Young Fabians Constitution

Approved at the beginning of 2020, find below the Young Fabian Constitution that has been approved by the Young Fabian and Fabian Society Executives:

 

YOUNG FABIAN GROUP CONSTITUTION 

 

1. Foundations

 

1.1 Name

The name of the organisation shall be the Young Fabians (henceforth referred to as ‘the organisation’). The Young Fabians are a member-led, left-orientated youth organisation and shall be an integral part of the Fabian Society.

 

1.2 Political Position

The organisation shall have no other collective policy beyond that contained in Rule 2 of the Fabian Society. No resolution of a political character expressing an opinion or calling for action shall be put forward in the name of the organisation. The organisation shall remain a broad church and shall not prioritise nor discriminate against any person or strand of thought within the Labour movement. 

 

1.3 Activities

The Young Fabians are a member-led organisation. The activities of the organisation are conducted by its members. 

The activities of the organisation shall include the publication of pamphlets and magazines, the holding of conferences and meetings, the promotion of research and other activities consistent with Rule 2 of the Fabian Society. 

The organisation may enlist the support of members for activities of other organisations within the labour movement, including the Fabian Society, consistent with Rule 2 of the Fabian Society. 

No book, pamphlet or tract submitted to the organisation shall be published unless approved as of suitable standard and subject matter according to the rules made by the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society. All publications sponsored by the Young Fabians shall bear a clear indication that they do not represent the views of the organisation, but only those responsible for preparing them. 

 

2. Membership

Full membership of the Young Fabians consists of full members of the Fabian  Society who have not reached their 31st birthday. 

 

Associate members of the Fabian Society who have not reached their 31st birthday are Associate members of the Young  Fabians, but may not vote in the election of the Executive Committee, and may not serve  on the Executive Committee or vote on any resolution put to the membership. 

 

3. Executive Committee

3.1 Elected Members 

Before the Annual General Meeting the organisation shall elect an Executive Committee of twelve (12) members to hold office for one year, subject to satisfactory attendance. All full members of the Young Fabians, who have nominated themselves or have been nominated, with their consent, by full members of the organisation, are eligible to stand for election to the Executive Committee. 

 

Election shall be by ballot of full members. Elections may be held using secure paper or electronic methods. All votes must be cast within a period to be determined by the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society, which shall be not less than 28 days and not more than 56 days after the day the ballot opens. Scrutineers shall be appointed by the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society, whose duty it shall be to oversee the accuracy of the vote, and to certify to the General Secretary of the Fabian Society the results. 

 

The twelve (12) candidates with the greatest number of votes shall be elected to the Executive Committee, subject to the rules on gender parity in clause 3.2. In the event of a tie the Chair of the Young Fabians shall have a casting vote. The newly elected Executive Committee shall take office immediately subsequent to the Annual General Meeting. 

 

Elected members may only be removed: (1) if they are no longer members of the Fabian Society; (2) if they are deemed to have resigned under clause 3.8; or (3) by consent of an Extraordinary General Meeting, called in accordance with clause 4.3 of this constitution. 

 

The Executive Committee shall make such other rules for the conduct of elections of the Executive Committee as are compatible with the provisions of the Constitution. 

 

3.2 Gender Parity in the Executive Committee 

“The Executive Committee of the Young Fabians shall consist of twelve (12) members, at least six (6) of which self-define as women or do not identify as cis-gendered men. The procedure for electing members shall be as follows: 

 

The six (6) candidates among those who self-define as female or do not identify as cis- gendered men with the highest votes in the elections shall be the first elected to the executive committee. 

Of the remainder of the candidates, the six (6) candidates with the highest number of votes, regardless of gender identity, shall be elected onto the committee. 

 

No ballots shall go out to the membership until a minimum of six (6) candidates of each gender have been nominated. 

 

Should a member of the Executive Committee resign or be removed by the membership they shall be replaced by the candidate with the highest number of  votes in the Executive Committee elections who was unsuccessful in obtaining a place on the Committee, regardless of that individual’s gender identity, provided  there are never fewer than at least six women or elected members who do not define  as cis-gendered men. 

 

If the results would be that there were fewer than six women or non-cis-gendered men in that category, they will be replaced by the woman or non-cis-gendered man with the highest number of votes. This clause is to ensure gender balance. 

