Edinburgh Local Exchange Trading System

Our constitution

Aims and Objectives

This group is established solely for social, recreational and educational purposes and shall operate for the use of local inhabitants without distinction as regards political, religious or other opinions.

The group’s activities and main purpose are:

  • to provide an information service through which members can exchange goods and services
  • to develop and encourage the experience of community in Edinburgh through the establishment of a local exchange trading system
  • to stimulate the creation of social, economic and educational benefits by and for its members and the people of the locality of Edinburgh
  • to promote the fundamental advantages of a LETS system, especially that of promoting community spirit, providing a social centre for developing relationships and including the socially disadvantaged and excluded members of society
  • to recognise the valuable role LETS and LETS members play in the overall development of local communities and those living within them.

Membership

Membership is open to anyone willing to contribute and support the aims and project developments of the group. Membership fees may be levied to cover administration costs attributed to the running of the LETS system. A register of all members shall be kept.

Committee/Annual General Meeting

An Annual General Meeting will be held in October each year. At the AGM members will elect a committee which will have at least four office-bearers, namely the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. The committee is empowered to arrange fund-raising, open bank accounts, delegate responsibilities, form sub-groups and create suitable supportive positions, all in the interest of managing the group. The office-bearers shall be eligible to stand for election for, and hold the same post for, no longer than three consecutive years. The committee may fill on temporary basis any vacancy on the committee by co-option.

Notice of Meeting

Members shall be notified of appropriate committee meeting of the organisation seven days before the meeting by either letter or telephone call, whichever is the most appropriate.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting shall be kept in a book or file. The minutes of the previous meeting will be read out at the meeting. This will be proposed or seconded as a true record of the meeting. On being approved, a master copy should be signed and dated by the chair. Minutes should contain a record of those in attendance, those sending apologies, items discussed, decisions taken and action points taken and who is responsible.

Motions

No motion or amendment outwith the agenda shall be discussed until moved, seconded and accepted by the chair. The chair may require such motions in writing. All amendments to a motion should be moved and seconded before a debate proceeds unless otherwise allowed by the chair. Amendments shall be voted on in order set by the chair prior to a vote on the substantive motion. All decisions taken by the committee must be properly discussed at an appropriate committee meeting, moved as a motion or otherwise agreed, and accurately recorded in the minutes of the appropriate committee meeting.

Voting

Subject to the provision of the Constitution, all questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by a simple majority of those present who are entitled to vote. No member shall exercise more than one vote unless given written authorisation to act as proxy/representative in addition to that person’s own legitimate vote. The chair retains a casting vote in addition to his/her own vote but only in the event of an equality of votes cast prior to the chair’s casting vote. To elect office-bearers at an AGM or special general meeting may be by a show of hands, or by ballot if simple majority request this. Ex officio members and co-opted members are not entitled to vote.

Quorum

  • SAGMs and other general meetings: one quarter of total membership;
  • Committee meeting: one-third of members of the committee.

General Meetings

A special general meeting may be called by four members who so request in writing signed by all four. On receipt of such a request the chair shall arrange the meeting to be held within 21 days, notifying members by notices in the community or by letter to all members. Any motion or vote of no confidence in the office-bearers or committee must be discussed at a general meeting. Any changes to the Constitution can only be made at a general meeting, and must be by two-thirds majority of the vote.

Close of Meeting

Meetings shall be closed at the chair’s discretion unless a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote so desire, allowing for a continuation of the meeting for up to one hour to finalise a stated item of business.

Dissolution

In the event of the group being dissolved either by the group failing to meet or by a two-thirds majority vote at a general meeting, any remaining funds will be returned by any grant-giving body, or contributed to another local group having the same purposes.