SUSTAINABLE SKERRIES  CONSTITUTION

Our core purpose is to mobilise and facilitate community action in order to respond effectively and positively to climate change and peak oil. Our ultimate aim is to create a resilient Skerries.

Our Aims

  1. To raise awareness in the Skerries area to the issues of climate change and peak oil and promote the principles of sustainability and resilience.
  2. To work with others in Skerries to develop a low carbon sustainable and resilient future for our town.
  3. To empower people in the Skerries area to respond positively to climate change and peak oil.

We do this because a world using less energy and resources will be more resilient and more pleasurable than at present.

Our Objectives

  1. To advance the education of the public in Skerries in the subject of “Community and Personal Responses to Climate Change and Peak Oil”.
  2. To create and facilitate the implementation of an Energy Descent Plan for Skerries. Thus improving the resilience of the Skerries community.
  3. To advance the education of the public in subjects relating to resilience, sustainable development, powering down and the protection, enhancement and rehabilitation of the environment.

Our Principles

These are the principles that guide the way Sustainable Skerries works. These continue to develop and evolve: 

  1. We work together because we know that together we are greater than the sum of our parts. We work in a collaborative way because we get better results for less effort.
  2. We take action in the interests of the community.
  3. Individuals in Sustainable Skerries take responsibility for their own decisions, actions and results. Responsibility and leadership for Sustainable Skerries is shared by the Steering Group.
  4. We are accountable to ourselves and to each other in keeping with the purpose and principles of Sustainable Skerries.
  5. We trust that those who step forward have good intentions and will make good decisions. We give autonomy and support to those who wish to be part of Sustainable Skerries.
  6. We are transparent in everything we do.
  7. We don’t have a blueprint. We believe in multiple paths, ideas and possibilities. We think questions are as important as answers. It’s fine to make mistakes and learn from them.
  8. We are open to working with everyone. We welcome diversity and see it as a strength, not a problem. We avoid categories of “them and us”.
  9. We recognise that we are all teachers and learners. We value both the professional and the practical.
  10. We acknowledge other sustainability initiatives and seek to find ways to collaborate and further the aims of Sustainable Skerries.
  11. We give what we can and ask for what we need.
  12. Individually and as a group we work on the things we enjoy so that we do them well.
  13. We work constructively with all political parties who share the aims and objectives of Sustainable Skerries. We do not give explicit support to any one political party.
  14. We work with a natural momentum, driven by our passion and positive approach.
  15. We always have the Health, Safety and Welfare of all members of Sustainable Skerries and the public first and foremost in all our activities.

Our organisation

A Steering Group shall administer Sustainable Skerries.

The Steering Group

  1. The Steering Group are a focal point with ultimate responsibility for the affairs of Sustainable Skerries, ensuring it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the Aims and Objectives of Sustainable Skerries in accordance with the Interests and Principles of Sustainable Skerries.
  2. The Steering Group shall be open and accountable to Sustainable Skerries Members about its Duties and Interests. The Steering Group shall encourage involvement by Sustainable Skerries members in its activities.
  3. The Steering Group shall have a minimum of five members. The roles being Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary and any such other officers the group may deem necessary. See Appendix A for details of roles and their responsibilities.
  4. The maximum number of members on the Steering Group shall be twelve. This may be reviewed and changed at the annual general meeting.
  5. The Steering Group shall meet at least four times a year.
  6. At least half of the Steering Group members must be present for a Steering Group meeting to take place.
  7. Voting at a Steering Group meeting shall be by consensus, with a two thirds majority.
  8. Each working group shall be represented on the Steering Group.

 Work Groups

  1. Sustainable Skerries Work Groups may be formed as and when needed in order to carry out specific activities. The Work Groups may be dissolved when the need has been fulfilled.
  2. Work Groups are formed with the agreement of the Steering Group
  3. Work Groups shall consist only of Sustainable Skerries members.
  4. Each Work Group shall have a least one representative on the Steering Group.
  5. Work Groups are responsible for raising and acquiring funds and resources – and for using these wisely, subject to the approval of the Steering Group.
  6. Sustainable Skerries funds may be used to support the activities of a specialist work group provided that the group exists to deliver the Aims of Sustainable Skerries in a positive and concrete way.
  7. Work Groups are accountable to the Treasurer of the Steering Group for expenditure of all funds recieved in support of their activities.
  8. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the free flow of information and knowledge around the Work Group network.

 Membership

  1. Membership shall be open to anyone who is interested in helping Sustainable Skerries to achieve its aims and who agrees to abide by its constitution.
  2. The Steering Group shall have the power to refuse membership to an applicant, where it is considered such membership would be detrimental to the aims, purposes or activities of the group.
  3. An annual membership fee set by the steering group shall be payable by all members.
  4. Every member recorded as a Sustainable Skerries member for more than 30 days shall have one vote at general meetings.
  5. All votes shall be made in person at general meetings. Votes shall not be transferred between members.

Registration and termination of membership

Any member of Sustainable Skerries may resign his/her membership and any representative of a member organisation or section may resign such position, by giving to the secretary of Sustainable Skerries Steering Group written notice to that effect.

The Steering Group may, by resolution passed at a meeting thereof, terminate or suspend the membership of any member, if in its opinion his/her conduct is prejudicial to the interests and objects of the association, PROVIDED THAT the individual member or representative of the member organisation (as the case may be) shall have the right to be heard by the Steering Group before the final decision is made.  There shall be a right of appeal to an independent arbitrator appointed by mutual agreement.

Finance

Specific principles which guide the finance for our projects:

  1. Sustainable Skerries believes that transparency and openness is very important.
  2. Projects for which funding is sought need to be agreed with the relevant Sustainable Skerries group/s.
  3. The project must support the aims of Sustainable Skerries and be in line with the other principles and be designed to deliver on key objectives of the group/s.
  4. All funding raised by Work Groups and the Steering Group will be accounted for through the central bank account, which is the responsibility of the Treasurer.
  5. The Work Group who developed the project are responsible for monitoring the project, its process and outcomes, and reporting to the Steering Group.
  6. If anyone in Sustainable Skerries does not agree that the project is in line with Sustainable Skerries aims and principles then that person can take the project to the Sustainable Skerries Steering Group for discussion.

Updating this Constitution

  1. We make changes to this constitution where necessary, at an AGM.
  2. Changes will be made with a two thirds majority.

APPENDIX 1

Steering Group, Committee Members, Roles and Responsibilities.

1. Chairperson

  1. The chairperson role is to organize the committee meeting through an agenda, which shall be distributed in advance.
  2. The chairperson is responsible for running meetings and keeping the discussion on the appropriate subject.

2. Secretary

  1. The secretary will maintain a register of members.
  2. The secretary shall give proper notice of all meetings.
  3. Receive items for inclusion on the agenda of meetings up to three days before said meeting.
  4. Keep proper records of members present, the discussion and decisions of meetings.
  5. The secretary will mail the minutes out to all members at least seven days before the next scheduled meeting.

3. Treasurer

  1. The treasurer shall keep a record of the sum and nature of all expenditure and receipts of monies. All sales and purchases of goods and services, its assets and liabilities.
  2. The treasurer shall report regularly to the Steering Group the financial status of the Sustainable Skerries to ensure checks and balances.
  3. The treasurer shall place a written set of accounts before the Steering Group at its annual general meeting.
  4. Accurate records and supporting documentation must be kept to a reasonable level of detail that provides a clear audit trail for all transactions.
  5. The treasurer will authorize any expenditure and will require two signatures for any cheques issued from the Sustainable Skerries account.

 Last ammended: 15th April 2010