Glasgow City Council Constitution for Community Councils

1. Name

(a) The name of the Community Council shall be Merchant City and Trongate Community Council, which will subsequently be referred to as “the Community Council” in this Constitution.

2. Area of the Community Council

(a) Glasgow City Council has produced a list of approved Community Council areas for Glasgow, and maps which outline their boundaries. Access to maps can be requested by contacting Glasgow City Council on 0141 287 0060. The area of the Community Council will be as designated on said map.

3. Objectives

The objectives of the Community Council shall be to:
(a) Seek to develop a Local Vision e.g. a mission statement (see Guidance clause 1.1);
(b) Gather and articulate the views of the community which it represents;
(c) Express fairly the views, diversity of opinions and outlooks of the community to Glasgow City Council; and other public/private organisations;
(d) Act as a voice for their local area on any matters affecting their community’s lives, welfare and environment;
(e) Liaise with other community groups within their local area;
(f) Take any such action in the interests of the community as appears to be practicable;
(g) Promote the well-being of the community and to foster community spirit.

4. Role and Responsibilities

(a) The role and responsibilities of the Community Council and its membership are governed by Glasgow City Council’s Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils (2018); see page 4 ‘Introduction’ and page 5 ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ sections of the Scheme.

5. Membership (see Scheme clause 3)

(a) The stated constituted membership of the Community Council is Merchant City and Trongate Community Council, and is governed by the Scheme.

(b) The minimum number of Community Councillors is 10, with additional members being suggested at the rate of 1 per 1,000 head of population. The absolute maximum number of Community Councillors for an established Community Council is 20. The following quorums will apply to membership;

(i) 10, 11 or 12 requires a quorum of 4 (ii) 13, 14 or 15 requires a quorum of 5 (iii) 16, 17 or 18 requires a quorum of 6 (iv) 19 or 20 requires a quorum of 7

(c) If a quorum cannot be achieved within 15 minutes of the advertised meeting start time, then the meeting and all items of formal business will be deferred to the next scheduled meeting date; see Scheme clauses 6.4 and 6.7v.
(d) It should be noted that the minimum number of Community Councillors is 10, and this is the minimum number of vacancies that will be subject to a call for nominations when establishing a Community Council.

If 50% of the minimum number is achieved i.e. submission of 5 validated nominations, then Glasgow City Council may progress initial establishment (or establishment) of a Community Council. Further progress will be dependent on clear evidence that the Community Council can be sustained.

(e) All Ex-Officio members within the boundary area of the Community Council are members of the Community Council and their views on matters concerning the Community Council should be actively sought. However, it should be noted that Ex-Officio members have no voting rights; are not eligible to take ‘office’ in the Community Council; cannot propose or second any nominations for ‘office’ positions; or act as a representative on the Community Council’s behalf.

6. Method of Election

(a) Election procedures are governed by the Scheme clauses 3.16 through 3.26.

7. Vacancies on the Community Council (see Scheme clauses 4; 14.1; 15 & 3.21 through to 3.26)

(a) Where a vacancy arises which does not result in the number of Community Councillors falling to a half or less of the overall elected membership, the Community Council can agree to fill the vacancy in accordance with the Scheme, or the Community Council could leave the vacancy unfilled until local public awareness is raised and interest is expressed.

(b) The ratification of appointments of new members following an interim election process to fill vacancies rests wholly with the current and existing constituted membership; although the validation of nomination forms rests wholly with Glasgow City Council.

8. Voting Rights of Members of the Community Council

(a) The right to vote at any meeting of the Community Council or any committee thereof shall be held by all Community Councillors, but not by Ex-Officio members or Associate Members, (see Scheme clauses 3.13 and 3.15).
(b) Although all Community Councillors hold the right to vote; a recommended approach to decision making is working together to support Community Council’s to make decisions based upon reaching a consensus.

(c) Notwithstanding, and with the exception of instances relating to clauses 16 and 17 of this Constitution, all decisions of the Community Council, which may require a vote, will be decided by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote (see Scheme clause 3.15 exception relating to Associate Members).

There is no provision for proxy votes.

