Constitution

Name

1. The association shall be known as the London Parks Benchmarking Group, (“the Group”).

Objects

2. The objects of the Group (the “Objects”) shall be:

  • to identify, share, and promote best practice through Process Benchmarking;
  • to share experiences, ensure best value and other improvement initiatives;
  • to collect and share comparative data; and
  • to work collaboratively in an inclusive manner to improve service delivery,

all with regard to parks, green spaces, grounds maintenance and other related services, on behalf of our member organisations, residents and visitors.

3. The Group shall have the power to affiliate to any body whose objects may be of benefit to its Membership.

4. Monies raised by or on behalf of the Group shall only be applied in furtherance of the Objects of the Group.

Membership

5. Membership shall be open to all organisations that share the Objects of the Group (each a “Member”) and pay the Membership Fee (if any).

6. Individuals will also be eligible for membership provided they are proposed and seconded by a member of the Committee. Individual members will be expected to pay the Membership Fee (if any) except where this is waived by the Committee.

7. It shall be condition of Membership that the organisation or individual agrees to be bound by the terms of the European Benchmarking Code of Conduct, a copy of which is available on the Group’s website at http://www.lpbg.org.uk/documents/Code_of_Conduct.doc.

8. It shall also be a condition of Membership that each organisation undertakes to host the Group’s meetings on a rotating basis when asked to do so and to bear the associated costs.

9. The Group may from time to time agree a Membership Fee (the “Membership Fee”) to support the activities of the Group. Any fee for the forthcoming year will be agreed at each Annual General Meeting and payable within 28 days of the Annual General Meeting.

Representation

10. Up to two representatives of a Member organisation (a “Representative”), in addition to any Representatives acting as Officers, from a Member organisation will be entitled to attend a General Meeting of the Group. All Representatives attending a General Meeting, including those acting as Officers, will be entitled to take part in a vote if one is called. Each Representative and each individual Member shall have one vote on a show of hands.

11. Representatives and individual Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings or in premises used by the Group. Any Representative or individual Member may be excluded for breach of this condition, or for any other conduct contravening the Objects of the Group, by a majority of those present and voting at any Group Meeting. Any Representative or individual Member so excluded shall have a right to appeal to the following General Meeting.

Conduct of Business

12. A Committee elected at each Annual General Meeting, which shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Facilitator, hereafter referred to as the Officers (the "Committee"). A minimum of five other Representatives shall be appointed to the Committee to conduct the business of the Group. The Committee shall have the power to also co-opt onto the Committee additional members ("Co-opts") to serve in an advisory capacity, if the Committee so decide. Co-opts shall not have voting rights.

13. The election or removal of Officers or other committee members may only be carried out by a General Meeting of the Group. The Committee may temporarily fill any vacancy arising among the Officers of the Group from its other Members until the next General Meeting of Members.

Quorum

14. The quorum for Committee Meetings of the Group shall be one-third of its elected membership or five Members whichever is the less.

15. The quorum for General Meetings shall be seven representatives.

Committee Meetings

16. The Committee shall meet on at least one occasion per year. Committee meetings will be notified to all Members at least 14 days before they take place and shall be open to any Member of the Group wishing to attend who may speak but not vote.

General Meetings

17. Not less than two of the Group’s meetings per calendar year shall be General Meetings of the Group open to all Members to speak and vote. The decisions of General Meetings of the Group shall be binding on the Group. All decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of Representatives present and voting. Where voting is tied, the Chair will have the casting vote. All Members shall be given not less than fourteen days’ notice of any General Meeting. There will normally be four General Meetings and one Annual General Meeting per year.

Annual General Meetings

18. The Committee shall call an Annual General Meeting of the Group each calendar year in the month of April. Not less than 28 days notice of the Annual General Meeting shall be given to all Members.

At this meeting:

  • The Committee shall present an annual report of the Group;
  • Any Membership Fee for the forthcoming year will be set;
  • Sub Groups shall present an annual report and accounts of their activities;
  • The Committee shall present the audited accounts of the Group for the previous year;
  • The Committee and Officers for the next year shall be elected; and
  • Any proposals submitted to the Secretary in writing not less than seven days in advance of the meeting shall be discussed.

