Rule Book

Version: 1:00
Library Reference: CD0003-100 Rise Rule Book V1.00
Date: 07-October-2021

1. Name and Objects

1.1     The name of Rise is Rise. The trading title is Rise Party Ltd, which is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee at Companies House. (Company No 13493593)

1.2     Rise emblem and logos are registered trademarks.

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

1.4     We organise in communities with the aim of creating an equitable society for all people.

2. Rise Party Structure

2.1     Rise is led by its members. The membership elects constituency, regional and national officers.

2.2     Rise is structured around constituency boundaries within regions.

2.3     Rise is facilitated by a national steering committee. The steering committee is responsible for:

i.        Running the day-to-day affairs of Rise alongside our employees.
ii.        Facilitating regional and constituency offices across Great Britain.
iii.       To suggest the direction of Rise and facilitate the communication of such to the membership.
iv.       To accept proposals from the membership and facilitate the carrying out of those proposals should they pass a vote.
v.       To operate the various social media channels, and Rise websites.

2.4     The steering committee is elected by the membership

2.5     The steering committee comprises:

i.        Party leadership
ii.        Treasurer
iii.       Membership secretary
iv.       Nominations officer
v.       Campaigns officer
vi.       Operations officer
vii.      Public relations officer
viii.     Training officer
ix.       Personnel officer
x.       All regional co-ordinators
xi.       Any other officers that are required for the smooth running of Rise. New officer positions will be voted on by the membership.

2.6     The Steering Committee will meet no fewer than 12 times annually

3. Regional and Constituency Co-ordinators

3.1     Rise is structured in regions.

3.2     A regional co-ordinator will be elected by the members of that region.

3.3     The role of the co-ordinator is:

i.        Facilitate Regional and Constituency meetings.
ii.        To facilitate policy discussions.
iii.       To help formalise policies submitted by the membership into a proposal.
iv.       To facilitate the vote at regional level to approve the proposal and should it pass, submit it to the Steering Committee.
v.       Present proposals from their region to the Steering Committee.
vi.       Should the proposal fall at Steering Committee then report back to their region and facilitate its resubmission if appropriate.

3.4     The regional co-ordinator will also report back to the national steering committee on developments within the region and the constituencies. This communication is vital to Rise’s understanding of the members requirements.

4. Election of Party Officers

4.1     Party officers are those elected by the membership as the steering committee, regional coordinators, and constituency coordinators.

4.2     Any member can apply to stand for any role on any committee or position at any time.

4.3     Steering committee members term of office is 4 years commencing from the date they were elected.

4.4     Steering committee members can stand for a maximum of two terms.

4.5     Should no candidate stand for the steering committee position following two terms then the sitting officer can continue in the role until another candidate puts themselves forward for election.

4.6     A regional and constituency coordinator’s term of office is 2 years commencing from the date they were elected.

4.7     Regional and constituency coordinators can stand for a maximum of 2 terms.

4.8     Should no candidate stand for the position of regional coordinators or constituency coordinators following two terms then the sitting officer can continue in the role until another candidate puts themselves forward for election.

4.9     Should and officer position become vacant then an election will take place.

5. Policy Voting Process

5.1     The standard policy approval process is as follows:

i.        Policy proposals are put forward by a member or members of a constituency to their constituency co-ordinator.
ii.        All proposals must use the provided policy template and include a policy paper.
iii.       Once the constituency coordinator is confident that the policy proposal contains all the relevant information, they will add it to the agenda for the next constituency meeting.
iv.       The policy originating constituency will hold a vote.
v.       If the policy carries, the constituency coordinator should send it to the regional coordinator.
vi.       The regional coordinator will:

  1. Send the policy to all the constituency coordinators in their region.
  2. Add it to the policy hub.
  3. Post it to Rise members website and it will be included in the newsletter with a link to the policy hub.