 

The Executive Committee must also ensure candidates who self-define as women or do not identify as cis-gendered men are elected to at least three (3) amongst the six (6) most senior roles on the Committee: Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Anticipations Editor, Regional Officer.” 

 

3.3 Co-opted members of the Executive Committee 

The Executive Committee shall have the right to co-opt up to five additional non-voting members. The Executive Committee may allocate defined roles to co-opted members. 

 

3.4 Ex-Officio Members 

A nominee of the Executive of the Fabian Society may serve on the Executive Committee of the Young Fabian Group. The General Secretary of the Fabian Society, or his or her nominee, shall be free to attend meetings of the Executive Committee in an advisory capacity. 

 

3.5 Committee Officers 

The Executive Committee shall elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, 

Anticipations Editor and Regional Officer. No person shall be eligible for election as Chair twice. 

 

Before the Annual General Meeting, the incoming Executive Committee shall elect committee officers. A motion proposing the officers as a group shall be put to the Annual General Meeting and the officers shall take up their appointments when this has passed. 

 

Officers may only be removed by consent of an Extraordinary General Meeting called in accordance with clause 4.3 of this constitution. 

 

3.6 Duties 

The Executive Committee shall be the Young Fabians secretariat and leaders who facilitate and oversee the activities of the membership and run day-to-day operations of the Group between General Meetings subject to the Constitution and General Meeting resolutions. The Executive Committee shall be required to encourage and support member activity and not privilege activities led by themselves over that of the members. 

 

The Executive Committee are required to sanction and oversee all the organisation’s activities, including network activity, newsletters, appoint sub-committees, and groups, sanction publications, meetings, conferences, and research, speaking and media engagements and fundraising.

 

The Executive Committee shall produce a financial plan following the AGM, which shall include a provisional annual budget, a fundraising target and guidance to Executive Committee members on how expenditure should be requested and agreed. 

 

The Executive Committee shall preserve the integrity and promote the history of the organisation and all its publications. 

 

The Executive Committee shall protect the personal data of members and non-members. The Fabian Society is the data controller for all personal data processed by the Young Fabians. In processing personal data officers and members of the Young Fabians will abide by data protection law, the Fabian Society’s privacy policy and directions and training provided by the society.  

 

The Treasurer shall be responsible for preparing an annual budget, managing the Young Fabians financial resources and accounts, putting in place arrangements for authorising expenditure, preparing accounts and presenting them for audit, and presenting a Treasurer’s report to the Annual General Meeting. 

 

Six (6) voting members shall be a quorum of the Executive Committee. Decisions of the Executive Committee are made by a simple majority vote of elected members unless otherwise required by the Constitution. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall have a casting vote.

 

 

3.7 Meetings 

All meetings of the Executive Committee, and of its subcommittees and groups, shall be open to the membership of the Group. The time and location for all such meetings shall be published to the membership with reasonable time, defined as a minimum of fourteen (14) days, before it is held.

 

Minutes and attendance of meetings of the Executive Committee shall be available to the membership no later than six (6) weeks after said meeting has been held. 

 

3.8 Resignations 

If a member of the Executive Committee does not attend two consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee, and does not present prior apologies that are voted as acceptable by the committee, he or she shall be deemed to have resigned.  If a member does not attend for four consecutive meetings (even with apologies having been accepted) they will be deemed to have resigned, unless the committee agrees there are exceptional circumstances such as very severe illness.

 

An elected member of the Executive committee may also resign voluntarily by giving formal notice to the Chair and Secretary in writing. Should either the Chair or Secretary wish to resign, the Vice-Chair must be notified. The Chair and Secretary shall then inform the Executive Committee and wider group membership. 

 

Casual vacancies caused by the resignation of elected members of the Executive Committee shall be filled by the next eligible runners up in the election of the current Executive Committee in order of the number of votes they received, subject to Clause 3.2. 

 

Should a standing officer resign, they shall be replaced as an Executive Committee member by the next eligible runner up as above, the Executive Committee shall then vote to fill the position. The new officer group must be ratified by the next General Meeting. 

 

Should a standing office wish to resign from their position but not the Executive Committee they shall be replaced by another member of the Executive Committee via an internal vote of the Executive Committee. The new officer group must be ratified by the next General Meeting. 

