The name of the organisation shall be It’s Our City!
Purpose and aims
It’s Our City! is a community-led network of residents in Sheffield thinking, talking and working together on issues of common concern to us all. We seek to be an independent, positive and productive contributor to a vibrant local democracy, and for the well-being and resilience of our diverse communities. We ask for more from our elected representatives (Councillors and MPs), statutory authorities, and other managing and delivering services.
We know that active, informed citizens and communities are vital for a healthy local democracy. We include members of all political parties, but are mostly not in political parties – just ordinary Sheffield residents. We are committed to making common cause with each other, as neighbours and community members. We do not work on issues that harm or disrespect particular groups of people, in fact we respect, and will defend, the rights of communities that may face discrimination
Our independence is vital to us – we do not seek to be ‘mobilised’ or ‘co-opted’ by political parties or party political groupings. We start with people’s concerns at a local level, listen to each other, share information and actively develop a common community voice and agendas, to work on together. We work on issues of practical concern and focus our activities to maximise impact.
Our voting membership cannot comprise more than a third of party political members at any one time and similar restrictions apply to our Coordinating Group, and this is to protect and preserve our independence from party politics. We hold regular open meetings to expand and develop our diverse network and community conversations, and to plan shared activities.
To further these aims the Coordinating Group shall have power to:
- Obtain, collect and receive money or funds by way of contributions, donations, grants and any other lawful method towards the aims of It’s Our City!
- Associate Sheffield residents in a common effort to carry out the aims of It’s Our City!
- Do all such lawful things as will further the aims of It’s Our City!
- Voting membership shall be open to all residents of Sheffield over the age of 14 who support the aims of It’s Our City!
- The Coordinating Group shall have the power to approve or reject applications for membership or to terminate the membership of any member provided that the member shall have the right to be heard by the Coordinating Group before a final decision is made
- Non-voting membership is open to non-Sheffield residents and shall be open to people over the age of 16 who support the aims of It’s Our City!
- The Secretary (or membership secretary if designated) will normally approve membership applications on behalf of the Coordinating Group (and keep up-to-date records inline with data protection legislation)
- In order to preserve the independent, community-led nature of of It’s Our City! voting membership at any one time cannot comprise more than a third of members who are also members of political parties (ascertained by self-declaration). This means that whilst membership applications will normally be approved within two weeks, it is possible that member approvals and confirmations at particular points may have to be put on hold.
- Renewal of membership: periodically, but no less than once every three years, a renewal of membership exercise will take place to ensure membership and membership details are upto-date. (It should be noted that party membership adjustments may have to be made at this time, in line with the provisions for maintaining independence from party politics outlined below.)
- There is no subscription attached to membership but an invitation to make a small/one-off donation may be included on the membership application form.
Management (and independence from party politics)
- A Coordinating Group elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall manage It’s Our City!
- The Coordinating Group shall consist of a chair, secretary and treasurer (officers) and up to five other members (who may be designated particular roles).
- Officer roles can be undertaken jointly eg Co-Chair, and both will be voting members.
- The Coordinating Group may co-opt up to a further five voting members who shall resign at the next Annual General Meeting (but they can, of course, be re-co-opted by the new Coordinating Group).
- At any one time the Coordinating Group (elected and co-opted voting members) cannot comprise more than a third of members who are members of political parties; those in officer roles cannot comprise more than a third who are party political members; those who are candidates for political parties cannot be elected as officers of the Coordinating Group.
- All Coordinating Group members are expected to openly acknowledge any conflicts of interest including personal ones and where party political considerations are concerned; they would normally step down from any vote (and possibly from discussion) on items concerned
- The Coordinating Group shall meet at least five times each year.
- At least three Coordinating Group members must be present at a Coordinating Group meeting to be able to make decisions.
- A proper record of all transactions and meetings shall be kept.
- An Annual General Meeting shall be held within 12 months of the date of the adoption of this constitution and each year thereafter (with a maximum of 15 months between AGMs).
- Notices of the AGM shall be published a minimum of three weeks beforehand and a report on the It’s Our City! financial position for the previous year will be made available at the same time.
- A Special General Meeting may be called at any time at the request of the Coordinating Group, or not less than one quarter of the voting membership. A notice explaining the place, date, time and reason shall be sent to all members three weeks beforehand
- One quarter of membership or five members being present, whichever is the greater, shall enable a General Meeting to take place.
- Proposals to change the constitution must be given in writing to the secretary at least 28 days before a general meeting and approved by a two thirds majority of those present and voting
- The funds of It’s Our City! including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Coordinating Group. All cheques/payments drawn on the account must be signed/authorised by at least two members of the Coordinating Group (normally including the Treasurer).
- The funds belonging to It’s Our City! shall be applied only to further the aims of the group.
- A current record of all income, funding and expenditure will be kept.
- It’s Our City! may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a simple two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting
- If confirmed, the Coordinating Group shall distribute any assets remaining after the payment of all bills to other charitable group(s) or organisation(s) having aims similar to It’s Our City! Or some other charitable purpose(s) as the Group may decide.