Our constitution

Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Forum Constitution

1. Background

The Neighbourhood Forum area (the Neighbourhood Area) is situated on the border of the Queen
Elizabeth Park, It has a strong and supportive community. It comprises diverse residents of different
religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is a community built on strong relationships; some over
generations where adults and children feel safe and secure.

It has a mix of homes including older local and ex local authority homes and newer homes all of which
are occupied by tenants, leaseholders and freeholders. There is also a mix of property sizes.
There is a wealth of community assets; school, colleges, community centres, play areas and a doctor’s
surgery being well used by all residents.

There are existing concentrations of businesses here in construction, maintenance and refurbishment
as well as the Building Crafts College and artists’ studios. There are also excellent training facilities in
the Building Crafts College and the Docklands Centre.

2. Aims

The Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Forum (‘the forum’) is a neighbourhood forum as defined in the
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Localism Act 2011 (‘the Act’).

The purpose of Forum is to further social, economic and environmental well-being of the designated
area, as defined in section 3 below (‘the Area’), by acting for the ‘Area’ under the provisions of the Act.

To achieve this we aim:

  • to produce a shared vision for the area;
  • to produce a Neighbourhood Plan,
  • to positively build the future for the next generation amalgamating the wealth of experience of
    our older community members with the exuberance of our younger people;
  • to honour the spirit of a genuine Olympic Legacy!

3. Name and Area

The name of the organisation is ‘Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Forum’ (‘the Forum’).
The Neighbourhood Area is that defined by the London Legacy Development Corporation (in policy
SA3.4 of the examination draft of the Legacy Corporation’s Local Plan) as the Greater Carpenters
District.

4. General Policies and Principles

The Forum will:

  • encourage involvement and membership of the Forum by residents, local representative groups
    and /or societies, and businesses in the area;
  • respect differences including gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability and
    income;
  • foster community spirit;
  • generally support actions generating employment and supporting local businesses in the area;
  • promote sustainable development and environmental improvement;
  • publicise and promote the work of the Forum;
  • work with other Neighbourhood Forums and exchange information, advice and knowledge
  • draw up any codes and policies it feels necessary to support its work
The Forum is non-party politically affiliated.

5. Neighbourhood Forum Membership

The membership is open to anyone (and in any event must comprise at least 21 individuals who are
either (a) residents living in the Neighbourhood Area, (b) elected ward councillors for the Area, and/or
(c) individuals working in the Area and/or (d) individuals carrying on business within the Area boundary.
The Forum will take reasonable steps to ensure that its membership includes at least one individual
falling within each of (a) (b), (c) and (d).
Anyone wishing to become a Forum member must complete a simple application form. A membership
list will be kept by the Secretary.
The Forum’s membership is representative of the diversity of the Neighbourhood area and is fully
representative of entire area. The Forum aims to draw its membership from different places in the
Neighbourhood Area and from different sections of the community in that area.
People that have the right to return to the area should be made affiliated members of the forum
Any person under 18 years old is required to have parental consent to join.
The Forum will regularly assess any apparent disproportionate representation within the Forum and will
positively attempt to remedy this situation.

6. Meetings

Forum general meetings are usually held bi-monthly, but may be held more or less frequently to reflect
the requirements of the Forum’s business.
8 members (one of whom must be the Secretary, the Treasurer or their substitute nominated by them in
the event they cannot attend a meeting) constitute a quorum for Forum general meetings.
A proper record of meetings is kept by the Secretary or agreed minute-taker.
Dates of Forum meetings and notices of the agenda, venue and time for such meeting will be circulated
directly to members and publicised through community websites at least [7 days] in advance of each
meeting. Minutes of each meeting will be circulated directly to members of the Forum and published on
the community website within [fourteen] days following each meeting.
Annual General Meetings are held to elect the Treasurer and Secretary and to present the annual
accounts. If the elected Treasurer or Secretary resign or is otherwise unable to carry out their duties, a
special general meeting may be held to elect a replacement.
General meetings co-ordinate, implement and monitor the work of the Forum including the development
of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area. Meetings will prioritise, schedule and publicise the work of the
Forum.

7. Decision Making

Decisions are made by consensus. There is no voting except for election of Secretary and Treasurer at
the Forum AGMs and on any resolution to dissolve the Forum.
This aim is to ensure that we work hard and carefully to achieve –

  • the greatest possible levels of inclusion from our community
  • something that is agreed by everyone and
  • the strongest possible voice for the community within the Neighbourhood Area.

Members attending Forum meetings can allocate tasks between meetings and can set up sub-groups.
The active work of making the Neighbourhood Plan is undertaken by sub-groups on the key themes
identified by the Forum and then brought back to a general meeting of the Forum for agreement.

8. Officers/ Facilitators

A Secretary is elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Forum to serve for a period of 12 months.
Each meeting, including sub-groups, are facilitated by 2 members (chair and vice-chair) and will be
appointed at the end of the previous meeting. This aims to encourage people to acquire skills and to
take an active part the process. It aims to help everyone feel they have equal contributions to make.

9. Finance

A bank account may be opened with the agreement of a Forum meeting.

A Treasurer will be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Forum to serve for a period of 12
months. The Treasurer maintains financial records and presents annual accounts.

A Forum account must always have three signatories for cheques. All cheques must be signed by at
least 2 unrelated signatories.

10. Code of Conduct

It is expected that everyone will be treated with respect and each will treat others with respect and
equality and ‘everyone’s views will be respected’.

11. Conflicts of interest

Members must declare any potential conflict of interest prior to the start of the Forum or sub-group
meetings. For the avoidance of doubt, a conflict of interest may exist where a member of the Forum
has other interests or loyalties outside the Forum (whether personal, professional or financial) which
may conflict with the aims of the Forum.

The Secretary will keep a register of interests.

12. Term of the Forum and dissolution

The duration of the Forum shall be for 5 years from the date of designation by the London Legacy
Development Corporation, unless it is previously wound up or extended by resolution at a Forum
meeting, 28 days’ notice of the resolution must be given to all members. The resolution must attain a
two-thirds majority of those present.

13. Data Protection

All personal data acquired by GCNF from the membership form shall only be used for the purposes of
contacting members by email or phone for GCNF business only. No personal information or pictures
shall be published on any website without the permission/consent of the individuals involved and shall
not be further processed or disclosed to any other party in accordance with the principles of The Data
Protection Act 1998.