Constitution

Version Number: V1.30
Version Date: 23-September-2021

1. Name and Electoral Commission Register

1.1     This is the constitution of the political party known as “Rise” hereinafter referred to as ‘the Party’ in this constitution.

1.2     As a political party on the Great Britain register Rise will endeavour to stand candidates at local and parliamentary general elections in England, Wales, and Scotland via a candidate selection process.

1.3     The Party is incorporated in England and Wales as a non-profit limited company (company no. 13493593). Nothing in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company, or other governing documents, conflict with this constitution. The Treasurer will ensure that all statutory returns connected with the limited company are properly prepared and submitted by the relevant due dates.

2. Aims, Objectives and Values

2.1     Our aim is to be a people driven political party.

2.2     Our objectives are to redefine the political structure, to achieve reform and to promote an equitable society for all people.

2.3     We believe that everybody is entitled to a peaceful and private life.

2.4     We will ensure public servants act in the interest of the people, rather than in opposition to them.

2.5     Elected representatives are in service, not “in power”.

2.6     We believe in the self determination of all peoples.

2.7     As a party we uphold equality for all.

2.8     The Party will act as a facilitator. The role of the Party is to empower the people through our membership.

2.9     The Party goal is to ensure our members are fully empowered to serve their communities.

2.10    We will field candidates in local and national elections in England, Scotland, and Wales.

3. Steering Committee

3.1     Responsible officers are those officers registered with the Electoral Commission:

i.        The Party have registered 4 officers with the Electoral Commission.

1.       Leader

2.       Treasurer

3.       Nominations officer

4.       Campaigns officer

ii.        One individual is in the position of Nominations and Campaigns officer at present

iii.       Should a responsible officer stand down, be removed by election, or be removed by disciplinary procedure, the Party will inform the Electoral Commission as soon as possible and within 14 days.

iv.       Responsible officers will be replaced as per the procedure detailed in section 4.

3.2     The Steering Committee (S.C.) is comprised of party officers, members elected to carry out specific roles as detailed below and regional coordinators. The party officers are:

i.        Leader: Responsible for acting as the spokesperson for the Party and to publicly promote the party during campaigning. In the event of the post of treasurer falling vacant the leader will act as treasurer until a replacement treasurer has been registered. The leader is ultimately responsible for ensuring the party complies with all relevant statutes, laws, and regulations.

ii.        Treasurer: Responsible for financial matters and maintaining the solvency of the party. The treasurer is responsible for the submission of all statutory financial returns to the Electoral Commission and any other regulatory or taxation bodies. The treasurer is responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of Parts 3, 4 and 4A of The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000(accounting requirements and control of donations, loans, and certain other transactions).

iii.       Nominating Officer: Responsible for running internal party elections and managing candidates and campaigns during elections (official responsibilities outlined in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and any other relevant legislation.), such as:

1.       The submission by representatives of the party of lists of candidates for the purposes of elections

2.       The issue of such certificates as are required under The Political Parties, Elections and Representations Act 2000.

3.       The approval of descriptions and emblems used on nominations and ballot apers at elections.

iv.       Campaign Officer: Lead on the development of a comprehensive campaign plan in line with our broader electoral strategy, and its implementation within agreed timelines with a view to increasing vote share.  Manage a team of staff and volunteers, liaising with key stakeholders such as, but not limited to, the party officers and constituency coordinators. Work within agreed budgets, acting and managing resources effectively in accordance with the Party’s philosophy, and organisational policies & procedures. Effectively monitor and report on progress against strategic plans, providing fair warning of any issues and proposed resolution strategies.

v.       Personnel Officer: Provide a first port of call for members to seek resolution to issues. This can refer to grievance issues with members or the Party. The Personnel Manager will aim to create an environment for resolution by ensuring a fair, but rule-based grievance procedure.

vi.       Public Relations Officer: Lead on marketing and public relations such as promoting the Party to media organisations, overseeing the style and content of the Party, and ensuring the reputation of the Party is protected.

vii.      Membership Secretary: Evaluate membership applications and ensure the applicant meets the Party rules. Manage membership database to ensure accuracy. Ensure members needs are met in terms of access to party systems to carry out any duties they are responsible for.

viii.     Education Officer: Empower members by providing online courses on varied political issues. This involves written material, video, and invitations to guests to present to the members.

