The board of Lordship Hub’s community co-operative is recommending to members that we amend our constitution, which was originally adopted in 2013 (based on the Industrial and Provident Society’s Act 1965).
Why is the board recommending these changes?
These amendments will mean that the constitution better reflects the Hub’s role as not-for-profit organisation that is run for the local community’s benefit. This is something that was broadly decided and voted on by our board and membership in 2019 but has been delayed by Covid.
In addition, Co-operatives UK has advised that we need to use the more up to date template based on the Cooperatives and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
Co-operatives UK support the changes we are proposing.
What are some of the key changes and why are you making them?
Further objectives have been added – this is to reflect our aim to serve and support our diverse community and promote environmental sustainability
We have removed clauses which enable disbursement of any funds, surplus or assets to members/shareholders – this will make us eligible to apply for grant funding which is off-limits to bodies with such clauses.
All members will have only one share, and all shareholders will be members – this simplifies our membership from the current system where not all shareholders are members, and some members have bigger shareholdings than others, which is unnecessary as we are not-for-profit and do not intent to disburse any surplus to shareholders.
Why are you keeping shares?
All registered co-operatives must have shares, as set out in the 2014 Act.
How will this affect my membership?
All members/shareholders will have one share/vote, the system for joining will be simplified, and there will be an annual ‘refresh’ to ensure our membership list remains up to date. Anyone ceasing to be a member will cease to be a shareholder and vice versa, which will simplify and synchronise things.
I own more than one share, which was allowed under the old constitution. What will happen to all my shares and the money I invested?
All current shareholders will remain members until the next due date for our annual subscription. After that all ‘historic’ shareholding above £1 will revert to the co-operative. All such ‘historic’ shareholders will be given the option of having any outstanding shares reimbursed.
When will this change happen?
We are holding a special members’ meeting on Saturday 25th June 2022 to ask members whether they support the Hub board’s recommendations. The discussion and vote will take place at 2.30pm after we have celebrated the Hub’s 9th birthday with a slice of birthday cake.
Where can I find the current and new constitutions?
This PDF version of the constitution shows the exact changes to our existing constitution that the board is recommending – the changes are in red.
Do you have any questions which we have not answered?