Our constitution was updated and adopted on the 20th September 2018
KILWINNING COMMUNITY COUNCIL CONSTITUTION
The name of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be KILWINNING COMMUNITY COUNCIL (referred to as “the COMMUNITY COUNCIL” in this document).
2. Area of the Community Council
The area of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be as defined by North Ayrshire Council.
The objectives of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be: (a) to ascertain, co-ordinate and reflect the views of the community which it represents, to liaise with other community groups within the area, and to fairly express the diversity of opinions and outlooks of the people; (b) to express the views of the community to the local authority for the area to public authorities and other organisations; (c) to take such action in the interests of the community as appears to it to be desirable and practicable; (d) to promote the well-being of the community and to foster community spirit; (e) to be a means whereby the people of the area shall be able to voice their opinions on any matter affecting their lives, their welfare, their environment, its development and amenity.
4. Role and Responsibilities
In the discharge of their functions and the conduct of their business, the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and its membership shall have regard to their role and responsibilities as set out in Paragraph 2 of the North Ayrshire Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils (the NAC Scheme).
5.1 The Community Council will have a membership according to the formula of 1 member per 1000 head of population within its area.
5.2 Local Councillors for the area will be ex-officio members of the Community Council, without voting rights.
5.3 The Elected Community Councillors may decide to co-opt Additional Community Councillors to represent local organisations provided that the number of Additional Community Councillors does not exceed at any time one half of the number of permitted Elected Community Councillors. Additional Community Councillors shall have the same voting right as Elected Councillors other than in matters concerning the co-option of Additional Community Councillors.
6. Method of Election
Election procedures shall be governed by the method of election laid down in Paragraph 9 of the NAC Scheme.
6.1 Elections will be held during the third week of September each year.
6.2 Elected Councillors will hold office for a period of four years (except for fulfilling the terms of Clause 5.3)
6.3 All retiring members will be eligible for re-election.
6.4 Candidates for election to the Community Council must be: (a) on the Register of Electors for the area; (b) over 16 years of age.
6.5 Nomination for election must be submitted in writing to North Ayrshire Council and must contain the signatures of two proposers, both of whom must be on the Electoral Register for the area covered by the Council.
7. Vacancies on the Community Council
7.1 The community Council shall have the power to fill vacancies on the Council by co-option, in order to bring the Council up to the full elected membership. Members so elected will hold office until the next election, and will have full voting rights.
7.2 Casual vacancies, caused by the resignation of either an elected or coopted member, may be filled by co-option at the discretion of the Community Council. Such co-opted member will remain in office until the next election, and will have full voting rights.
7.3 Members and co-opted members must have served on the Council for a period of not less than one year, before being appointed as Office Bearers.
8. Voting Rights of Members of the Community Council
The right to vote at any meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL or any committee thereof, shall be held by all COMMUNITY COUNCILLORS whether elected or co-opted, but not by Appointed Advisers appointed for specific issues on a temporary basis, or ex-officio members. With the exception of circumstances which may arise under the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils: Clause 4(ii) – Community Council Elections [Co-option]; and Constitution: Clause 23 – Alterations to the Constitution and its Clause 24 – Dissolution, all decisions of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL will be decided by a simple majority of those eligible to vote and present and voting. 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.
9. Election of Office-Bearers
(a) At the first meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL after elections in the year when elections are held and at the Annual General Meeting in September in the year when elections are not held, the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall appoint a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other such office-bearers as it shall from time to time decide.
(b) All office-bearers shall be elected for one year, but shall be eligible for re-election for a maximum of 2 years with a one year break. The Community Council can choose to waive this rule if it so chooses.
(c) Without the express approval of the local authority, no one member shall hold more than one of the following offices at any one time: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary or Treasurer.
10. Committees of the Community Council The COMMUNITY COUNCIL may appoint representatives to committees of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and shall determine their composition, terms of reference, duration, duties and powers. Any committees must be chaired by an elected Community Councillor. The Community Council may appoint individuals to a sub-committee who are not elected Councillors. Any financial decisions by a committee must be approved by the COMMUNITY COUNCIL. The Treasurer must be kept informed of any financial transactions.