ix.       Operations Officer: Promote the smooth running of the Party by creating and maintaining the necessary administration systems. Design programme management structures to ensure timely delivery of projects and policies.

x.       Regional Coordinators: There are 12 regional coordinators with one allocated to each of the following regions:

•         East Midlands
•         East of England
•         International
•         London
•         North East
•         North West
•         Scottish Regions
•         South East
•         South West
•         Welsh Regions
•         West Midlands
•         Yorkshire and Humberside

The Regional Coordinators ensure the smooth running of their region by organising constituencies, holding meetings, facilitating policy additions, and ensuring the Party officers are aware of the needs of their region.

xi.       Chairperson: Responsible for the procedures of the party including the agenda & chairing of official party meetings.

xii.      Secretary: Responsible for keeping the official record of meetings.

3.3     Up to three additional members of the S.C. can be co-opted if the need is identified. Co-option of additional members requires a unanimous vote of approval from all the S.C. members.

3.4     If an officer of the Party or additional member of the S.C.is convicted of an offence preventing them from acting as treasurer of the party under The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 they will cease their membership of the S.C. and any associated role or duties with immediate effect.

3.5     If only one person stands for election to a position on the S.C., they will be deemed to have been elected unopposed.

3.6     The S.C. will meet no fewer than 12 times a year, and whenever necessary to ensure the smooth running of the Party. The following ways of working apply to S.C meetings:

i.        Two weeks’ notice will be given unless there is an immediate need for an emergency meeting in which case a minimum of 24 hours advance notice will be given.

ii.        Reports and Documents relevant to an ordinary scheduled meeting must be submitted no later than 4 days prior to the meeting date.

iii.       Late submission of documents for inclusion will mean they cannot be considered unless under exceptional circumstances, where a vote of the committee allows them to be considered.

iv.       Any supporting documents for decisions to be made by the S.C. must be submitted 4 days prior to the meeting date.

v.       Late or non-submission of minutes and applicable progress reports on 3 successive occasions by members of the S.C., will result in them being deemed as having resigned from their position.

vi.       A formal structure of reports and documents will be established and must be followed for inclusion in the meeting.

vii.      The meeting agenda will be made available to all members of the Party 3 days in advance of the meeting to provide an opportunity for comment or to request changes.

viii.     The meeting agenda and supporting documents will be issued to S.C. members 3 days in advance of the meeting. S.C. members have 24 hours to request amendments.

ix.       Minutes and Action Items resulting from the meeting will be made available to the S.C. within 7 days of the meeting taking place.

x.       Only S.C. members attending a meeting can be allocated an Action Item. 

3.7     Decisions taken at committee must be supported by a 2 thirds majority.

3.8     An S.C. meeting will not be valid unless all of the officers have been invited and at least 5 are in attendance. Either the chair must be present, or they must nominate another member of the S.C. to chair the meeting. Either the Secretary must be present, or someone must be assigned to record the minutes.

3.9     S.C members who do not attend three meetings without sending apologies for absence will be deemed to have resigned. Should a S.C. member not attend three consecutive meetings their position will become available for election.

3.10    Meetings can be held in person or remotely.

3.11    It is possible to ‘job share’ S.C. roles to spread the workload and encourage people to come forward and volunteer for roles within the Party.

3.12    Any expenses incurred while carrying out S.C. duties will be reimbursed subject to the Expenses Reimbursement Handbook. No member of the Executive Committee shall receive any salary or wage from the Party.         

4. Appointment of Officers

4.1     No less frequent than every four years, the Steering Committee (S.C.) will be elected, comprising the officers of the Party. Any prospective officer may hold no more than two posts on the S.C.

4.2     After a S.C. officer has served a term of 4 years an election will be held for their position. An officer can only stand in two consecutive elections.

4.3     All party members with voting rights will be invited to vote on their choice of party officer for each role candidates stand for. If the number of votes are equal for two or more candidates, then the Chair will have a casting vote.

4.4     If any officer of the Party leaves their position or is removed, the S.C. will appoint a temporary replacement within 7 days and the Party will elect a new Officer within 1 month.

4.5     An S.C. officer, including the Chair or co-opted member may be removed by a no confidence vote passed by more than two-thirds of the Members voting at a General or Emergency General Meeting.   

