Our current constitution
This constitution will be thoroughly reviewed at our 2019 AGM. Members and the 2018 Executive recognise it is not fit for purpose as it stands. We want a clearer, more inclusive, democratic constitution that makes the Executive properly accountable to members and enshrines good practice in the way we work.
Our name is Disability Labour, referred to below as ‘the group’.
Subject to the matter set out below the group shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by members of the Executive Committee, elected at the group’s AGM.
The group recognises that disability is a socially constructed experience resulting from environmental, economic and social barriers faced by disabled people.
The group aims to remove the environment, economic and social barriers above, and eliminate marginalising attitudes.
To that end the group’s objectives are:
- To campaign for and achieve full civil rights for disabled people, including comprehensive and enforceable legislation.
- To provide a platform for disabled people in the Labour Party
- To monitor and encourage the best possible practice by Labour within party operations, in public office at European, national, regional and local government level to meet the needs of disabled people both in employment practice and the provision of services.
- To encourage disabled people to join the Labour Party and their fullest involvement at all levels and secure the removal of all barriers to their participation.
- To monitor and influence the Party’s decision making with regards to the rights and interests of disabled people.
- To advise Labour how best to campaign for and win the votes of disabled people, which will include accessible processes.
- To co-operate with other organisations of disabled people.
- To be a socialist society as a means of securing the right of disabled people to be represented and heard at all levels of the Party.
(1) Membership of the group shall be open to:
(1a) Individual members of the Labour Party who:
- consider themselves to be a disabled person, and,
- are interested in furthering the work of the group and who have paid any annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee (any such person being called in this constitution an “Individual member”) and,
(1b) Any Labour Party body or Labour Party affiliated organisation or part thereof which is interested in furthering the group’s work and has paid any annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee (any such body being called in this constitution a “Member Organisation”) and.
(1c) Any Individual Members of The Labour party to whom sub-clause (1a) does not apply who are interested in furthering the work of the group and who have paid any annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee (any such person being called in this constitution an “Individual Supporter”).
(2) The Executive Committee may unanimously and for good reason terminate the membership of any Individual Member or Member Organisation or Individual Supporter; provided that the individual concerned or appointed representative of the Member Organisation concerned (as the case may be) shall have the right to be heard by the Executive Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made. The Individual member or Member organisation or Individual Supporter shall have a right of appeal to the following Annual General Meeting.
(3) Member Organisations and Individual Supporters shall have the same rights as Individual Members have, as provided in Clause P(3).
(1) At the first meeting of the Executive Committee after the Annual General Meeting of the group the members of the Executive Committee shall elect from amongst themselves a chair, two deputy chairs, a secretary, a deputy secretary and a treasurer, and any other officer relevant to the Aims and Objects of the group who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting.
(2) At least three (3) of these officers shall be women.
(3) Officers shall be eligible for re-election.
(4) The Executive Committee may select such functional officers to carry out such duties as the executive Committee may from time to time determine for such period of office as the Executive Committee may from time to time determine provided that all such offices also fall vacant at the first meeting of the Executive Committee after each Annual General Meeting.
F. Executive Committee.
(1) The Executive Committee shall consist of fifteen Individual Members elected at the group’s AGM. In addition the Labour Students Disabilities Officer shall be an ex-officio member with voting rights.
(2) With the agreement of the executive committee, regional branches of the group may be constituted on an area co-terminus with Labour Party regions. Once properly constituted, each regional branch may elect one member to the Executive Committee.
(3) The Executive Committee may consider and bring forward proposals for rules to be made under Clause J(1)) to allow for the election of some or all of the Executive Committee by a postal ballot of members rather than at the Annual General Meeting.
(4) The Executive Committee may fill any casual vacancy in the places in Clause G(1) by appointing further members. Each appointment of a further member shall be made by majority vote of the Executive Committee. Further members shall be Individual Members.
(5) The Executive Committee may in addition to those members provided for in Clauses G(1) and (2) appoint not more than seven co-opted member but so that no one may be appointed as a co-opted member if more than a third of the members of the Executive Committee would be co-opted. Each appointment as a co-opted member shall be made by majority vote of the members of the Executive Committee. Co-opted members shall be Individual Members or Individual Supporters.
(6) All members of the Executive Committee shall retire from office at the end of the Annual General Meeting next after the date on which they came into office but they may be re-elected or reappointed.
(7) The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of any member.
G. Determination of Membership of the Executive Committee.
A Member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:
(1) Is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from all their meetings held within a period of six (6) months, or three (3) consecutive meetings. (See J12(c)) and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated; or
(2) Notifies to the Executive Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least five (5) members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to be taken).
H. Meetings and Proceedings of the Executive Committee.
(1) The Executive Committee shall hold at least four (4) ordinary meetings a year. A special meeting maybe called by the Chair or by any five (5) other members of the Executive Committee upon not less than seven (7) day’s notice being given to the other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed.
(2) The Chair shall normally act as the chair at meetings of the Executive Committee.
(3) If the Chair is absent from any meeting or part thereof, one of the Deputy Chairs shall normally act as the chair at meetings of the Executive Committee. The Deputy chairs may decide between themselves which Deputy Chair shall do so at any time.
(4) In the absence of the Chair and both Deputy Chairs, the members of Executive Committee present shall elect one of their number to act as the chair of the meeting before any other business is transacted.
