THE HARINGEY FEDERATION OF RESIDENTS ASSOCIATIONS

CONSTITUTION





1 Name of the Association:

The name of the Association shall be: The Haringey Federation of Residents’ Associations [‘HFRA’, or ‘The Federation’]


2 Aims of the Federation

a. To promote and encourage residents throughout all local areas of the London Borough of Haringey to organise themselves into diverse local residents’ groups and associations [‘RAs’], and to speak out and take action on matters of common interest and concern - as set out below. The HFRA will also encourage residents in any particular vicinities to support existing RAs or to organise themselves for community-related activities and purposes which do not contradict our aims and principles. By supporting each other and taking action together, as residents and as RAs, we aim to build up a strong residents’ movement throughout Haringey.

b. To encourage and empower residents in local neighbourhoods to have confidence in themselves and each other, and also in their local RAs.

c. To promote and encourage the participation in the life of the local community of every resident in Haringey. In particular:

- to promote community spirit, communication, co-operation, solidarity, mutual aid and awareness throughout local communities
- to oppose racism, sexism, poverty and other forms of discrimination, oppression or injustice, eg. based on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, status (housing status, legal status etc), belief, background or lifestyle.

d. To ensure that all residents and also local RAs are consulted regularly and that residents have the opportunity and ability to speak out, to influence, to challenge and to eventually make, all the decisions which affect them or their neighbourhoods and communities.

e. To promote residents’ rights and collective interests, and to improve the quality of life for local people.

f. To campaign and work for:
- a safe, pleasant, friendly, and green local environment in every corner of Haringey
- a wide range of publicly-accountable community facilities, resources and services
- decent, adequate, affordable and secure housing for all


3. Principles of the Federation

a. The process of running the Federation is as important as any actual decisions made. This process includes sharing information, ideas and experiences, building up trust and clarifying some of the common issues relevant to local RAs and local communities.

b. This process will be transparent and accessible to all RAs. A top priority will be constant efforts to encourage all existing RAs, and those trying to revitalise or set up new RAs, to participate in the Federation, and to participate as equals.

c. The Federation is a completely independent organisation, not directly associated with the Council or any other body. The Federation will seek recognition from, or make working links with, other organisations as it so chooses, and affiliate to any body that furthers the interests of tenants and residents [to be decided at a general meeting].

d. We aim for an active and open organisation and movement which spreads information, communication and solidarity among RAs, rather than sidelining or suffocating them with a layer of bureaucracy.

e. We recognise and respect the independence, and the wide diversity and differing circumstances among RAs: their ways of organising, the issues and activities they take up, the varying local situations and sorts of action taken etc. This diversity and adaptability is a great strength. We aim to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.

f. We oppose all forms of discrimination and disadvantage as set out above, not only in our neighbourhoods and in society in general but also in our own activities and meetings.

g. We do not claim to speak for all residents in the borough. We recognise the need to work among all Haringey residents, gradually encouraging more and more active local residents’ groups involving ever greater numbers of people and a wider range of activities. In this way we aim to patiently build up a strong grass-roots movement in which residents can effectively promote and defend their collective interests and local communities.


4. Activities of the Federation

We aim to:

a. encourage and give practical advice and help to any residents wishing to form new residents’ groups, organisations and associations in their street/estate/neighbourhood

b. produce an informative newsletter

c. spread information through regular mailings etc

d. encourage ‘horizontal’ direct links between and among all residents’ associations, and facilitate regional networks (eg N. Tottenham, S. Tottenham, Muswell Hill, Hornsey, S. Hornsey, Harringay, Crouch Hill)

e. encourage direct links between RAs involved with the same issues (eg campaigning around estate agreements, traffic calming, community gardens, community safety, dumped rubbish or community centres etc)

f. call open events and debates

g. publicise and support initiatives of local groups - initiatives which support the aims of the HFRA

h. leaflet the whole borough on an important issue if necessary

i. build up a reference library of useful, specialist information for RAs to draw on

j. maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive list and basic details of all RAs

k. make links with other Federations, sharing news, experiences and views, and working together around major issues

l. produce basic leaflets encouraging people to take up community issues and to form and join RAs.

m. develop and promote borough-wide consensus of views of affiliated RAs where possible


5. Procedures of the Federation

A. Membership
a. Every RA within Haringey shall automatically, without exception, be entitled to become a member group of the HFRA upon informing the HFRA that this is their wish and that they agree with the general aims of the Federation.

b. Every RA representing tenants on an estate outside Haringey but paying rent to Haringey Council is also entitled to become a member group on the same basis.

c. An RA is defined, for these purposes, as:
- any residents’ organisation based either in a specific locality in Haringey - or representing tenants of an estate outside Haringey whose tenants pay rent to Haringey Council - based in a street, block of flats, estate or neighbourhood etc
- which meets in public, and which is open to all residents and/or tenants and/or leaseholders, and/or private sector tenants, and/or private owner occupiers etc - or any combination thereof - living in that locality.