5. Annual General Meeting (AGM) / Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)

5.1     An AGM will take place both online and at a physical location.

5.2     The date and location of the AGM will be published no later than three months prior to the meeting and distributed to all members.

5.3     The S.C. will present an annual report.  

5.4     An EGM will be called by the Secretary at the request of the membership. The S.C will evaluate the urgency of the EGM and plan accordingly.

5.5     The EGM will take place within twenty-one days of the request being approved by the S.C.

5.6     All members will be given one weeks’ notice of an EGM.

6. Financial Scheme:

6.1     A financial scheme for Great Britain has been adopted and registered with the Electoral Commission.

6.2     Administration and management of the scheme will be the responsibility of the party Treasurer.

6.3     The Party will operate as one accounting unit with one bank account. All funds received will be paid into that dedicated bank account and all payments will be made from the same bank account.

6.4     The Party will adhere to all prevailing regulations and Electoral Commission guidance in respect of accounting for and declaring loans, donations, and membership subscriptions.

6.5     The Party will adhere to prevailing best practice in respect of payment of suppliers. Any taxes due will be paid to the relevant statutory authorities by the due date

7. Membership

7.1     Membership of the Party is open to anyone over 14 years of age who share our aims, objectives, and values.

7.2     Membership commences when the application is approved by our membership secretary.

7.3     Members of the Party have full voting rights in internal elections, on the one member one vote principle.

7.4     A monthly membership fee based on the published joining fee at the time of application.

7.5     Membership fees can be paid monthly or annually in advance.

7.6     A register of members will be retained by the membership secretary in secure electronic form, in line with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The Party is registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (Registration No ZB137091) and the regulations pertaining to data protection will be strictly observed.

8. Ending Membership

8.1     Membership of the Party ceases in one of the following ways.

8.2     Through formal resignation, submitted to and actioned by the membership secretary, with formal receipt notified to the member concerned.

8.3     If a member falls 4 months into arrears they will be asked to bring their subscription up to date within a month. Should they still fail to bring their subscription up to date they will be deemed to have resigned from the Party.

8.4     Through expulsion from the Party following a disciplinary outcome (see section 9).

9. Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure

9.1     The best outcome to any grievance or disciplinary case is resolution by mutual agreement. Rise will endeavour to achieve this outcome

9.2     Members are expected to treat others as they would expect to be treated. Disciplinary action may be taken when grievances are upheld.

9.3     Rise disciplinary procedure applies whether reported or observed incidents take place ‘in real life’, online, on Rise’s own social media or any other platforms.

9.4     Examples where disciplinary action may be taken include but not limited to:

(i)       Physical or verbal attacks on other members of Rise or members of the public.

(ii)      Targeted harassment, bullying, and intimidating behaviour or use of abusive language.

(iii)      Abusive discrimination towards someone’s race, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, identity, or disability.

9.5     Actions available to Rise include suspension, partial suspension, exclusion from meetings and events, removal of voting rights, the right to represent Rise in any form, and in extreme cases, expulsion.

9.6     As subject to the rules of natural justice, Rise will not auto-expel members.

9.7     The investigation will be undertaken by the resolution committee made up of members of Rise. See the Rule Book for further details.

9.8     If resolution efforts fail and a decision is made for disciplinary action by the committee, there will be a right of appeal and a members jury will be established to carry out the appeal process. The process is detailed in Rule Book. The outcome of such decisions will be made in writing (sent electronically). A postal version is available on request.

10. Changes to our Constitution

10.1    Amendments to the constitution may only be made following an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting vote.

10.2    Any proposal to amend the Constitution must be provided to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of the meeting.

10.3    Any proposal to amend the Constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

11. Selection of Election Candidates

11.1    The Party will stand candidates at local and general elections via a candidate selection process. The potential candidates will submit their names to their constituency secretary. A vote will then be held in the constituency to select a candidate. Should only one candidate stand, they will be deemed to have been selected unopposed.

11.2    The Party is mindful of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 when selecting candidates.

12. Dissolution

12.1    Should the Party be dissolved, all remaining funds and other assets, post settlement of outstanding debts will be donated to another organisation with similar aims.

12.2    In the event of insolvency of the Party, the liability of the directors is limited to £1 per director. The members have no financial liability.