundary of the London Borough of Newham.
3. PURPOSE & OBJECTIVES
The purpose of RDCV is to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities (residents, workers and businesses) of the Royal Docks.
The overarching objectives of RDCV are:
To encourage, empower and enable the involvement of all communities living and working in the defined neighbourhood area in the preparation, production and implementation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan and other projects or programmes which will aim to:
PROMOTE sustainable means of achieving social well-being, economic growth and regeneration.
IMPROVE the opportunities for and abilities of local people to secure jobs in the local and London labour market.
INCREASE the provision of quality social and affordable housing for local people on low and middle incomes.
PROMOTE a distinctive, healthy, safe and sustainable environment where all people feel valued, secure and committed.
ENCOURAGE community cohesion, celebrate cultural diversity and support active citizenship.
SUPPORT local businesses, organisations, industries and market traders.
PROMOTE and DEVELOP places for all creative communities to flourish.
ENCOURAGE young people to realise their potential and play a full and active part in the local community.
PROTECT and MAXIMISE the amount and quality of Green, Open and Public Spaces in the promotion of a healthier environment.
PROMOTE and PROTECT all forms of Royal Docks Heritage and Identities.
In furtherance of these overarching objectives the Forum Committee of RDCV may exercise the power to:
Invite and receive contributions and raise funds where appropriate, to finance its work and to open a bank account to manage such funds.
Set up working groups with terms of reference to undertake tasks in furtherance of its objectives. All such working groups must include at least one management committee member.
Work with groups of complementary nature and exchange information, advice and knowledge with them: including cooperation with other voluntary bodies; charities; statutory, and non-statutory organisations, who want to affiliate with RDCV; and elected members
Employ staff (who shall not be members of the Management Committee) as necessary to conduct activities that meet the objectives of RDCV.
Take any lawful form of action which is necessary to achieve the overarching objectives of RDCV, including taking out any contracts agreed by the Management Committee; for instance, the acquisition of premises either short or long term.
Formally constitute the organisation in a recognised legal and democratic form that recognises RDCV’s overarching community purpose. Elected committee officers would in this case form a board accountable to the general membership.
The Forum shall not be affiliated to any political party.
Membership is open to all people aged 16 years and over who meet any one of the following criteria, in that they:
Live in the neighbourhood area (see 2. Above);
Work in the local area either on a paid or voluntary basis;
Are an elected Newham London Borough Council member representing a ward in the neighbourhood area;
The Forum Committee members shall be drawn from different places in the neighbourhood area and different sections of the community. RDCV shall have a minimum of 21 (twenty-one) members, and the Forum Secretary shall maintain a register of members at all times and make it available to any RDCV member or the public who requests it.
Members will apply for membership and the Forum Committee shall have the power to accept members. Members of the Forum must be 16 (sixteen) years of age and over.
Any RDCV member may resign from membership by providing the Forum Committee Secretary with written notice.
The Forum Committee may refuse membership, or may terminate or suspend the membership of any member by resolution passed at a Forum Committee meeting where it is considered membership would be detrimental to RDCV’s objectives and activities.
7. FORUM COMMITTEE
The Management Team of of the RDCV Forum Committee shall be elected at the RDCV Annual General Meeting (AGM) and shall consist of a minimum of 4 (four) elected member officers and up to a maximum of 24 (twentyfour)representative members. The quorum for the Committee will be 4 members. The RDCV Forum follows a governance structure outlined in Appendix 2 below.
RDCV will elect the following management team committee officers of the Forum from its membership: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and any other role that is deemed necessary. The general term of Office is 1 year.
The Chair of the Forum Committee shall be responsible for:
Calling and chairing meetings of the RDCV Forum Committee, General Meetings and Annual General meetings of the RDCV membership (unless specifically delegated to another Forum Committee member in writing).
Exercising a casting vote on elections and resolutions at meetings of the Forum and its Committee.
Taking decisions on day-to-day matters between meetings of the Forum Committee after electronic consulting with other committee members.
The Vice Chair shall be responsible for:
Standing in for the Chair during any period of absence of the Chair due to holidays, illness or time away for personal reasons.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for:
Establishing a RDCV bank account and acting as a joint signatory on the account with one or more other member of the Forum Committee.
Maintaining the RDCV financial records.
Setting out a draft budget in the first year, and ensuring that RDCV stays within its budget
Preparing and presenting an annual budget, at the RDCV Annual General Meeting
Submitting a detailed summary of all the RDCV received and spent at every Committee meeting.
The Secretary shall be responsible for:
Organising all RDCV meeting dates, times and venues.
Taking and circulating the minutes of all RDCV meetings – making them available to all members.
All decisions at RDCV meetings shall be made on a show of hands of members who are entitled to vote at the meeting.
8. GENERAL MEETINGS
General Meetings of RDCV members shall take place at least twice a year.
Notice and an agenda for a RDCV General Meeting to RDCV members shall be 14 (fourteen) days. The quorum required for a General Meeting to conduct business shall be 5 (five) RDCV committee members.
The Secretary will make minutes of the General and Committee meetings available to members of the Forum within two weeks of the meeting unless impracticable. Organisations which are affiliated to RDCV will be encouraged to communicate such information to their membership.
Annual General Meetings/Special Meetings
An Annual General Meeting of RDCV members shall take place once in every calendar year. Notice and an agenda for an Annual General Meeting to RDCV members shall be 14 (fourteen) days. The quorum required for an Annual General Meeting to conduct business shall be 10 (ten) RDCV Members.