Special General Meetings

19. The Secretary shall call a Special General Meeting at the request of a majority of the Committee, or on receipt of a written petition by not less than 5 Members of the Group giving reasons for their request. The Secretary shall give not less than fourteen days’ notice of the holding of a Special General Meeting, which shall take place within 28 days of the receipt of the request or petition.

Notice of Meetings

20. Notice of all meetings where required shall be sent in writing to each Representative’s work address and shall include the date, time and place of the meeting and an Agenda of matters to be discussed.

Sub Groups

21. The Committee may appoint such sub groups (“Sub Groups”) as may be required to carry out the activities of the Group. The Committee shall agree in advance the terms of reference of any Sub Group, which may then act and apply any finance raised by itself or on its behalf only within those terms. The Chair and Treasurer of the Group shall be ex-officio members of any Sub Group.

22. Where any Sub Group is to continue in existence beyond the Annual General Meeting following its appointment, its members shall submit themselves for re-election at that meeting and annually thereafter.

23. All Sub Groups shall keep proper accounts of income and expenditure, and a proper record of all meetings, and shall report on them or deliver them up as required by the Committee or General Meeting.

24. The Committee or General Meeting may dissolve any Sub Group whereupon the accounts, records and assets, financial and otherwise of the Sub Group shall pass into the hands of the Committee.

Duties of Officers

25. THE CHAIR (or in his/her absence the Vice Chair or another Committee Member) shall conduct the meetings of the Group.

26. THE VICE CHAIR shall represent the Chair in his or her absence. The Vice Chair is effectively Chair Elect should the Chair wish to step down.

27. THE TREASURER shall open and maintain a banking account in the name of the Group. All cheques shall be signed by two Committee members nominated by the Committee and registered with the bank as signatories. Expenditure above £500 must be approved by the Committee. The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts and income and expenditure and report on them or deliver them up as required by the Committee or General Meeting. Such accounts shall be verified by two competent Representatives (not from the Committee) appointed by the Membership and at a frequency agreed at the Annual General Meeting.

28. THE SECRETARY shall be responsible for the convening of all meetings and the giving of the prescribed notice to Members. She/He shall ensure that a proper record is kept of all meetings of the Group its Committee and Sub Groups in the form of minutes; and shall deliver up such records as required by the Committee or General Meeting. The Secretary shall permit the minutes to be examined on receipt of not less than 7 days notice by any 2 members of the Group. The Secretary shall hold a definitive list of the Members of the Group.

29. THE FACILITATOR shall be responsible for retaining the direction of the Group's discussions on the established topics, functions as a catalyst for the progression of discussions by generating an atmosphere of inquiry, offers any pertinent information or research about the established topics and encourages others to do the same.

30. Any member(s) or Officer(s) delegated to represent the Group in consultation with any other body shall act on the instructions of the Group and shall report back to the following Committee or General Meeting, whichever is the sooner.

Interpretation

31. In the event of a dispute over this Constitution, its interpretation or implementation, the matter will be referred to the next General Meeting. If the dispute cannot be resolved through discussion during that meeting, such dispute shall be decided by a vote of the Members.

Alterations to the Constitution

32. Any proposal to alter this Constitution must be submitted to the Secretary of the Group not less than 28 days before the meeting at which it is to be discussed. Not less than 14 days notice shall be given of such a meeting, together with the wording of the proposed alteration(s). Any alteration shall require the approval of two-thirds of those present and voting at the meeting.

33. If the Committee, or if a Committee no longer exists, any ten members of the Group, shall decide that the Group should be dissolved, they shall give at least 28 days notice to the Chief Executives of all London Boroughs and the Corporation of London of a meeting at which the matter shall be discussed. For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum need not apply, and the Group may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of those present. The assets, financial and otherwise, remaining when the Group has satisfied its liabilities, shall be applied for such purposes of benefit to the community, as the meeting shall decide.

London Parks Benchmarking Group

Signed                                                         
Position                                                         
Date                                                         

Adopted 27th April 2007

First revision agreed 10th July 2009. Second revision agreed 13th May 2011.