 

3.9 Standing Orders and Procedures 

The Executive Committee may set Standing Orders and procedures for the organisation that are compatible with the Constitution. All members, including the executive committee shall be bound by the standing orders. A document with the latest standing order shall be published by the Executive Committee. The Chair shall be responsible for the implementation of Standing Orders. Changes to standing orders require the consent of three-quarters of the elected executive committee, or simple majority through a general meeting. 

 

3.10 Ex-officio Representation 

The Chair of the Executive Committee shall represent the Group on the Fabian Society Executive Committee and Young Labour National Committee. The Chair may delegate the roles to nominees of the Executive Committee. 

 

The Executive Committee shall have the right to nominate a member of each of the main committees of the Fabian Society.

 

4. General Meetings

 

4.1 Definition

The General Meetings are an all-member meeting that may make decisions for the organisations. The General Meeting shall have the power to pass resolutions, remove members of the Executive Committee and amend the Constitution.

 

4.2 Chair

The Chair of the Executive Committee shall chair General Meetings of the organisation.  Should they be unable to do so the duty shall fall to the Vice-Chair. 

 

4.3 Annual General Meeting

At least one general meeting shall be held each year and shall be known as the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM of the Young Fabians shall be held within eight (8) days of the Annual General Meeting of the Fabian Society. The venue and time of the AGM shall be announced by the Executive Committee a minimum of one month in advance. The agenda shall include a Chair’s Report and a Treasurer’s Report and presentation of audited accounts.

 

4.4 Extraordinary General Meeting

Other General Meetings are Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM). Eight (8) members of the Executive Committee or three per cent (3%) of the full members of the Young Fabians  shall have the power to call an EGM of the organisation provided at least four weeks’ notice is given to the membership. This shall be done by submission of a formal request to the Chair and Secretary of the Executive Committee in writing with the appropriate signatures attached. The Chair and Secretary must make the announcement of the calling of an EGM within one week of receiving a valid submission. 

 

4.5 Motions and Resolutions

Full members may submit motions to a General Meeting including proposals for changes to this constitution. These motions shall be properly proposed and must be seconded by a full member and submitted to the executive committee no less than three weeks in advance of the meeting date. The Executive Committee shall give notice to the membership of these motions at least two weeks in advance. 

 

Motions and amendments shall be resolved by a simple majority of those present and voting, subject only to the agreement of the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society. 

 

At the Annual General Meeting, the incoming Executive Committee shall agree the roles and responsibilities of its elected members. Following presentation to the Annual General Meeting of a document detailing these roles, this document shall be considered part of this constitution until the following Annual General Meeting. 

 

5. Networks

 

5.1 Definition

Networks are sub-sections of the group devoted to and responsible for a specified policy area. The creation of or continuation of a network must be proposed to the Annual General Meeting which shall then vote on the matter.

 

5.2 Membership

Membership of Networks shall be open to any full member of the Young Fabians who notifies the Chair and/or Secretary of the Network that they wish to be a member of the Network.

 

Additionally the Networks shall have discretion to recruit members from outside the Young Fabians who have experience of or a professional or personal interest in the area the network is devoted to, subject to Rule 2 of the Fabian Society. 

 

Only full members of the Young Fabians may sit on or vote for the members of the network's steering committee.

 

5.3 Steering Committee

Any member of a network who is also a full member of the Young Fabians may sit on the network's steering committee. Each network must hold an AGM within three months of the Young Fabian AGM at which they will elect a Chair, Secretary and at least two others to form the network Steering Committee. The committee may decide other roles as it deems appropriate. 

 

Members who wish to sit on the steering committee may do so after the AGM. To do so they must notify the network's secretary in writing of their intention and attend two steering committee meetings as an ordinary member of the network. At the second meeting an election shall be held to approve of their accession to the steering committee by its existing members. 

 

The steering committee must meet a minimum of once every three months and meetings shall be open to all members of the network. Members shall have the right to speak and propose motions at all meetings, but only the steering committee proper may vote on motions. 

 

The time and place of all meetings must be advertised a minimum of fourteen (14) days before the meeting is held. 

 

5.4 Responsibilities 

Networks shall be responsible for the running of events, publications, discussions, delegations and other member-led activities within the policy area to which they are devoted. 

 

6. Notice

 

6.1 Serving notice

Notice under this constitution shall be valid if it is placed on the Young Fabian website and is emailed or posted in writing to members using the most up to date members’ contact list. 

