This document contains the current Constitution of the GLD and the Standing Orders and Election Regulations.
CONSTITUTION of the GREEN LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
- The name of the organisation shall be the 'Green Liberal Democrats'.
- The mission of the Green Liberal Democrats shall be to raise awareness of environmental issues among Liberal Democrats and encourage them to embed these issues into all Liberal Democrat social and economic policies in a distinctive and electable way.
- The key objectives of the Green Liberal Democrats shall be:
- to promote a green approach to policy formation within the Liberal Democrats.
- to provide information and political education from a green perspective to Party activists and elected representatives.
- to establish and develop links with the wider green movement.
- to welcome those that share our aims into the Green Liberal Democrats, to encourage participation in its activities and to ensure equality of opportunity for all members.
- There are 5 levels of membership within the Green Liberal Democrats.
- Full membership - this is open to any person who supports our aims, has paid the membership fee, and is a member of the Liberal Democrats.
- Associate Membership - this carries the right to participate in discussions and debates but excludes voting rights or eligibility to sit on the Executive. It is open to individuals who support our aims and are not members of the Liberal Democrats. On applying, potential Associate Members must declare their membership of any other political party and acceptance of membership is subject to approval by the Executive Committee.
- Honorary Membership - this comprises the Honorary President and up to three Honorary Vice Presidents. Honorary Members are not eligible to hold any other office nor to take an executive role in the Green Liberal Democrats operations (except where detailed herein). Honorary Members are nominated by the Executive and elected by the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Honorary Members may only vote if they are also Full Members.
- Honorary Life Membership - this covers those elected by the AGM under rule 8. Honorary Life Members have all the rights of Full or Associate Members, without the payment of a subscription, according to their membership, or not, of the Liberal Democrats.
- Youth Membership - this covers members who are able to demonstrate that they are under 25 years of age on the day they join or renew their membership. Youth Members have all the rights of Full or Associate Members, according to their membership, or not, of the Liberal Democrats.
- The Executive Committee must draw up rules governing payment of subscriptions and membership procedures. These are subject to approval by the AGM. Any rights, benefits or discounts given to members are only available to those whose membership is current according to this constitution.
- Membership shall start from the date forms are received, provided payment is received on processing.
- Voting rights at General Meetings are conferred on any Full member or other member that has the rights of a Full Member, as indicated above.
- Annual General Meeting
- There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Green Liberal Democrats within nine months of the end of the financial year. Members should receive at least 60 days notice of the intended date and location of the AGM. The AGM shall:
- receive executive reports, copies of which shall be available to members.
- receive the Annual Accounts, copies of which shall be available to members.
- elect the officers and elected members of the Executive Committee and the Honorary President and Vice Presidents for the forthcoming GLD year.
- conduct any other appropriate business notified to the Chair or Vice Chair-Organisation in advance of the meeting.
- determine the overall policy of the Green Liberal Democrats and act as the final authority over the organisation.
- Members shall be given at least fourteen days prior written notice of the business to be conducted at any Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting. Changes to the Constitution, Standing Orders, Financial and Electoral Regulations may be made by a two thirds majority at an AGM, or at an Extraordinary General meeting called with the same notice conditions as an AGM. Standing orders and Regulations may also be provisionally amended at Emergency or Extraordinary General Meetings called at shorter notice, but such changes will not take effect until ratified by a General Meeting called with full notice, unless the meeting and at least two of the President and Vice Presidents agree the need for emergency action.
- Executive Committee
- Membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of seven elected officers [Chair, Vice Chair-Political, Vice Chair-Organisation, Vice Chair-Communications, Vice-Chair Campaigns, Youth Officer and Honorary Treasurer]; six elected ordinary members; and up to four additional co-opted ordinary members, in addition to those co-opted to fill any vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee through resignation shall be filled by recounting the election in which the candidate was elected, redistributing his / her votes to their second preferences at the first stage. Any vacancies occurring through a lack of candidates may be filled by the Executive Committee by co-option.
- Executive Committee members, including co-opted ones, shall have full speaking and voting rights, and each will be required to take on at least one clearly defined role, agreed with by majority vote of the Committee.
- No individual may hold the office of Chair for more than three years consecutively. The Honorary President, or a Vice President delegated by the President shall take the chair at the AGM and any EGMs. If this is not possible, GLD Chair shall preside. Up to three Honorary Vice Presidents may also be elected at the AGM. All elected roles shall be from the time of election to the following AGM. Co-opted positions are subject to review by the executive.
- Not less than 90 days before the date of the AGM, the Executive Committee shall appoint a person who is not a member of, or a candidate for, the Executive Committee, to act as a Returning Officer. This person shall be a recognised Liberal Democrat Returning Officer and will administer all aspects of the annual elections for the Executive Committee and Honorary President and Vice Presidents. The elections shall be conducted in accordance with the Election Regulations [appended hereto].
