Constitution

Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform (LCER)

AGM: 19 November 2018

Revised Constitution

The text of the existing constitution is shown in plain type. The proposed amendments are shown in bold italic.

1. Title:

The Organisation shall be known as The Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform (hereinafter known as LCER)

2. Aims:

The aims of LCER are to:

a) work within the Labour Party towards the introduction of an appropriate system of proportional representation (PR) for all public elections in the United Kingdom;

b) endeavour to reform the internal electoral procedures of the Labour Party and its affiliated organisations to ensure full and genuine representation of all bodies of opinion.

3. Membership:

Full membership is open to all persons holding a valid Labour Party membership card who have paid the annual subscription to LCER. Any changes in the subscription shall be determined at the AGM.

The rights of members, affiliated organisations or supporters to vote in elections for the Executive, at a General Meeting, or take part in any other ballot or decision, shall come into effect on six weeks after the date from which that person or organisation was recorded on the LCER database as becoming an LCER member, supporter or affiliated organisation.

4. Affiliated Organisations:

Constituency and Branch Labour Parties and any organisation affiliated to the Labour Party nationally and/or locally may affiliate to LCER by paying an annual subscription to be determined at the Annual General Meeting. They shall be permitted to send one delegate (who shall be a Labour Party member) to General Meetings and to have one vote in postal or on line ballots. Delegates who are individual members of LCER shall be entitled to exercise two votes, one in their own right as an individual member and one on behalf of their organisation.

5. Supporters:

Labour voters who are not Labour Party members or affiliate members, or members of the Cooperative Party, shall have Supporter status provided that they do not belong to any other political party nor to a proscribed organisation, and provided they have paid the annual subscription (at the same level as for full members). Supporters of LCER shall have all the rights of Members, except that they may not hold elected, coopted or appointed office (including serving as an officer, on the Executive, or as a national or regional representative) in LCER.

6. Annual General Meeting:

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held annually in the Autumn, six weeks’ notice having been given to members. The quorum shall be 20 members.

The purposes of the AGM shall be to:

a) formulate LCER’s policy within the framework of Article 2 (above);

b) receive and approve the annual report of the Executive, the annual balance sheet, record of accounts and budget for the following year, and enable those present to ask questions;

c) receive written or oral reports from the Chair, other officers, Secretary, and Parliamentary and Political Officer;

d) set the level of subscription for Members and Supporters;

e) approve Standing Orders (or amendments to them) for the Executive, or General Meetings; and Financial Standing Orders for the Executive or officers;

f) approve an expenses scheme for officers, EC members, national or regional coordinators or other persons assisting LCER (including speakers);

g) appoint at least one auditor for the following year;

h) ratify the election of the Executive conducted prior to the AGM;

i) determine any other question relating to LCER.

No proxy votes shall be permitted at an AGM.

Any fully paid-up member may, on reasonable notice to the Treasurer, inspect the full audited accounts before an AGM.

It has been the custom to hold a political component to the AGM before the business meeting.

7. Extraordinary General Meeting:

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be convened by the Executive or at the written request to the Executive of 20 members of LCER specifying the reason(s).

No proxy votes shall be permitted at an EGM.

8. Executive:

The Executive shall consist of 12 persons elected annually by and from the members of LCER by means of the Single Transferable Vote in a postal or email ballot of the whole membership, including Affiliated organisations and Supporters. Candidates for election to the Executive must be paid up Members and shall be entitled to distribute a statement of not more than 100 words, including biographical details, supporting their candidature, provided it conforms to any rules as to format or cost set by the Executive. Such statements shall be printed or made available electronically, and distributed with the voting papers, by email so far as possible; the cost to be borne by LCER.