vii.      A vote will be held in the originating region at the next regional meeting with the opportunity to make any adjustments to the policy.
viii.     Should the policy carry at the originating region level, it will then be sent for a vote by the full membership.
ix.       Any region can decide to hold debates on a given policy should the members of that region wish. Any new policies should be on the regional meeting agenda so that members can ask for a debate.
x.       Once all participating members have voted the results will be submitted to steering committee.
xi.       The voting process will allow members to put a reason if they reject the policy. These reasons will be fed back to the originating region so that should the policy not be carried; they can make the necessary adjustments and resubmit.
xii.      The policy needs a two thirds majority to pass at each stage of the voting process.
xiii.     A proposal can be presented a maximum of two times, after which it cannot be brought forward to the steering committee for two years. With any exceptions refer to section 5.2 Emergency Policies.

5.2     Emergency Policies may be required at times. The following method will be applied:

i.        Members who recognise the need for an emergency policy should communicate it to their constituency coordinator who will then inform the regional coordinator.
ii.        The regional coordinator will bring the policy to the steering committee for consideration.
iii.       The steering committee will vote on whether it is an emergency policy and its priority.
iv.       The steering committee will convene an emergency meeting of Rise to take place to the following timescale:

  1. Priority 1 – within 48 hours.
  2. Priority 2 – within a fortnight.
  3. Priority 3 – follow the standard policy approval process.

v.       The steering committee officers will raise a policy paper which will include the reasoning for it being fast tracked.
vi.       Members will be informed by email and via the members webpage.
vii.      An online meeting will be held.
viii.     The vote will be held online, and votes can be registered as soon as the policy paper has been issued.
ix.       Standard policies can be switched to emergency policies, should the need arise.

5.3     Once a policy has been approved it will be submitted to the Programme Office for inclusion in the policy portfolio. The portfolio allows the policy to be prioritised and planned.

5.4     Once a policy has been planned it will be updated for members to review on:

i.        The website.
ii.        The policy hub.
iii.       The newsletter.
iv.       Social media.

    As the policy progresses it will be tracked on the policy hub.

6. Projects Process

6.1     Projects can be anything from opening a local community centre, buying land to build for the community or paying for park equipment. A project is usually something that a constituency recognises as a local need. It can also be projects that Rise should take on regionally or nationally.

6.2     A constituency identifying a project should raise a project paper and submit it to the notice board. Constituencies should do this even if they can fully fund and manage a project. This ensures that Rise is aware of activities in each constituency.

6.3     Once the project has been added to the notice board, the project team will ensure the documentation is complete and will add it to the policy hub.

6.4     If the constituency can fully fund a project and the project is appropriate to the aims and objectives of Rise, then they can go ahead.

6.5     If the project is a proposed project for Rise, it will be sent to the Steering Committee and the following will take place:

(i)       Does it meet party values, objectives and aims?
(ii)      Is the project valid in terms of Rise having the necessary skillsets to implement the project?
(iii)      Does Rise have the necessary resources to carry out the project?
(iv)     Has Rise the necessary personnel to carry out the project or can Rise recruit them?
(v)      Should the project be approved by the Steering Committee, it will be updated on the policy hub and passed to the Programme office for adding to the portfolio.
(vi)     The project will be managed by the Programme office through to completion.

6.6     Should the project be constituency specific requiring resources from Rise, the following steps will take place:

(i)       Ensure it meets party values, objectives and aims.
(ii)      Evaluate availability of:

  1. Necessary skillsets if required
  2. Available resources if required
  3. Available personnel if required
  4. If the necessary personnel are not available, can Rise recruit them?

(iii)      Should the project be approved by the Steering Committee, it will be updated on the policy hub and passed to the Programme office for adding to the portfolio.
(iv)     The project will be managed by either the Programme office or the Constituency depending on the needs of the particular project.

6.7     All projects will be monitored and reported on by the Programme office. This is critical to ensure we keep the public informed and engaged in the process. Once a project is approved the programme office will update projects on:

(i)       The website.
(ii)      The policy hub.
(iii)      The newsletter.
(iv)     Social Media.

    As the project progresses it will be tracked on the policy hub.