 

7. Interpretation

 

7.1 Interpretation of this constitution.

Any questions as to the interpretation of this Constitution shall be normally settled by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall submit all questions and answers it has interpreted to the next General Meeting to ratify. 

 

The Executive Committee shall notify the membership should the Constitution be at any time breached.

 

8. Honorary Positions

The organisation may choose to have an Honorary President and Honorary Vice Presidents of the Group. 

 

8.1 Election of Honorary Positions

The Honorary President and Honorary Vice Presidents of the Group, if any, may be elected at an annual or extraordinary general meeting on the nomination of the Executive 

 

9. Liberation Groups 

 

9.1  Definition

 

Liberation Groups are sub-sections of the group devoted to and responsible for advocating on behalf of members with specific protected characteristic(s) (as defined in the 2010 Equalities Act), both in terms of policy making and access to the organisation. The creation of or winding up of a Liberation Group must be proposed to the Annual General Meeting. Members who self-identify as possessing the relevant protected characteristic(s) then vote on the matter. If no member possessing the relevant protected characteristic(s), other than the proposer and seconder, are present the Young Fabians Executive may accept a petition signed by 10 current members possessing the relevant protected characteristic(s) after the AGM.

The proposal must include evidence that individuals with a particular protected characteristic are underrepresented or disadvantaged within the Fabian Society and set out how the formation of the Liberation Group will attempt to tackle these issues.

 

9.2  Membership

 

Membership of Liberation Groups shall be open to any full member of the Young Fabians who: a) notifies the Chair and/or Secretary of the Liberation Group that they wish to be a member of the Group; & b) possesses the relevant protected characteristic(s)

Additionally, the Liberation Group shall have discretion to recruit members from outside the Young Fabians who have experience of or a professional or personal interest in the area the Liberation Group is devoted to, subject to Rule 2 of the Fabian Society.

Only full members of the Young Fabians possessing the relevant protected characteristic(s) may sit on or vote for the members of the Liberation Group's steering committee.

 

9.3  Steering Committee

 

Any member of a Liberation Group who is also a full member of the Young Fabians may sit on the Group's steering committee. Each Liberation Group must hold an AGM within three months of the Young Fabian's AGM at which they will elect a Chair, Secretary and at least one other to form the network Steering Committee. The committee may decide other roles as it deems appropriate.

Members who wish to sit on the steering committee may do so after the AGM. To do so they must notify the Liberation Group's secretary in writing of their intention and attend two steering committee meetings as an ordinary member of the Group. At the second meeting an election shall be held to approve of their accession to the steering committee by its existing members. 

The steering committee must meet a minimum of once every three months and meetings shall be open to all members of the Liberation Group. Members shall have the right to speak and propose motions at all meetings, but only the steering committee proper may vote on motions.

The time and place of all meetings must be advertised a minimum of fourteen (14) days before the meeting is held.

 

9.4  Responsibilities

 

Liberation Groups shall be responsible for the running of events, publications, discussions, delegations and other member-led activities within policy areas affecting the protected characteristic(s) to which they are devoted.

Liberation Groups should also take an active role in promoting inclusion and accessibility for members possessing the relevant protected characteristic(s) to which they are devoted. 

 

APPENDIX 

 

Rule 2 of the Fabian Society: 

 

The Fabian Society consists of socialists. It therefore aims for a classless society, where a just distribution of wealth and power assures true equality of opportunity. It holds that society, through its democratic institutions, should determine the overall direction and distribution of economic activity, and seeks to promote where appropriate the social and co-operative ownership of economic resources. It argues for strong and accountable public institutions reflecting the values of public service to meet need. It believes in an active democracy, characterised by liberty, tolerance and respect for diversity. It aims at the implementation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and seeks the creation of effective international institutions to uphold and promote world peace and sustainable development. It seeks to secure these ends by the methods of political democracy. 

 

The Society, believing in equal citizenship in the fullest sense, is open to persons, irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or creed, who commit themselves to its aims and purposes and undertake to promote its work. Its activities shall  be the furtherance of socialism and the education of the public on socialist lines by the holding of meetings, lectures, discussion groups and conferences, the promotion of  research into political, economic and social problems, national and international, the publication of books, pamphlets and periodicals, and by any other appropriate  methods. The Society shall be affiliated to the Labour Party. 

 

 

Young Fabians 

61 Petty France 

London, SW1H 9EU  020 7227 4900 

info@youngfabians.org.uk  www.youngfabians.org.uk