(5) There shall be a quorum when at least one-fifth of the number of members of the Executive Committee for the time being or four (4) members of the Executive Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at the meeting, of which one member must be an Officer of the group.
(6) In the event of there being no quorum provided at least three (3) officers are present those present may constitute themselves as a temporary subcommittee under Clause J(11) in order to conduct such business as in their opinion cannot await consideration at a subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee.
(7) Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members on the Executive Committee present and voting on the question but in the case of an equality of votes the chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
(8) The Executive Committee shall keep minutes, in books kept for the purpose, of proceedings at meetings of the Executive Committee and any advisory committees, sub-committees and working parties.
(9) The Executive Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meeting and the custody of documents. No rules may be made which are inconsistent with this constitution.
(10) The Executive Committee may from time to time, procure and appoint leading Labour Party members who are disabled, carers of disabled people or who are disability activists to be Honorary President and one of a number of Vice Presidents, to act as ambassadors and champions for the group.
(11) The Executive Committee may appoint one or more advisory committees, sub-committees and working parties consisting of three (3) or more members of the Executive Committee for the purpose of making any inquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which in the opinion of the Executive Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by an advisory committee, subcommittee or working parties; provided that all acts and proceedings of any such advisory committees, sub-committees and working parties are promptly reported to the Executive Committee.(12) A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he/she:
(12a) Is disqualified from acting as a member of the Committee by virtue of the Labour Party Rules.
(12b) Resigns his/her office by notice in writing at a meeting and/or confirmed correspondence later.
I. Receipts and Expenditure.
(1) The funds of the group, including all donations contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account or accounts opened by the Executive Committee in the name of the group at such bank as the Executive Committee shall decide. All cheques drawn on these accounts should have two (2) signatures, at least one (1) of which should be an Executive Committee Member, preferably the Treasurer.
(2) The funds belonging to the group shall be applied only in furthering its objects.
The Honorary Officers or any person acting under the instructions of the Executive Committee shall be indemnified out of the assets of the group against any liabilities incurred by reason of any mistake or omissions made in good faith or by reason of any other matter or thing except willful or individual fraud, neglect or wrong doing as a result of acting as Executive Member. Limits of any liability will be £1.
The Executive Committee shall be responsible for:
(1) The keeping of accounting records for the group.
(2) The preparation of annual statement of accounts for the group.
(3) Arranging the auditing or independent examination of the statements of accounts of the group.
L. Annual General Meeting.
(1) There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the group not less than nine (9) months and not more than 18 months after preceding Annual General Meeting.
(2) Every Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Executive Committee.
(2a) The Group Secretary shall give at least 40 days’ notice of the date and place of the Annual General Meeting to all members of the group. This notice shall be called the ‘preliminary notice’.
(2b) The Group Secretary shall give at least 14 days’ notice of the business of the Annual General Meeting to all members of the group. This notice shall be called the ‘final notice’.
(3) Individual Members and Individual Supporters shall be entitled to attend the meeting and have speaking rights. Affiliated organisations may only be represented at the meeting either by individual members of LPDMG or those eligible for full membership as defined in Clause E1a and shall be entitled to a vote at the AGM.
Representative of Affiliates and individual members attending in their own right shall be entitled to a vote at the meeting.
(4) The Annual General Meeting shall be chaired by the Chair, or in the Chair’s absence by one of the Deputy Chairs.
(5) The Executive Committee shall present to each Annual General Meeting the Annual Report and the accounts of the group for agreement for the preceding financial year.
(6) Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by individual members of the group, or affiliates, at the meeting or in advance. Should nominations exceed vacancies elections shall be by ballot.
(7) Officers shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at the first meeting following the AGM.
(8) The business of the AGM shall include:
- Fixing subscription rates
- Appointment of Auditors/External Examiners
- Constitutional changes
- Appointment of Executive Committee Members
- And any other legal/statutory business determined by the Executive Committee.
M. Special General Meetings.
The Executive Committee may call a special general meeting of the group at any time. If at least sixty percent (60%) of its members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the General Secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 40 days’ notice must be given. The notice must state the date, place and the business to be discussed. Only business included in the notice may be transacted. This notice is both the preliminary and final notice of such a meeting.
N. Procedure at General Meetings.
(1) The Secretary or other person specially appointed by the Executive Committee shall keep a full record at every General Meeting of the group.
(1) Where this Constitution requires a notice to be sent to a member, it shall be sent to him or her in writing or such other format media as the member shall specify. It shall ordinarily be sent by letter post or conveyed by hand. It may be sent by facsimile transmission, electronic mail or some other means if the member agrees.(2) In the case of post it shall be deemed received three (3) days after the date of posting. In all other cases the date of transmission shall be treated as the date of receipt.
P. Alterations to the Constitution.
The Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The final notice of the general meeting must include notice of any changes to the said constitution.
(1) Except as set out below, the group may not be dissolved.
(2) If the Executive Committee decides that it is necessary or desirable to dissolve the group it shall call a special General Meeting of the group or place such a proposal on the preliminary agenda of the Annual General Meeting.
(3) The proposal shall require the support of two-thirds (2/3rd) of those present and voting at the General Meeting.
(4) The Executive Committee shall then give or transfer any or all remaining assets to such other organisation(s) having objects similar to the objects of the group as decided by the General Meeting.
Proposed by the 2014 Executive Committee to the AGM on 28th June of that year.