This applies however formal or informal, weak or strong, active or temporarily inactive that RA may be. The Federation recognises the need to be as flexible and as inclusive as possible.

d. Member groups will be asked to contribute TEN pounds per year per funded association, FIVE pounds per unfunded group. Donations are welcome. No RA will be refused membership or voting rights on grounds of non-contribution.

B. General Meetings
a. The Federation shall hold General Meetings each month (excluding holiday periods) which shall be publicised, open to all RAs, and fully-minuted.

b. All residents’ organisations are encouraged to send delegates (one vote, when needed, per member group). All meetings are also open to members of any existing RA, as non-voting participants or observers.

c. Decisions at all meetings are to be made by consensus where possible, voting where necessary. Those who are member groups, or agree to become member groups before the meeting, will be entitled to one vote each. Minutes of all meetings will be available to all member groups.

d. Working Groups may be set up around various issues or campaigns, as and when needed, having rules of working agreed by the Federation. Any RA can attend such meetings.

e. Those attending must respect others’ rights to be heard.

C. Responsibilities and Officers
a. The Federation shall delegate responsibilities and tasks to individual members of member groups as and when needed, including for co-ordination and administration purposes.

b. The Federation shall elect a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer from members of member groups. Other individuals or groups will be elected, delegated or may volunteer at a general meeting to take on various specific tasks as and when the meeting so decides (eg coordinating a newsletter, mailouts, hosting or convening a meeting or Working Group, library, updating contacts list etc).

c. Should the Chair or Secretary not be present at a General Meeting, the meeting shall elect someone in their place for the duration of the meeting.

d. Any members of member groups wishing to be actively involved in the day to day running of the association shall be encouraged to get involved as much or as little as they wish.

e. Any meeting may delegate a member of a member group to represent the Federation at another event or organisation - anyone representing the Federation will abide by the Federation’s wishes and should report back to the next meeting.

f. All officers and delegates, when acting on behalf of the Federation, must further the aims of the Federation, and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

g. A General Meeting may take a vote of no confidence in any specific officer.

D. Notice of Meetings
Notice will be sent to every member’s contact address, with the date, time, place of each General Meeting and any Special meetings.

E. Special General Meetings
A General Meeting may at any time call a Special General Meeting of the HFRA for considering specific matters which they may decide. Such a meeting must be publicised to all members, with members given at least 14 days’ notice.

F. Annual General Meeting
a. Each year there will be an Annual General Meeting (AGM), with member groups given at least 21 days’ notice. All RAs will be invited to attend.

b. At this meeting:

- There shall be Reports outlining and summarising the past year’s HFRA activities, as well as discussion about those activities.

- There will be elections for all official positions. Nominations from member groups should be submitted to the Secretary at least 7 days before the meeting.

- Amendments may be made to the constitution. They should be submitted by member groups in writing at least 7 days before the meeting.

- Other business may take place, as decided by the previous General Meeting or by members of member groups present at the AGM.

G. Conduct of Business
a. At all meetings, decisions shall be taken by consensus if possible, or where necessary by a simple majority of member groups present and voting. Any alterations to the constitution shall be made by a two-thirds majority of those member groups attending the Annual General Meeting.

b. The quorum for policy-making decisions at a General Meeting shall be 4 member groups. If less than 4 member groups are present, any decision must be ratified at the next General Meeting.

c. The quorum for Annual General Meetings shall be 9 member groups. If less than 9 member groups are present, any decision must be ratified at the next Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose - but no changes may be made to the constitution.

H. Finances
a. All monies raised by or on behalf of the Federation shall be applied to further the aims of the HFRA.

b. The treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of the HFRA and shall maintain a bank/building society account in the name of the HFRA. The Federation may apply for grants or any other appropriate source of funding.

c. All cheques etc should be signed by at least 2 out of 4 individuals from member groups elected to be signatories (one of the 4 being the treasurer).

d. The accounts shall be presented for inspection at the AGM, or otherwise available at the discretion of a General Meeting.

e. The accounts shall be inspected annually by an independent inspector.

I. Documents
Minutes of all meetings can be available for inspection. This Constitution shall be a public document, and made available to all member groups.


6. Dissolution

a. If a General Meeting or 10 member groups wish at any time to dissolve the HFRA, the Federation shall give to all members at least 21 days notice of a Special Meeting to discuss this.

b. If such a decision is agreed at that meeting by a two-thirds majority of those member groups present and voting, the assets will be disposed of to another voluntary organisation with compatible aims and principles, this group being agreed at the same meeting.


THIS CONSTITUTION AGREED AT THE HFRA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 27th APRIL 2002