(d) In the event of a vote of the Community Councillors that results in a majority not being achieved, the chairperson shall have a casting vote in addition to their deliberative vote, whether or not exercised; (see Standing Orders clauses 5c and d).

9. Election of Office-Bearers (see Note within Guidance clause 1.4D)

(a) In October of each year, as part of the Annual General Meeting, the Community Council shall elect a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer; and other such office-bearers as it may decide necessary e.g. Vice-chair, Minute Secretary.
(b) The right to hold office in the Community Council or any committee thereof shall be held by all Community Councillors, but not by Associate Members or Ex-Officio members; (see Scheme clauses 3.13 and 3.15).

(c) All office-bearers shall be elected for a maximum period of one year or until the date of the next Annual General Meeting and/or Full’ election; whichever period of time is completed first; (see Scheme clause 4.3).
(d) Office-bearers and/or bank account signatories may not be directly related by birth, marriage, civil contract or co-habitation etc., (see Scheme clause 8.3 for definition of direct relatives).

(e) No single Community Councillor shall hold more than one of the following offices at any one time;
Chairperson, Vice-chair, Secretary or Treasurer, without written approval from Glasgow City Council.

10. Committees of the Community Council (see Scheme clauses 6.12 and 6.13)

(a) The Community Council may appoint Community Councillors to committees of the Community Council and shall determine their composition, terms of reference, duration, duties and powers.

11. Meetings of the Community Council (see Scheme clause 6)

(a) The Community Council shall abide by the Scheme, Code of Conduct and Standing Orders to ensure the proper conduct of its meetings.
(b) The quorum for Community Council meetings shall be as stated in clause 5 of the Constitution.
(c) In October of each year the Community Council shall convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM); see Standing Orders clause 3.
(d) Including the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Community Council shall meet not less than 7 times throughout the year.
(e) Dates, times and venues of regular meetings of the Community Council should be identified at the first meeting of the Community Council following the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and/or elections. Meeting arrangements can be subject to review by the Community Council periodically thereafter but no later than at the following year’s AGM.
(f) Glasgow City Council has the discretion to call a meeting of the Community Council at any time.
(g) Copies of all minutes of meetings of the Community Council and of committees thereof shall be approved at the next prescribed meeting of the Community Council subject to the special circumstances outlined at clause 6.5viii of the Scheme.
(h) A draft minute shall be circulated at least 7 days prior to its next meeting, to all members, and any other appropriate parties as agreed by the Community Council. Glasgow City Council can receive these upon request. An approved minute will be forwarded to Glasgow City Council within 14 days of the date of the meeting; a minimum of 7 minutes per year must be provided to Glasgow City Council.

(i) Should the Community Council receive a written request (Petition), signed by at least 20 residents within the Community Council area to convene a Special Meeting for a particular matter or matters to be debated, it shall call such a meeting within 4 weeks of receipt of such a request.

(j) Special Meetings shall require at least 7 days public notice, and the wording of the motion calling the meeting should be set out on the agenda; (note Scheme clause 6.8vii and see clauses 6.8 through 6.12).
(k) All meetings of the Community Council are open to members of the public. However the Community Council shall retain the right to discuss items of business in private where it considers it appropriate to do so e.g. internal Governance matters, complaints, etc.

12. Public participation in the work of the Community Council

(a) Proper provision is to be made for the accommodation of members of the public and the opportunity should be afforded at each meeting to permit members of the public to address the Community Council, under the guidance of the Chairperson; see Standing Orders clauses 4b & c.

(b) Notices publicising meetings of the Community Council and/or its committees shall be posted within the Community Council area for a minimum period of seven days before the date of any such meeting e.g. public venues; notice boards; websites etc. (see Scheme clauses 6.8 through 6.12).

13. Information to Glasgow City Council

(a) Glasgow City Council shall be sent an annual calendar of the Community Council’s prescribed meeting dates, times and venues; minutes of all meetings; the annual chairperson’s report; the Independently Examined Statement of Accounts and any other information, as may reasonably be required by Glasgow City Council.

