Party Constitution

Adopted by the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Hampshire Independents 9 Feburary 2020

1 – Title and Status

  1. The name of the party shall be The Hampshire Independents (hereafter referred to as “The Hampshire Independents”)
  2. The Hampshire Independents may contest any national or local election within England & Wales, subject to eligibility of individual candidates.

2 – Aims

  1. The objective of the Hampshire Independents is to provide the electorate with a credible alternative to the mainstream parties at local and national level. We believe that people are disillusioned with the mainstream parties and this causes low turnout at elections. We feel that the electorate deserve a wider choice from people that are accessible to them by being local. The electorate deserve local candidates which understand their concerns and will serve the electorate better by experiencing the same issues. The Hampshire Independents aims to provide an alternative choice.
  2. The Hampshire Independents will always consider the interests of everybody rather than favouring one particular section of the community. However, we accept such a balancing act is challenging. We will always try to be fair but we will never claim we can please everyone all of the time.
  3. The Hampshire Independents aims to win one or more council seats within Hampshire and be in a position to contribute to the debate and influence council decisions.
  4. The Hampshire Independents aims to win one or more Parliamentary seats local to Hampshire and be in a position to contribute to the debate and influence decisions in the House of Commons.

3 – Membership

  1. All UK residents on the electoral register are eligible to apply to become a member of The Hampshire Independents. An annual membership fee is payable, the amount of which may vary periodically.
  2. 3.2 Members may be a member of another political party providing their aims and objectives do not conflict with ours.

4 – Meetings and Decision Making

  1. The business of The Hampshire Independents shall be decided and managed by party meetings (hereafter referred to as “party meetings”) held on an ad-hoc basis as required and chaired by the party leader. Party meetings are likely to be more frequent when elections are imminent and less so between elections.
  2. Party meetings shall be open to all paid-up members of the Hampshire Independents
  3. Potential new members and supporters may attend by invitation of the chairman or secretary of the meeting, but cannot vote and have no right to speak except at the discretion of the chairman of the meeting.
  4. A draft agenda will be circulated in advance of each meeting, together with the minutes of the previous meeting. Any paid-up member can suggest additional items for the agenda in advance of or at the start of the meeting.
  5. Members should be notified of any motions relating to policy at least one week before the meeting to discuss the issue.
  6. A party meeting will be defined to be in quorum, and will be carried by achieving simple majority of vote of the members present.
  7. Motions should be proposed and seconded, and will be carried by achieving a simple majority vote of the paid-up members present.
  8. Only paid-up members of the Hampshire Independents will be entitled to vote. Those unable to attend may make their views known to the party meeting, either in writing or through representation by another member, but only those in attendance will be entitled to vote.
  9. Attendance and business conducted as meeting shall be recorded in minutes to be approved by the next meeting.
  10. In the event of a decision needing to be made before a meeting, or the lack of a quorum, an emergency decision may be made by agreement of a simple majority of the registered officers of the Hampshire Independents. This decision must either be ratified or revised at the next party meeting.
  11. Working groups may be set up to discuss specific issues and prepare motions to be put to the next party meeting. All paid-up members can attend these working groups and participate in them.

5 – Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  1. Every year, as close as possible to 29th February, an AGM shall be held for purposes of:
    1. Presentation of the Officer reports of work which has been carried out over the last year
    2. Presentation of a financial statement for the last year
    3. Election of Officers for the forthcoming year
    4. Reviewing strategy and setting goals for the following year and beyond
    5. Any other business on the agenda
  2. Notice of the AGM shall be given at least one month prior to the meeting and any motions for consideration shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
  3. The chair shall be initially taken by the party leader, handing over to the new party leader (if different) after the election of officers has been completed.
  4. All members of the Hampshire Independents who are present at the AGM have one vote each. Resolutions are carried with the support of a simple majority.
  5. The Agenda will be circulated in advance at least one week prior to the meeting.
  6. The chair has the right to rule on the admissibility of any emergency motions put forward.
  7. The quorum of an AGM shall be three members of the Hampshire Independents.

6 – Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

  1. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called on the request of any formal meeting of the Hampshire Independents or by a majority of the Registered Officers of the Hampshire Independents.
  2. The same general rules apply to the EGM’s as to the AGM’s, but it is not necessary to elect a new set of officers.

7 – Officers of the Hampshire Independents

  1. The Hampshire Independents will endeavour to elect its Officers at an AGM held in accordance with section 5. Optionally the Hampshire Independents may elect officers at an EGM which can be called in accordance with section 6.
  2. The Hampshire Independents shall hold the following officers:
    1. Leader: The figurehead for the party, with overall responsibility for its correct operation.
    2. Secretary: The main administrator for the party, but not necessarily politically active.
    3. Treasurer: Responsible for opening and maintaining a bank account, holding any cheque books, paying in any receipts and submitting the necessary returns to the Electoral Commission. Should keep Branch meetings fully and accurately appraised of the financial position and present and annual account to the AGM. Will always act in accordance with the Financial Scheme registered with the Electoral Commission.
    4. Nominating Officer: Responsible for liaison with potential candidates and approving their candidacy on nomination papers. Jointly responsible for selection of candidates with the party leader.
    5. Additional Officer: Maintains a broad overview of the parties activities without any specific responsibilities, but able to provide additional support and signature if necessary.
  3. Nominations shall be proposed and sectioned, and will be won by a simple majority vote of the party members attending the AGM or EGM.
  4. If an AGM cannot form a quorum, Officers can be appointed at the discretion of the Party Leader and the agreement of the existing Registered Officers of the party.
  5. If an EGM cannot form a quorum, the existing Officers continue in their roles.
  6. The AGM has the discretion not to fill posts if no suitable nominations are forthcoming or to propose the merging of posts of the creation of other posts with the agreement of a simple majority.
  7. Should any Officer fail to attend three consecutive meetings without good reason or an apology, The Hampshire Independents may co-opt another person to act in their place.
  8. In the event of a vacancy an officer may be co-opted at the next party meeting. In this situation, there is no need to wait for the next AGM or hold and EGM.

8 – Finance

  1. The Treasurer shall collect or arrange the collection of all money due to The Hampshire Independents and shall receive all donations to the Hampshire Independents and shall be the custodian thereof.
  2. The Treasurer will arrange payment of any bills incurred by the Hampshire Independents and will notify the group if it is in danger of becoming overdrawn.
  3. The Treasurer will at all time act in accordance with the Financial Scheme that is registered with the Electoral Commission.

9 – Selection of election candidates

  1. Any paid-up member of the Hampshire Independents can apply to become a candidate at a local or national election in England and Wales.
  2. All election candidates and their agents are selected via an interview with the Party Leader and Nominating Officer

10 – Amending the constitution

  1. This constitution can only be altered by an AGM or EGM of the Hampshire Independents

11 – Winding Up

  1. The Hampshire Independents may be wound up by a decision at any AGM or EGM of the Hampshire Independents
  2. If a quorum cannot be formed after an AGM or an EGM has been correctly called, the party may be formally wound up by the Party Leader, of if the Party Leader is deceased, by any Registered Officer of the Hampshire Independents.