The Annual General meeting shall:
Elect the RDCV Forum Committee
Receive a report from the Forum Committee of the RDCV activities that have taken place in that year
Receive a Financial report and statement from the Treasurer
Elections to the Forum Committee shall take place as follows:
RDCV members shall notify the RDCV Secretary of their intention to stand for a place on the Forum Committee in writing and at least 7 (seven) days before the Annual General Meeting takes place.
At the Annual General Meeting elections shall be held on the basis of a show of hands for each candidate.
Special Meetings may be called from time to time by the Forum Committee to consider amendments to the constitution or dissolution of the Forum. These shall be subject to the same notice and quorum as Annual General Meetings.
The Committee may co-opt up to three additional members to the Committee in any year, and may also co-opt an appropriate replacement for any Committee Member who stands down for any reason during the year. Co-opted members will have the same voting rights as other Committee members. A co-opted member may be elected as an officer. The Committee may remove from the Committee any member who fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the Committee without good reason.
9. RDCV FINANCES
Any money acquired by RDCV including donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Forum Committee in the name of RDCV Neighbourhood Forum.
All funds must be applied to the RDCV objectives and for no other purpose.
Any deeds, cheques etc relating to RDCV’s bank account shall be signed by at least 2 (two) Management Committee members, 1 (one) of whom must be the Treasurer.
Any income/expenditure shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer who will be accountable to ensure funds are utilised effectively and that the Forum stays within its budget.
Official accounts shall be maintained, and will be examined annually by an independent accountant who is not a member of the RDCV Forum.
An annual financial report shall be presented by the Treasurer at the RDCV Annual General Meeting.
10. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
The Secretary will keep a Register of Committee Members’ Interests detailing financial interests in the neighbourhood area or any other interest which could be deemed to have an influence on decisions likely to come before the Forum Committee. Members will abstain from voting on any matter in which they have a financial interest.
Any participant in any meeting of the Forum, including committees, sub-committees and working parties, will disclose to the meeting any financial interest s/he has in any topic under discussion, and will not discuss or vote on such topic except with the express approval of the meeting.
11. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Any changes to this constitution must be agreed by a majority vote at a special general meeting, called specifically for the purpose under the same conditions that apply to Annual General Meetings specified above, with the exception that such a vote will only be carried if supported by 75% or more of those voting.
Proposed amendments to this Constitution of RDCV must be conveyed to the Secretary formally in writing. The RDCV Secretary and other RDCV officers shall then decide whether to put the proposed amendments to a RDCV special general meeting for discussion and decision
RDCV may be dissolved if deemed necessary by the members in a majority vote at a special meeting, with the exception that such a vote will only be carried if supported by 75% or more of those voting.
Any assets or remaining funds after debts have been paid shall be subject to the agreement of the Members at a General Meeting, be allocated to one or more nominated organisations set up to continue the work of RDCV or in the absence of any such organisation and subject to any statutory regulations, be distributed equally to the constituent local organisations who are its members (but not to individual members).
In accordance with the Localism Act, a formal review of the functions and achievements of RDCV will be carried out five years after its formation. Following such review, and consultation with its members, RDCV will decide to continue, amend or dissolve itself as considered appropriate.
This constitution and boundary map was originally adopted at the Inaugural Meeting and AGM of the North Woolwich and Silvertown (RDCV) Neighbourhood Forum held at the Asta Community Hub on 25th August 2016 and reaffirmed at the subsequent community meeting.
13. CURRENT VERSION
This updated constitution version is now presented for ratification at the RDCV AGM on 13th January 2019 with a revised name and boundary that reflects the general aspiration to create a neighbourhood forum group that brings together all the communities across the Royal Docks. It should be understood that the RDCV name, constitution and boundary are all provisional at this stage and will be subject to review and amendment by the membership over the coming year and at the subsequent AGM. Any changes proposed will be subject to the requirement set out in point 11 mentioned above:
Signed by the elected RDCV Committee officers
Chair: Theca Meijer
Vice Chair: Emma-Jane Crace
Secretary: David Partridge
Treasurer: Tracy Smith
Advisor: Bernis Pinder
APPENDIX 1: RDCV NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN BOUNDARY
RDCV Neighbourhood Forum: Neighbourhood Boundaries Map
The name of the applicant is Royal Docks Communities Voice (RDCV) Neighbourhood Forum. RDCV Neighbourhood Forum is a relevant body capable of being designated a Neighbourhood Forum in accordance with section 61G of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act.
The neighbourhood area is called The Royal Docks (see area bounded by blue dashed line on map above). The neighbourhood lies within the following boundaries:
North: Mid line of the DLR – Beckton Branch
East: Mid line of the River Thames forming the boundary of LB Newham with LB Greenwich.
South: Mid line of the River Thames forming the boundary of LB Newham with LB Greenwich.
West: Mid line of the River Lee
It was felt by the membership and local communities that it is a ‘natural neighbourhood’ within strong natural and infrastructure boundaries, lying between Beckton and Custom House to the North and the River Thames to the south. Whilst to the east lies the Thames and to the West of the mouth of the River Lee. The boundary largely follows that used by the current LB Newham Core Strategy Community Forum Areas Boundaries, adjusted to reflect the continuity and growing waterside communities that together identify as being part of the Royal Docks.
The boundaries were discussed and drafts agreed through an initial series of 2 publicly advertised and leafleted community workshops held by RDCV on 25.8.16 and 29.9.16. Further development of the boundary’s definition has occurred in a series of 2018 community workshops leading to the current draft boundary shown above. It is expected to develop further in the planned open community mapping programme in the first 6 months of 2019.
APPENDIX 2: RDCV GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE