The Thomastown Community Network constitution was drawn up during a series of meetings held in Summer 2016 and involving a broad cross-section of the community.
It was formally adopted at our official launch meeting, held in Thomastown Community Hall on Tuesday September 27, 2016.
Our constitution is printed below, and a PDF version is here for download.
Constitution – September 2016
Title: The name of the body shall be Thomastown Community Network
Date of adoption: This constitution was adopted at a public meeting held in Thomastown on 27th September 2016 at 8.00p.m. at the Thomastown Community Centre.
Objectives: The objective of the Community Network is to improve the quality of life for all people in the community of Thomastown through community based activities and initiatives:
- To foster the development and coordination of all aspects of Thomastown’s social, economic, environmental, educational, health, arts, culture, heritage, sports and recreational.
- To actively work towards sustainable economic development.
- Through a collaborative process work with all statutory bodies on the planning, management and physical development of Thomastown
- To encourage participation of all stakeholders.
Values: The Community Network is founded on principles of democracy and service to the community, neighbourliness and self-help in working for community improvement. It values openness, inclusion, and transparency. It is non-party political and non-sectarian.
Membership: Is open to:
- All residents (over the age of 18) of the Thomastown Area (see map and description)
- Non-residents working or volunteering in the area outline in (a)
- Non-residential frequent visitors with an interest in the area.
- The activities and financial affairs of the Community Network will be managed by the Management Group
- The Management Group will comprise a Chairperson, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a PRO (the Management Group Officers) and up to 25 other members, all of whom must be members of the Community Network.
- Each of the Officers will be directly elected at the AGM.
- All members of the Management Group so elected must be present at the AGM and must be proposed and seconded by other members of the Community Network who are also present.
- The Management Group will have inclusive representation of all aspects of the community thorough co-option where necessary – including but not limited to age, gender, ability, and ethnicity.
- The members of the Management Group elected at the AGM may subsequently co-opt additional members to increase the total membership of the Management Group to 25.
- The Management Group may appoint from amongst its full complement persons to the following positions: Vice-Chairperson; Assistant Secretary; Assistant Treasurer; Assistant PRO and whatever other position(s) may be deemed necessary.
- The term of all members of the Management Group will expire at the next AGM after their election or co-option at which point they may present themselves for re-election or make themselves available for co-option for a further term.
- No one Management Group Office may be held by the same person for more than three consecutive years.
- A Management Group member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings without adequate explanation may be deemed to have resigned from the Management Group and may be replaced by co-option.
- The Management Group may create sub-groups to deal with specific aspects of its work. At least one member of any such sub-group must be a member of the Management Group. The Chair of any such sub-group must be a member of the Management Group.
- The Management Group will make what arrangements it sees fit in order to ensure the accountability of any such sub-group to the Management Group.
Management Group Meetings:
- The Management Group will meet at least six times a year.
- Meetings shall enable the Management Group to discuss actions and monitor progress to date and consider future developments.
- Minutes of each meeting will be kept by the Secretary or by another Management Group member nominated for the task.
- The agenda for any particular meeting and the minutes of the previous meeting will be circulated to all Management Group members at least four days in advance of the meeting.
- At least one week’s notice will be given to all Management Group members of all Management Group meetings.
- The quorum for Management Group meetings will comprise a majority of its members.
- In the absence of the Chairperson from a meeting, the other members attending will select an acting chairperson from amongst themselves.
Annual General Meetings:
- The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held no later than three months after the end of the financial year.
- The Management Group will fix the date of the AGM, and the Secretary will notify the membership of the Community Network of that date.
- Motions and proposals for discussion at the AGM, other than nominations for membership of the Management Group, must be received by the Secretary not less than 14 days in advance of the meeting.
- Copies of the annual report and a statement of financial accounts will be available at the AGM.
- The retirement and election of Management Group members will take place at the AGM.
- All Community Network members present will be entitled to vote at the AGM.
- Voting for Management Group members may be by secret ballot. In the case of a tied vote for an Officer position, a second vote will take place each proposed officer shall make a case for their inception and a second secret ballot will be taken. In the event that this results in another tie, the outcome will be determined by the casting vote of the Chairperson.
- Voting on all other motions or proposals, including proposed amendments to this constitution, will be by a show of hands.
- The quorum for an AGM will be decided once the Management Group is formed.
Special General Meetings:
- A special general meeting may be called either by the Management Group or at the request of any 20 people of the Community. Such a request must be made in writing to the Secretary, must include the names and addresses of those making the request and must state the reason(s) for the request.
- The Management Group must consider and respond, through the Secretary, to a request for a special general meeting within 10 days of receiving such a request.
- The Secretary will notify all members of the Community Network of the date not less than 14 days in advance of the meeting and will state the purpose of the meeting in that notice.
- The quorum for a special general meeting will be the same as the quorum for an AGM.
- All monies raised by or on behalf of the Community Network will be applied exclusively in furtherance of the Community Network’s objectives.
- The Community Network’s funds will be managed through a bank/credit union account and all monies received will be lodged to that account within 72 hours of receiving them.
- Cheques drawn on the Community Network’s account must bear the signature of at least two nominated signatories. Provision should be made for an adequate number of cheque signatories.
- The Treasurer will be responsible for keeping proper records of all the Community Networks financial transactions and will report accordingly at each Management Group meeting.
- An annual financial report will be prepared for and presented at the AGM. Provision shall be made examine all financial accounts by an independent accountant who is not a member of the Community Network.
- The Management Group may appoint a Finance Management Group to assist the Treasurer in executing his/her duties.
- The annual statement of accounts will be examined and approved by a suitably qualified independent person.
- To ensure value for money, the Community Network will seek at least two quotations for all purchases of goods and services above €400.
- This constitution cannot be altered in any way, except with the consent of a majority of Community Network members present at an AGM or at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.
- The Community Network may only be dissolved by a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.
- Dissolution of the Community Network will only take effect if agreed by two-thirds of the members present at such meeting.
- Any monies received from funding bodies should be returned to such bodies in accordance with the relevant funding criteria.
- All assets remaining after the discharge of liabilities must be distributed amongst local charities nominated by that meeting and in the proportions agreed at that meeting.
- On dissolution, any documents belonging to the Community Network should be retained or disposed of in a manner agreed by the meeting.