Constitution

Scottish Young Greens is run by an annually elected Council made up of national officers – such as Convenor, International Officer and Secretary – and regional representatives, called Area Organisers.

Our structure is designed to be flexible and to allow for a high degree of autonomy for area groups to decide on their own priorities within the overall shared objectives of Scottish Young Greens.

Below is our official Constitution which sets out the organisation, objectives and decision-making structures of SYG. This Constitution was adopted at AGM on the 11.04.2015.

Scottish Young Greens: A Constitution

1. Definitions
2. Membership
3. Purposes
4. Council
5. Working Programme
6. Local Area Groups
7. Managing Funds
8. Relationship with the Scottish Green Party
9. Amending the Scottish Young Greens Constitution

Appendix A: “SGP Constitution, Section 5, Representative Groups”
Appendix B: “Excerpt from SGP Constitution Foreword”

1. Definitions

1.1. Scottish Young Greens (SYG) is the self-organising youth organisation of the Scottish Green Party.
1.2. In terms of Scottish Green Party’s (SGP) own Constitution, SYG is a representative group with associated rights and responsibilities. (see Appendix A, “SGP Constitution, Section 5, Representative Groups”)

2. Membership

2.1. Membership of the SYG is open to any one aged 16-30 inclusive, except people who are members of a UK political party (or the youth organisation of such) other than the SGP or other UK Green Parties.
2.2. Ordinary members of SYG do not need to be members of the SGP.
2.3. An individual’s membership of SYG can be terminated by a two-thirds majority vote of SYG council if;
2.3.1. Their membership is considered to be detrimental to the work of the SYG
and
2.3.2. Appropriate action has already been taken by the SYG Support Officer but has failed to resolve the issue.

3. Purposes

3.1. The primary purpose of the SYG will be to encourage and promote youth engagement with Green politics at all levels in Scotland. We will provide opportunities to do so, with a focus on issues including social justice, the environment and democracy, through a variety of means including
3.1.1. Electing Greens at all levels, in particular to student and youth bodies
3.1.2. Participating in or leading issue-based campaigns at local, national or global level
3.2.To raise funds to pursue SYG purposes
3.3. To be an efficient and self-sustaining organisation with a clear, accessible structure and decision making processes, with the necessary autonomy to develop these structures (including IT) to suit our unique needs, and without undue reliance on the SGP
3.4.To represent Young Greens views to SGP, including bringing forward SYG policy motions to SGP conference as desired.
3.5. To represent SGP to Young Greens and encourage Young Greens to join SGP.

4. Council

4.1. SYG members will elect an SYG Council Yearly at an Annual General Meeting (AGM). There will be at least four weeks notice given of the date and venue for the AGM and a note of posts for election and associated job descriptions circulated. SYG Council will meet quarterly, one of which will be the AGM.
4.2.Responsibilities
4.2.1. SYG Council will be responsible for the efficient running of SYG as a whole,
4.2.2. Co-ordination between Area Groups,
and
4.2.3. To be a central point of contact for SGP and the wider public.
4.2.4. To fulfil the working programme.
4.3.Membership
4.3.1. Membership of SYG Council will comprise Elected Officers and Area Organisers nominated by Area Groups to represent them on council. Current Elected Officers and their responsibilities will be recorded and publicly available on the SYG website.
4.3.2. SYG Council shall be convened by two gender balanced co-convenors, who must belong to different area groups.
4.3.3. SYG Secretary shall act as the main point of contact between SYG and external groups.
4.3.4. SYG Elections & Campaigns Officer shall co-ordinate SYG action in support of SGP Election Campaigns, and represent SYG on SGP’s Elections and Campaigns Committee (ECC).
4.3.5. Other Council Officer positions may be created as desired subject to a vote by SYG Council. These positions shall not have voting rights unless they have been confirmed and elected by SYG AGM.
4.3.6. There shall also be an SYG Support Officer. The support officer shall act as a point of contact for members who have concerns about any part of SYG. The SYG support officer will have the right to attend council but will not have a vote.
4.3.7. Should one individual hold more than one council position, they shall have only one vote. The quorum for SYG Council decisions will be four voting Council members, from at least two different area groups.
4.4. Elections to SYG Council
4.4.1. To be eligible for election to SYG Council, a prospective member must also be a member of the SGP.
4.4.2. Each candidate must make a statement to and answer questions from attendees at the AGM. If a candidate cannot attend the AGM, they may submit a written statement to be made available to attendees. If there is more than one person standing for a post, candidates will be elected by alternative vote. Where there is only one candidate for a post, they must achieve support from a simple majority of attendees.
4.4.3. All SYG members attending AGM have one vote for each election.
4.4.4. We will strive to ensure gender balance on Council. Mechanisms shall be put in place for elections to ensure that, so long as there are enough candidates to achieve this goal, at least 40% of Elected Officers shall be non-male. Non-voting members will count towards this figure.
4.5.Co-Opting Members to SYG Council
4.5.1. Where there is a vacancy on SYG Council, council may choose to co-opt someone to the position. Co-opted members of council must, as with elected members, be SGP members.

5. Working Programme

5.1. A working programme shall be developed.
5.2. The working programme can be changed at a meeting including the area organisers by simple majority.
5.3. The working program must be fulfilled in accordance with the policy statements.