7. Partner Organisations

7.1     We will partner with Individuals and Organisations during election campaigns, general campaigns, and projects if their values, aims, and objectives align with our own.  An example of an organisation we would not partner with would be a trade body for manufacturers and suppliers of weapons.

7.2     Partners are assisted by a liaison officer, who is member of the steering committee. They act as a point of liaison and to provide any possible assistance to the partner organisation.

7.3     The decision on whether an organisation can partner with Rise rests with the steering committee.

8. Members’ Rules

8.1     Members rules apply to all including officers, candidates for parliament, and members of parliament.

8.2     Members should treat other members with respect. This does not exclude differences of opinion or even heated disagreements. However, should disagreements become embedded in a constituency or between members, the Regional Coordinator or other members can refer the situation to the resolution committee.

8.3     A member can join other parties should they wish without affecting their membership of rise if the other party or parties do not oppose our values, aims, and objectives.

8.4     Additional rule books apply to members of parliament and officers. These are further to the rules in this rule book and will be legally enforced should it be necessary.

8.5     Members must not accept money or gifts to influence party decisions. Should it be suspected they have done so, they will be referred to the resolution committee.

8.6     Should the resolution committee find that a member has accepted money or gifts to influence party decisions, they will be expelled from Rise.

8.7     Offers of donations must be referred to the regional coordinator prior to acceptance. Donations must only be accepted at constituency or party level and can never be accepted by an individual to aid with a campaign or project.

8.8     Donations over £500 must be referred to the Steering Committee for approval.

8.9     Donations can be accepted with conditions, for example to build a new skate park in the area but cannot under any circumstances come with conditions about policy.

8.10    Donations cannot be accepted where the donor has outstanding planning applications or is lobbying government to approve or reject any scheme or policy.

8.11    Rise treasurer must be made aware of all donations regardless of value.

8.12    Should a member be in arrears by 2 months they will lose their voting rights until they bring their subscription up to date.

8.13    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.

9. Financial Scheme

9.1     Rise maintains a financial scheme, which is lodged with the Electoral Commission.

9.2     Rise operates a bank account which is the central source of funding for Rise.

9.3     In addition to this, a separate crowdfunding account is in place for the purpose of funding parliamentary electoral deposits and campaigning.

9.4     Should a candidate’s funds raised from their crowdfund exceed the legal spending limit stipulated by the electoral commission, then they should transfer the excess to other Rise campaigns. The steering committee will help coordinate. 

10. Joining Procedures

10.1    Membership of Rise commences after the application to join has been accepted.

10.2    Communication is sent from Rise upon application, and then upon acceptance or rejection of the application.

10.3    Upon acceptance of the application, a (printable) electronic membership card will be issued to the member.

10.4    Membership of Rise denotes that the member is bound by the rules and constitution of Rise.

10.5    Should a member wish to resign from Rise, they can do so by submitting an email to members@rise-party.org.uk or in writing. Membership will cease at receipt of the resignation.

10.6    A new member can vote for candidate or officer in any role once they have held their membership for 3 months.

10.7    A new member can stand as a Rise candidate or officer in any role once they have held their membership for 3 months.

10.8    A new member can vote at meetings for policies and projects once they have held their membership for 6 weeks.

11. Membership Subscriptions

11.1    Members pay a minimum £2 per month membership subscription.

11.2    Subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually.

11.3    If a member pays their membership annually, and they leave Rise then they are entitled to a pro rata refund. Rise will deduct a handling fee of £2 for refunds.

12. Conference

12.1    Votes on policy will not be held at conference, although members can of course use conference as an opportunity to form policy which they can then submit through the normal process as detailed in section 5.

12.2    Regional conferences are acceptable, and the Steering Committee will endeavour to assist in any organisation.

12.3    Non-members can attend conference as a visitor at the invite of a constituency and with a majority of 70% vote of the inviting constituency.