(b) When Special Meetings of the Community Council are to be held, Glasgow City Council should be advised of the date, time, venue and subject(s) of debate at such meetings 7 days in advance of the meeting date; (see Scheme clause 6.8 and note 6.8vii).

14. Control of Finance

(a) Each Community Council is to maintain proper financial records and present regular financial reports at scheduled Community Council meetings. The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of the Community Council.
(b) All monies provided by Glasgow City Council and other sources or raised by alternative means on behalf of the Community Council shall only be applied to further the objectives and fulfil the responsibilities of the Community Council.

(c) The monies provided by Glasgow City Council in the annual Administration Allowance shall be for Community Council administration and/or promotion purposes only, and shall not be expended on any other purpose; (see Scheme clause 7.3).
(d) Monies raised from other sources for non-administration purposes may be used in accordance with the donor’s terms so long as they do not conflict with the objectives of the Community Council. In the absence of any such terms, monies used will be to further the objectives and fulfil the responsibilities of the Community Council.

(e) A minimum number of three authorised signatories should be appointed to authorise financial transactions i.e. signing of cheques, on behalf of the voting members of the Community Council.
(f) Any two of the three authorised signatories, who need not be office-bearers of the Community Council, may sign cheques on behalf of the Community Council; the Treasurer should assume one of the three authorised signatory roles. Authorised signatories may not be related by birth, marriage, civil contract or co-habitation; (see Scheme clause 8.3).

(g) A statement of accounts for the last financial year, examined by a competent independent examiner appointed by the Community Council, shall be submitted to the October Annual General Meeting of the Community Council and shall be available for inspection at a public location e.g. libraries, no later than 31 March following.

(h) The independent examiner will not be a member of the Community Council. This includes Ex-Officio and Associate Members; (see Scheme clause 8).
(i) The financial year of the Community Council shall be from 1 September in any year until 31 August in the succeeding year; (see Scheme clause 7.1).

(j) An independently examined statement of accounts as received and approved by the Community Council should be submitted to Glasgow City Council following the Community Council’s October Annual General Meeting to be received no later than 31 December each year (see Scheme clauses 8.4 and 8.5).

15. Assets

(a) An inventory of all assets e.g. equipment and materials, shall be produced and maintained by the Treasurer. Assets belonging to the Community Council shall be vested in the whole membership of the Community Council; (see Scheme clause 8.7).

16. Alterations to the Constitution

(a) Any proposal by the Community Council to amend this Constitution must be first considered and minuted at a meeting of the Community Council, before representation is made to Glasgow City Council.
(b) Any proposed amendments may not conflict with the Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils (2018) and the objectives contained within the Constitution.

(c) If the proposal is supported by a simple majority of the total voting membership of the Community Council present and eligible to vote (see Constitution clause 8c), and is acknowledged (accepted) in writing (e.g. email acknowledgement) by Glasgow City Council, the amendment shall be deemed to have been duly authorised and can then come into effect at the next following meeting e.g. change to constituted membership level.

(d) The authorised amendment to the Constitution shall be stated on the 7 day notice calling the next meeting.

17. Suspension and Dissolution (see Scheme clauses 11 & 12)

(a) Where for any reason it is deemed by Glasgow City Council that a Community Council is not conforming to the Scheme, then Glasgow City Council, subject to the terms of clause 12 of the Scheme, can formally suspend the Community Council by giving appropriate notice. (b) Dissolution may occur either on a decision of Glasgow City Council City Administration Committee, or on a voluntary basis by resolution of the Community Council. Such a resolution by the Community Council would require support by two thirds majority of the total voting membership present; (see Scheme clauses 12.12 through 12.17).

18. Adoption of the Constitution

(a) Constitution adopted and signed on behalf of the Community Council on:

• Date …………………………………………………………..
• Chairperson (signature) ……………………………………………………. • Member (signature) ………………………………………………………….. • Member (signature) …………………………………………………………..

(b) Confirmed on behalf of Glasgow City Council (GCC) by: • GCC Officer (signature) ……………………………………………
• Print name ………………………………………………………….

• Date ………………………………………………………….