- Required documents are deemed to have been sent to members, if they are sent by post (separately or in Challenge) or by e-mail, in either case to the latest postal or e-address notified to the Honorary Treasurer, unless "postal only" or "e-mail only", or "special" arrangements have been made (such arrangements may include Large print or audio). Documentation, other than ballot papers, required by this constitution to be sent to members, shall also be posted on the GLD website.
- The Executive Committee shall meet at least five times each year between the Annual General Meetings. Any Executive members who fail to attend 3 executive meetings consecutively, regardless of sending apologies, will have deemed to have resigned, unless their special circumstances have been agreed, by the Executive, by or at the fourth meeting, to excuse the absences.
- The Youth Officer shall be a Youth Member and only Youth Members are eligible to stand for this position.
- Any member of the Executive Committee who ceases to be a voting Member of the GLD during their term of office, shall cease to be a member of the Committee on the day the Chair is notified by the Honorary Treasurer that their membership status has changed. The Committee may co-opt them back to their position if they re-qualify for voting rights, but this is not automatic.
- The Executive Committee may vote to end the period of co-option for any co-opted member provided that this is done as a formal motion on the agenda. All co-options end automatically at the end of the next AGM after the co-option decision.
- The financial year shall run from January 1st to December 31st each year. An annual membership fee shall be charged for Members, Youth Members and Associate Members. The fee, any concessions, and the date from which they apply, is to be recommended by the Executive Committee and approved by the Annual General Meeting.
- The Annual General Meeting may confer Honorary Life Membership of the Green Liberal Democrats for some special contribution to green politics.
- An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the Executive Committee or by twenty-five Voting members, who shall specify the purpose of the business to be conducted at the meeting.
- The quorum for the AGM and EGM shall be twenty-five Voting members.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to affiliate the Green Liberal Democrats to such bodies as it sees fit, providing their aims and conduct are consistent with the aims and objectives of the Green Liberal Democrats. Such affiliations shall be subject to ratification by the next AGM.
- The Honorary President shall be the guardian of this Constitution and shall be charged with its interpretation in any matters of dispute, subject to procedures agreed by the AGM. These are also to cover disputes under the Election Regulations 1 e).
[This Constitution was amended at the July 1998 AGM in Winchester when Articles 5, 6 and 9 were rewritten in order to improve the ef ectiveness of election procedures. That AGM also adopted the Election Regulations as a Standing Order. Subsequently it was amended at the June 2000 AGM in Cheltenham, when the financial year was changed in order to comply with Federal Party regulations to bring the Party into line with the provisions of the Political Parties and Referendums Act 2000. It was also amended was at the September 2009 AGM where the changes were made in relation the executive committee and standing for of ice Article 4,5,7,8 & 11. At the EGM March 2011 changes were made to amend typographical errors and update current arrangements regarding cooptions. The amendment at the September 2011 AGM made changes on the GLD mission. Substantial changes to clarify membership made June 2013 EGM. Amended Sept 2015 AGM. Amended March 2017 AGM. Amended September 2018 AGM to add a youth wing and change the membership secretary to vice chair communications. Amended 2019 AGM (held in March 2020) with addition of a new officer- vice chair Campaigns as per 2018 AGM Motion in section 6(a), changes to govern the status of members and voting rights or serving on the executive in 4(a)(ii), 4(d) 6(h), 6(i), 9 and 10.] [ends]
- Conduct of Business at General Meetings Procedures at Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings shall be determined by the Chair of the meeting, (see section 8 of the Constitution), and his or her decision shall be final, subject only to a vote under section 5 of the Constitution to amend or suspend Standing Orders.
- Duties of Officers
- The Chair shall have overall responsibility for the administration, organisation and activities of the Green Liberal Democrats, and be accountable to the Honorary President, the Executive Committee and the General Meetings of the membership.
- The Chair may delegate any responsibilities to other Officers or Committee Members by agreement, subject to the provisions of other Standing Orders approved by the Annual General Meeting.
- Unless otherwise directed by the Chair, the Vice Chair-Organisation shall be responsible for ensuring that Minutes of all meetings of the Green Liberal Democrats are taken and copied for appropriate distribution, together with advance notice of and agendas and other papers as necessary for General Meetings and meetings of the Executive and other Committees in accordance with the Constitution and Standing Orders.
- Notice for Executive Committee meetings shall be given not less than ten days in advance. The minutes of the Executive Committee meetings shall be circulated to Committee members not more than ten days after the meeting.
- The duties of other officers shall be as directed by the Chair or the Vice Chair- Organisation, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, and the provisions of other approved Standing Orders.
- The responsibilities for the VC Campaigns will include the development of Green Campaign Training for both members and the wider party; liaison with VC Politics on external campaigning; liaison with VC Communications on member engagement and liaison with VC Organisation on organisational development.
- Appointment of Sub Committees - The Executive Committee shall appoint such Sub-Committees as it thinks fit. The powers and duties of the Organisation, Political or any other Sub-Committees, once established by the Executive Committee, shall continue from one year to the next unless altered or terminated by formal resolution of the Executive Committee.