6. Local Area Groups

6.1. SYG Area Groups must have autonomy to decide which purposes and issues to priorities. As part of the Green commitment to localism, SYG recognises that one size will not fit all.
6.2.Formation
6.2.1. A group of ten or more SYG members in a particular geographical area can make a formal request to SYG Council to be constituted as a Local Area Group. SYG Council shall, where requested, facilitate the foundation of a Local Area Group by contacting members in the proposed coverage area to gauge support for such a group.
6.2.2. If SYG Council by simple majority vote agrees to the foundation of the area group they shall provide SYG members in the prospective coverage area with at least two weeks notice for receipt of nominations for the position of two gender balanced Local Area Organisers.
6.2.3. There shall then be a further two week period to allow SYG Council to circulate candidate statements to the membership and conduct elections.
6.2.4. Upon successful election of at least one Local Area Organiser, the Local Area Group shall be officially constituted.
6.3.Local Area Organisers
6.3.1. The Local Area Organisers shall act as the point of contact between SYG nationally and the Local Area Group, as well as between the Local Area Group and the Local SGP branch.
6.3.2. The Local Area Organisers shall be entitled to one vote on SYG Council. In the event that both organisers attend a meeting of SYG Council, only one may vote. At council, Local Area Organisers should represent the views of their Local Area Group, not their own individual views.
6.4.Structure & Elections
6.4.1. The structure of Local Area Groups is a matter for that group to decide for themselves. The only constitutional requirements are to have at least one local area organiser and that decisions on structure are taken democratically by the membership.
6.4.2. Once a Local Area Group has been officially constituted, it shall then be responsible for carrying out elections for Local Area Organisers and any other positions that it should choose to create on an annual basis.
6.4.3. SYG Council shall be notified of the results of these elections, and the list of positions made publicly available on the SYG Website.

7. Managing Funds

7.1. SYG Funds will be kept as a separate line in SGP main bank account.
7.2. SYG will negotiate annually with SGP operations Committee for funds to be allocated for SYG activity.
7.3. A separate Managing Funds document can be created to lay out in greater detail the procedures for managing finances.
7.4. Any funds raised by SYG shall be used for official SYG purposes only.

8. Relationship with Scottish Green Party

8.1. SYG has the right to nominate a member to sit on SGP’s Elections and Campaigns Committee. This person shall be whoever is elected to the SYG Elections Officer role at AGM.
8.2.SYG can nominate a member to sit on SGP Council and this member will by default be the Convenor, or one of the Co-Convenors. Another representative from SYG who is also a member of SGP can be nominated by Council to represent SYG at SGP Council if the Convenor is unable to attend

9. Amending the Scottish Young Greens Constitution

9.1. The Constitution can be amended at the AGM by a two thirds vote of all SYG members in attendance (abstentions are counted as a no vote). Proposed written amendments to the Constitution must be circulated two weeks in advance via email.

APPENDIX A – “SGP Constitution, Section 5, Representative Groups”

5 Representative Groups
The Scottish Green Party welcomes the formation of Representative Groups.

5.1 Definition
A Representative Group is defined as a group whose main aim is to encourage greater participation amongst groups that are currently under-represented within the Scottish Green Party membership, and/oron Scottish Green Party bodies.
5.2 Minimum Membership
A Representative Group may be formed with a minimum of four members.
5.3 Scottish Green Party Council Approval
A Representative Group should submit a statement of its aims to Scottish Green Party Council for approval. Once approved a Representative Group must submit a statement of its aims to the Party newsletter and invite participation from those whose interests the Representative Group is intended to promote and any other Scottish Green Party members as the Representative Group sees fit. A Representative Group must provide a full description of activities when asked to do so by Scottish Green Party Council.
5.4 Membership
Membership of a Representative Group should be open to any Scottish Green Party member from the group that it is intended to promote and any other Scottish Green Party members each Representative Group deems appropriate.
5.5 Officers
Each Representative Group shall have a Convenor. If the Representative Group chooses to operate its own bank account it shall also have a Treasurer. The responsibility of each post is as follows:
5.5.1 Convenor
The Convenor shall have responsibility for:
ensuring that Representative Group meetings are properly chaired and organised and members notified,
ensuring that the Scottish Green Party Council is kept informed of Representative Group activities,
keeping members informed as to decisions made by the Scottish Green Party Council and Operations Committee that are relevant to the Representative Group.
5.5.2 Treasurer
The Treasurer shall have responsibility for ensuring that the Representative Group accounts are properly kept, and for reporting to the Scottish Green Party Treasurer.
5.6 Financial Management
A Representative Group may choose to operate its own bank account with approval from the Scottish Green Party Council. If a Representative Group chooses to operate its own bank account it shall:
elect a Treasurer,
send annual accounts to Scottish Green Party Treasurer within two months of the financial year end,
keep accounting records in accordance with guidance from Scottish Green Party Treasurer,
keep accounting records for 6 years and forward all records to Scottish Green Party Treasurer in the event of a Representative Group ceasing to exist.

Appendix B “Excerpt from SGP Constitution Foreword”

Foreword
The Scottish Green Party exists in order to work towards a nonviolent, democratic, just and sustainable society and, to that end, to contest elections to all levels of government in Scotland.
This constitution enables the Scottish Green Party to pursue those aims and is based on the principles of:
Participatory Democracy
All party structures are accessible, open and responsive so as to encourage and enable party members to participate fully in decision-making.
Accountability
All party officers and party bodies are fully accountable to the party membership.
Subsidiarity
Decision making is undertaken at the most local level possible.
Equality of Opportunity
Equality of opportunity is promoted within party structures and reflected in party bodies.
The structure of the party is designed to encourage and enable party members to participate in decision-making as fully as they wish and to ensure that all decisions reflect the voice of the membership.
The structure is also designed to work effectively so as to use the resources of the Party responsibly.
The Scottish Green Party works to the same principles as the Global Green Charter,
viz.
Ecological Wisdom
Social Justice
Participatory Democracy
Non-violence
Sustainability
Respect for diversity
These principles are expectations within the party itself as well as in the wider world we envisage.

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