11. Meetings of the Community Council
(a) The quorum for COMMUNITY COUNCIL meetings shall be at least one quarter of the current eligible voting membership.
(b) The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL will be held in the third week of September each year.
(c) The business of the AGM will consist of:
receiving and considering the Chairperson’s annual report on the COMMUNITY COUNCIL; the submission and consideration of the independently examined annual statement of accounts, and; the appointment of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
(d) Including the annual general meeting, the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall meet monthly, at dates determined at the AGM, except that it may agree to forgo a monthly meeting during either July or August or, December or January.
(e) Dates, times and venues of regular meetings of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be fixed at the first meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL following ordinary elections and thereafter at its annual general meeting. Special meetings shall require at least 10 days public notice, either called by the Chairperson, or on the request of not less than one-half of the total number of COMMUNITY COUNCIL members. An officer of North Ayrshire Council has the discretion to call a meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL.
(f) 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, but the draft minute shall be circulated within 14 days from the date of that meeting, to COMMUNITY COUNCIL members, other appropriate parties and the local authority’s liaison officer for COMMUNITY COUNCILS.
(g) The COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall abide by its Standing Orders for the proper conduct of its meetings.
(h) The COMMUNITY COUNCIL can meet to discuss items of business in private where it considers it appropriate to do so. The decision to meet in private will be agreed in advance and decided by a majority vote. Notice of such a meeting will be given to the public in the usual way. However, the Notice will record that the meeting, or a part thereof, shall be held in private.
12. Public Participation in the Work of the Community Council
(a) All meetings of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and its committees (subject to 11(h), above) shall be open to members of the public. 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.
(b) Notices calling meetings of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and its committees shall be posted prominently within the COMMUNITY COUNCIL area for a minimum period of ten days before the date of any such meeting, and, where possible, promoted by other suitable means.
13. Information to the Local Authority
The local authority’s liaison officer shall be sent an annual calendar of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL’S prescribed meeting dates, times and venues, which should be agreed at the COMMUNITY COUNCIL’S annual general meeting, minutes of all meetings, the annual report, the annual financial statement and any other such suitable information, as may from time to time be agreed between the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and the local authority. When special meetings of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL are to be held, the local authority’s liaison officer should be advised of the date, time venue and subject(s) of debate of such meetings, at least 10 days in advance of the meeting date.
14. Control of Finance
(a) All monies raised by or on behalf of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL or provided by the local authority and other sources shall be applied to further the objectives of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and for no other purpose. The monies provided by the local authority in the annual Administrative Grant for administrative and other approved purposes shall be used only as prescribed. Monies raised from other sources may be used in accordance with the terms of this provision (so long as they are consistent with the objectives of the community council), or in the absence of such terms, for the furtherance of the objectives of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL.
(b) The treasurer shall undertake to keep proper accounts of the finances of the community council.
(c) Any two of three authorised signatories, who would normally be officebearers of the community council, may sign cheques on behalf of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL. Authorised signatories may not be cohabitees.
(d) A statement of accounts for the last financial year, independently examined by North Ayrshire Council, shall be submitted to an annual general meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and shall be available for inspection at a convenient location.
(e) The financial year of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be from 1st August until 31st July of the succeeding year. The accounts shall be received and approved by the COMMUNITY COUNCIL at the annual general meeting.
15. Title to Property
Property and other assets belonging to the COMMUNITY COUNCIL shall be vested in the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and their successors in these respective offices.
16. Alterations to the Constitution
Any proposal by the COMMUNITY COUNCIL to alter this Constitution must be first considered by a meeting of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and the terms of the proposal to alter the Constitution shall be stated on the notice calling the meeting, which shall be issued not less than ten days prior to the meeting. Any proposed alterations may not prejudice the terms and objectives contained within the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils. If the proposal is supported by two-thirds of the total voting membership of the COMMUNITY COUNCIL and is approved in writing by the local authority, the alteration shall be deemed to have been duly authorised and can then come into effect.