12.4    Non-member guest speakers are welcome at conference once agreed with conference organiser.

13. Meeting Rules

13.1    Constituencies and Regions will hold meetings no fewer than nine times annually.

13.2    Constituency and Regional meetings will be chaired by the coordinator, or an individual delegated to by the constituency or region.

13.3    Meetings will operate with an agenda.

13.4    There will be a members regional annual meeting.

13.5    Non-members (visitors) are welcome at constituency meetings subject to an invite from a member or members. Separate rules apply to visitors:

i)        No voting rights.
ii)        The member who invited the visitor must attend the meeting.
iii)       As a courtesy the member should inform the constituency coordinator that they have invited a visitor.
iv)       Should a visitor be unruly the chair can call a vote to have them removed from the meeting.

13.6    Guest presenters are welcome subject to the following rules:

i)        No voting rights.
ii)        The member inviting the guest(s) must seek the permission of the constituency or regional coordinator.
iii)       Guests can only present for a maximum of 30 minutes and should they wish to continue the chair will put it to a vote of the members attending.
iv)       Guests can only present once every six months unless a specific vote of members attending decides otherwise.
v)       Should the members vote for the guest to present on further occasions, it is still the decision of the constituency or regional coordinator as to when.

13.7    Extra-ordinary meetings:

i)        A member can approach the constituency coordinator to call an extra-ordinary constituency meeting.
ii)        A constituency coordinator can approach the regional coordinator to call an extra-ordinary regional meeting.
iii)       The constituency coordinator and member should work together to identify the priority of the meeting.
iv)       Depending on the priority a date for a meeting will be ascertained.

14. Mandatory Reselection procedures – for elected Councillors & Members of Parliament

14.1    Prior to standing for re-election for local or national elections, the elected representative must be re-selected by the members of the relevant constituency.

14.2    If the representative is not re-selected by the members, they are ineligible to stand as a candidate for Rise in that constituency for that election.

14.3    The representative would be able to put themselves forward as a candidate in subsequent elections provided, they did not stand in the election against the choice of the members of the constituency they were not selected in.

15. Candidate Selection Process

15.1    Members wishing to put themselves forward as a candidate for local or national elections must be elected as the candidate by members of the relevant constituency.

15.2    If the candidate is unopposed then they’ll be automatically selected to stand.

15.3    A statement will be produced by those wishing to stand for election, which will be circulated to all members of their constituency.

15.4    This candidacy will be confirmed at a constituency meeting and by electronic vote by the members of that constituency.

15.5    The candidate will be selected by a majority vote.

15.6    The National, and the regional committees cannot ‘impose’ a candidate on constituencies.

16. Social Media Rules

16.1    Use of party social media comes with the understanding that those doing so are bound by the provisions of our social media rules.

16.2    Any application to join our members-only social media groups are checked against the membership database prior to accepting. If you’re using a different name to that held on the membership list an admin will directly message you to query the application. If this cannot be verified, the application to join will be refused.

16.3    Debate is an important part of what we do as a party. It is natural, that when there is debate, not everyone will have the same point of view. There is nothing wrong with constructive debate.

16.4    In the case of both members-only and public facing groups should discussion escalate into bullying, personal abuse, racist abuse, the shaming of others or threats a moderator will take action. A system of three warnings will be in place where our social media rules are breached. The final sanction open to admins will be removal of the member from the group, and if the conduct is sufficiently serious, disciplinary action may be invoked if the offender is a member of Rise.

16.5    Should a member be removed from a social media group, they can reapply for readmittance after a period of six months.

17. Expenses

17.1    Expenses can only be claimed for official party business and in most cases the requirement to claim expenses must be agreed in advance with the constituency secretary.

17.2    Expenses will not be paid for attending campaigns or events unless Rise has specifically requested the member’s attendance for party business.