The Executive shall be responsible for the following:

a) day-to-day management of LCER’s affairs;

b) campaigning, publicity and relations with other organisations;

c) oversight of the work of the Secretary/Administrative Coordinator and administration;

d) oversight of Parliamentary and political work;

e) acting (as individual Executive members) as the representatives of their nations or regions on the Executive;

f) organisation of LCER’s activities at Labour Conference, or on the conference Fringe;

g) organisation of LCER’s activities in relation to local government and the devolved

administrations, including Labour local government conference;

h) organisation of LCER’s presence at any other conferences or meetings;

i) the promotion to women, members of ethnic minorities, and persons with protected characteristics (as defined in the Equality Act 2010), of membership of the Executive and of involvement generally in the work of LCER - including through providing guidance and training opportunities - in order to encourage the maximum diversity in participation in LCER;

j) organisation of the election for the Executive for the following year (including any rules as to the process of the election, the operation of the quota for women, or the format or cost of statements);

k) organisation of the annual AGM and any EGMs;

l) the proposal to an AGM of Standing Orders for the Executive and General Meetings, and for amendments as appropriate from time to time;

m) the proposal from time to time to an AGM for approval of an expenses scheme in accordance with Article 19;

n) the production and circulation of an annual Directory of contact details for Officers, the Executive, National/Regional Representatives, Local Contacts, and Sponsors or LCER Vice-Chairs.

The Executive shall meet at least four times a year and shall be quorate if at least half of the elected members are present. Members (including any coopted members, or national or regional representatives) may claim expenses for attendance at Executive meetings, according to rules proposed by the Executive and approved by an AGM or EGM. Members of the Executive may attend a meeting of it by telephone-conferencing where practicable.

9. Officers:

The following Officers of LCER shall be elected by the Executive at its first meeting after the AGM and shall comprise the following:

a) Chair

b) Vice-Chair or up to 5 Vice-Chairs (as the Executive may decide)

c) Women’s Officer

d) Treasurer

e) Membership Officer

f) Trades Union Liaison Officer

g) Fund-raising Officer

h) Such other officers as the Executive may consider appropriate.

The Secretary/Administrative Coordinator and Parliamentary and Political Officer shall also be appointed by the Executive as officers (see Article 10) but shall not be elected members of the Executive.

LCER President:

If it considers it appropriate, the Executive may appoint a Labour Parliamentarian or other distinguished Party member as President of LCER for a period of up to five years. The President shall act as the senior representative of LCER externally.

10. Parliamentary & Political Officer; Secretary (or Administrative Coordinator):

These LCER Officers shall be appointed by the Executive. They shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive in addition to the elected members. They shall be entitled to expenses under the general expenses scheme, or otherwise as determined by the Executive.

They shall respectively have, in cooperation with each other, the following roles:

Parliamentary and Political Officer (PPO):

a) Representation of LCER to Parliamentarians and others with a political role;

b) Advising the Executive, and the social media group, on Parliamentary and political matters and campaigning.

Secretary/Administrative Coordinator:

a) Administration of LCER, including on a day-to-day basis;

b) Correspondence;

c) Preparation of the agenda for, and organisation of, the Executive meetings and AGMs/EGMs.

11. Cooptions:

The Executive shall be empowered to coopt members to perform particular roles or to fill any vacancies that may arise between AGMs. It may coopt up to 5 non-voting members of whom at least one shall be a woman (if there are two or three cooptions); or, at least two shall be women (if there are four or five cooptions).

Such cooptions shall be from among paid-up members, or representatives of paid-up affiliated organisations, only and any persons so coopted on behalf of the latter shall be Labour Party members.

These cooptions, or any of them, may also be used to provide national or regional

representatives on the Executive, if there is no elected member of the Executive based

in that nation or region, and if there are insufficient places available under Article 13

below to cover all of those nations or regions of the UK which are unrepresented. The

total number of cooptions under this Article and Article 13 combined shall not exceed

the number of elected places on the Executive (12).

Members of the Executive coopted under this Article shall be entitled to expenses to be determined by the Executive.

12. LCER Vice-Chairs:

Any Labour MPs or peers who support LCER shall be invited to become Vice-Chairs of LCER and shall receive the papers for, and be invited to attend, Executive meetings.