- The Youth Officer shall form and chair a Young Green Liberal Democrats sub-committee to engage and develop Youth Members. This sub-committee is answerable and reports to the Executive through the Youth Officer.
[Proposed by Executive Committee at their meeting of 23 April 1995 and adopted by AGM, 11 Lidne 1995. Amended March 2011 EGM. Amended June 2013 EGM. Amended March 2017 AGM. Amended September 2018 AGM to add youth sub-committee. Amended March 2020 (2019 AGM) with addition of 2(f) defining the role of the new officer- vice chair Campaigns as per 2018 AGM Motion] [ends]
- Responsibilities and Authority
- The Returning Officer (RO) shall be responsible for the receipt of nominations, issuing of ballot papers and the counting of votes for each election covered by these regulations.
- The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible for providing up to date membership information to the RO.
- The Vice Chair Organisation shall be responsible for sending out nomination forms and the AGM paperwork.
- Any participant in the election may appeal against a decision of the RO as described within section 4 "Timeline" below.
- The Honorary President shall be responsible for ruling on appeals relating to the RO's interpretation of these regulations.
- The AGM retains the ultimate authority to overrule any decision. These regulations may be amended by the AGM in the same way as the Constitution.
- All contested elections will be held by secret ballot using the single transferable vote.
- Each Candidate must provide his or her written commitment to serve if elected, and may provide a personal statement of no more than 300 words and a passport-style photograph of the candidate for circulation in the event of a contested election.
- No allowance will be made for postal, individual or local internet failures, but in the event of widespread internet or postal problems the RO may extend the deadline for the return of forms at their discretion.
- At the AGM ballot papers shall be issued to qualifying members who have not been sent ballot papers. The count shall be conducted at the AGM, giving equal weight to paper and electronic votes.
- Only Members of the Green Liberal Democrats who have voting rights (see 4d of the Constitution) on the day of the AGM are eligible to vote.
- Each Executive Candidate must be an eligible voter from the day the nomination forms are issued to the day of the AGM. It is recommended that each check with the RO who shall then confirm their eligibility before nominations are submitted.
- To be eligible for a postal/email vote, an eligible voter must either ensure that their email address is up to date by the Nomination deadline (ie they have 30 days after the nomination forms are issued to notify the Honorary Treasurer) or send an SSAE to the RO by the nomination deadline, requesting a ballot paper.
- Members who have been issued with a ballot paper, whether used or not, will not be eligible to receive a ballot paper at the AGM for the same election.
- Only Youth Members may stand for the Youth Officer role.
- The Executive will determine the target date of the AGM (subject to room booking) at least 90 days in advance and appoint an RO.
- Nomination forms for all posts must be circulated to all Full Members not less than 60 days before the date of the AGM.
- The Honorary Treasurer shall provide the RO with the names, email addresses and Liberal Democrat Membership numbers of all eligible members to whom the nomination forms are to be sent.
- The deadline for the receipt of nominations shall be 30 days before the date of the AGM.
- A second membership list will be produced on nomination deadline day containing those on the list who are still eligible.
- The RO shall validate the nominations within five days and then notify all approved and rejected candidates privately.
- Rejected candidates have 5 days to appeal the rejection to the Honorary President, copying in the RO to ensure ballot papers are not issued while an appeal is being considered. The Honorary President must then rule on the appeal not less than 18 days before the AGM. Should they not do so, the RO's decision shall stand.
- Finalised ballot papers are to be emailed or posted to all eligible postal voters between 18 and 20 days before the AGM, to coincide with the publication of the agenda and reports. A list of all candidates, the posts for which they are standing, and their personal statement shall be posted on the Green Liberal Democrats website.
- Completed ballot papers must EITHER be sent back to the RO to arrive no later than 3 days before the date of the AGM, or, if the AGM is at a national Lib Dem Conference, 3 days before the first day of Conference, whichever is the earlier, OR they may be brought to the AGM. If a member's postal or e-mail ballot paper has been received, the member cannot subsequently vote in person on the elections contested on the ballot paper.
- A third eligible voter list will be given to the RO on the date of the election containing those on the second who are still eligible. Only people on this list will have their votes counted.
- At the AGM all completed ballot papers will be validated against the third list and all those that appear on the list will be counted and the results announced.
[Adopted by the 1998 AGM held at Winchester & amended March 2011 EGM. The last amendment made at the September 2011 AGM on changes referred back from the March 2011 EGM on the balloting of members. Amended substantially at the EGM June 2013. Amended at 2017 March AGM. Amended at 2018 September AGM to remove need for nominators and seconders. 2019 AGM (held in March 2020) changes to Eligibility to correct overly strict voting requirements while preserving candidate requirement, and change to Methodology to allow for longer manifestos and a photograph.] [ends]
Download a PDF of this constitution from the Documents Folder here
Click here for an annotated version showing the changes made at the 2019 AGM (held March 2020)
Click here for an annotated version showing the changes made at the September 2018 AGM
Click here for an annotated version showing the changes made at the March 2017 AGM
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