17.3    Where expenses are to be claimed they must be “reasonable”.

17.4    Reasonable expenses are defined in the following way:

i.        The cheapest mode of travel must be sought but must be balanced with the environmental impact. For example, train can be used even if more expensive than a flight.
ii.        All air travel under 7 hours must be economy class. Should a traveller wish to upgrade to business or first class, they must pay the difference out of their own pocket.
iii.       Rail travel must be in economy class. Should a traveller wish to upgrade to first class, they must pay the difference out of their own pocket.
iv.       Members staying at hotels on official business must seek to use good quality but reasonably priced hotels. The admin team will seek to provide details of acceptable hotels.
v.       Subsistence such as meals and drinks are limited to daily amounts, that can be found in the separate Expenses Policy Book.

17.5    Where possible Rise admin team will book flights, hotels and travel and pay for them in advance. This avoids the member having to pay and then claim back.

17.6    Family members and friends can attend events, but Rise will not cover any expenses for the family members or friends.

17.7    Carer expenses will be reimbursed where a member attending official events requires a carer’s assistance.

17.8    Any expenses will not be refunded without a valid receipt unless the circumstances are deemed to be exceptionable.

17.9    Emergency expenses can occur for example a burst pipe at a party office. In such cases the constituency officer or appropriate officer should be informed where possible. Rise will refund such expenses.

18. Grievance Procedure

18.1    If a grievance cannot be resolved informally then the aggrieved should raise it with the resolution committee via email to resolution@rise-party.org.uk. Where practicable the person or persons raising the grievance should include a completed grievance form in their email. This helps the resolution team to understand the nature of the grievance.

18.2    The person raising the grievance should provide as much detail about the member as is possible to aid the process of identifying the individual.

18.3    Should the resolution team be unable to identify the member, then they will contact the person or persons with the grievance and ask for further details. Should the aggrieved still be unable to identify the member, then the grievance will be suspended on file until the aggrieved can provide the necessary information.

18.4    A meeting will be arranged between the aggrieved and the individual or individuals that the grievance has been raised against. Both parties should make all efforts to attend. Should either party not be able to attend the proposed time, then the resolution committee will work with both parties to agree a suitable date and time.

18.5    Parties who do not wish to attend the grievance procedure can submit their evidence in writing for consideration.

18.6    The aggrieved and the person(s) the grievance is raised against have the right to be accompanied by one person as a companion to the resolution meeting. The companion does not need to be a member of Rise.

18.7    At the meeting or in writing the aggrieved will be given the opportunity to state their grievance and how they think it should be resolved. Their companion can address the meeting on their behalf at this point.

18.8    Should there be no obvious resolution during the initial meeting then it will be adjourned to allow further investigation to be carried out by the resolution committee. The parties involved in the grievance can use this opportunity to provide further written evidence within a timescale that will be communicated by the resolution committee depending on the complexity or seriousness of the case.

18.9    Companions can address the resolution committee on behalf of their party. Companions cannot answer any questions on behalf of either party unless previously agreed with the resolution committee.

18.10  Once the resolution meeting(s) has been concluded the resolution committee will communicate the outcome to both parties electronically within 5 working days.

18.11  Should either party wish to appeal the decision they must do so within 10 working days of the decision being communicated. The decision will include the appeal cut-off date.

18.12  Should either party wish to appeal the outcome to the resolution committee they must include the reason for their appeal and what they feel should be the outcome. It will not be sufficient to state “I wish to appeal”.

18.13  The appeal will be heard by a member’s jury. The jury will comprise four members who haven’t previously been involved in the grievance. Neither party in the grievance process need attend but may do so if they wish. Both parties are allowed to address the meeting but must only comment on the content of the appeal. No new grievances will be considered at the appeal stage.

18.14  In exceptional cases where an individual is felt to be a danger to another member, the complained against member will be suspended while the grievance is investigated.

19. Disciplinary Procedure

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

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

19.3    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.

19.4    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.

19.5    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.

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

19.7    The investigation will be undertaken by the resolution committee made up of members of Rise. See Section 18 – Grievance Procedure for further details.

19.8    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 section 18. The outcome of such decisions will be made in writing (sent electronically). A postal version is available on request.

20. Ending Membership

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

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

20.3    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.

20.4    Through expulsion from the Party following a disciplinary outcome (see section 4).