13. National and Regional Executive Representatives

Where in any year there is not an elected member on the Executive from a particular nation of the UK, or English region, the EC may coopt one LCER Representative to represent that nation or region. The nations for this purpose shall be Scotland, Wales, and the English Regions shall be: Greater London; South East; South West; East Midlands; West Midlands; East of England; North East; North West and Yorkshire and Humberside; . The Representatives shall be entitled to attend Executive Meetings in a non-voting capacity.

As indicated in Article 11, the total number of coopted members of the Executive

under both Articles combined shall not exceed the number of elected places on the

Executive (12).

14. Voting Rights:

Only elected members of the Executive shall be entitled to vote at meetings of the Executive.

15. Auditor:

At least one Auditor shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting, to audit the accounts for the following year.

16. Non-Attendance at Meetings:

Elected Executive Members who fail to attend three consecutive Executive meetings without written apology shall be deemed to have resigned. Attendance by telephone-conferencing, or other inter-active electronic process, shall count as attendance. An apology sent by email to the Secretary shall be a written apology.

17. Constitutional Amendments:

Amendments to this constitution shall require either:

a) a two thirds majority of Members, Affiliated Organisations and Supporters voting at a General Meeting; or

b) a two third majority of Members, Affiliated Organisations and Supporters voting in a postal ballot; or

c) a majority of Members, Affiliated Organisations and Supporters voting at a General Meeting and

a majority at an Executive Meeting and

a majority of Members, Affiliated Organisations and Supporters voting in a postal or email ballot.

18. Encouragement of widest participation

LCER shall encourage the widest participation in its activities by women, members of ethnic minorities, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, or other persons protected by the Equality Act 2010, who are members, delegates from affiliated organisations, supporters of the Labour Party, or Labour voters.

19. Payment of expenses

Expenses shall be payable by or on behalf of the Treasurer from LCER funds, for the reimbursement of legitimate expenditure incurred on approved LCER business (including travel, and attendance at conferences and meetings) by elected or coopted members of the Executive, officers, national or regional representatives, speakers, or other persons, in accordance with the expenses scheme proposed by the Executive and approved by an AGM or EGM; or (if there is no such scheme) in accordance with a decision of an officer of the Executive, other than the person making the claim.

20. Role of Women’s Officer:

The Women’s Officer shall:

a) promote and seek to maximise the involvement of women members and supporters in LCER’s activities;

b) liaise with relevant organisations representative of women in the promotion of PR;

c) seek to promote PR and related issues to women in the Labour Party;

d) seek to develop and promote issues and arguments supportive of PR that are likely to be of particular interest or concern to women.

21. Role of National or Regional Executive Representatives:

The National or Regional Executive Representatives shall:

a) make themselves available to members and supporters in their nation or region in order to explain LCER activities or policies, and to hear comments or concerns;

b) provide information to the Executive about, and represent, concerns or issues raised by members or supporters in their nation/region;

c) promote LCER activity within their nation or region, including acting as (or organising) speakers;

liaise with Regional Representatives which form the network of members, who are speakers contacts for meetings/regional conferences and events, leafleters, information providers in each nation and region and whose details are contained in a LCER Directory alongside the Elected and Coopted Executive and Officers.

d) any other members who are acting as constituency or local contacts in that nation or region;

e) support and assist with LCER activities at their regional or national Labour conference, or other conferences.

22. Women’s Quota:

Not fewer than one-third of the elected members of the Executive shall be women; and not fewer than one-third of the total number of cooptees to the Executive (excluding the Parliamentary and Political Officer, and the Secretary/Administrative Coordinator) shall be women.

The Executive shall determine procedural rules for elections in order to facilitate this requirement.

23. Level of Subscription:

The subscription for full members, affiliated organisations or supporters for 2017-18, and for each succeeding year thereafter until varied by an AGM or EGM, shall be £10.00 per annum; or a concessionary £5.00 per annum for unwaged persons, full-time students or retired persons. Anyone with a standing order from a previous rate shall be deemed to have paid. Certain people who prefer to pay a considerably larger amount up front should be deemed to be honorary members, a category to be agreed by the Executive or AGM.

19 November 2018