Committee Meetings Policy

Rules, Standing Orders, Officers, Groups and Responsibilities Introduction

Argyle Street Housing Co-operative Limited (ASH Co-op.) was established between 1977 and 1981 by co-operation between local young people in housing need and the Society for Co-operative Dwellings, with funding from the Housing Corporation, to meet the housing needs of young, single, homeless people in Cambridge. Its 23 units of accommodation provide 96 dwellings within shared houses and one-bedroom flats. It is a fully mutual housing co-operative. This is housing where democratic management is ensured by all members of the management company (ASH Co-op. Ltd) also being tenants of ASH Co-op. and all tenants being required to be members of ASH Co-op.

It is registered as a housing association with the Housing Corporation (Registration No: C2303 ). The Housing Corporation distributes funds from the Department of the Environment to provide low cost rented housing. It monitors the good management of housing where funding has been provided.

It is also registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies as an Industrial & Provident Society (Registration No: 21833R). ASH Co-op. registers its rules with the Registry of Friendly Societies who keep them available for public inspection. This gives ASH Co-op. the public status of an Industrial & Provident Society. Industrial & Provident Societies developed in the 19th Century from neighbourhood based working men’s borrowing and mutual insurance clubs. Their structure of was designed to hold a committee accountable to a wider membership. Many housing associations operate using rules drafted along these lines.

This document is intended to state clearly to all concerned the powers, functioning and role of the Committee of ASH Co-op. as agreed by ASH Co-op. in General Meeting. It is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Rules

    The limits of the Committee’s activities are defined by the rules of ASH Co-op. Limited. These rules are registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies. This section restates those rules which deal specifically with the Committee’s composition, powers and responsibilities.

  2. Standing Orders

    These describe how the Committee will operate in accordance with the rules.

  3. Responsibilities

    These specify the areas of business where the Committee has responsibility for making decisions on behalf of ASH Co-op. This section is a complete, yet general description of all business which must be covered by ASH Co-op. This section also refers to appendices at the back of the document which give more detail of 8 distinct areas of activity into which this business can be divided. Each appendix thus offers an outline of the areas of activity to be covered by a relevant officer, co-ordinator or working group. These 8 areas of activity are:

SECTION A Rules

The General Meeting is the governing body of ASH Co-op. and all members, staff and any working groups are ultimately responsible to it. The Committee has the following particular powers, specified in the Rules of ASH Co-op.:

  1. Rules 31 to 37 state:

    • the composition of the Committee;
    • how its members are elected and removed from office;
    • the requirement for Committee members to declare their interests.

    31. The Society shall have an Executive Committee (called “The Committee”) which shall manage the business of the Society and shall not exceed 32 nor be less than 6 in number.

    32. The Committee shall comprise joint meetings of the Finance Group and Secretarial Group of the Society, which shall be as far as is possible of equal size and shall be elected at each semi-Annual General Meeting. Retired Committee members shall be eligible for re-election.

    33. A Committee member may be removed from office by a resolution carried by a majority of the members present and voting at an Ordinary General Meeting convened for that purpose. Any resolution carried at an Ordinary General Meeting to remove a member from the Finance or Secretarial Group shall also have the effect of removing that member from the Committee.

    34. On a Committee member’s leaving of the Committee, from whatever cause, the Committee shall call an Ordinary General Meeting for the purpose of holding an election to fill the vacancy.

    35. Members shall not be eligible for membership of the Committee:-

    (i) If they are under the statutory age for attaining legal majority;

    (ii) If they are bankrupt, are parties to arrangements with their creditors, are incapacitated by physical or mental illness or convicted of an indictable offence.

    36. Committee members shall cease to be Committee members if they resign their office by written notice to the Secretary, cease to be members of the Society, fall within the restrictions described in rule 35(i) or absent themselves from four consecutive meetings of the Committee without special leave of absence.

    37. Committee members who might benefit either financially or materially in connection with any business under discussion at a meeting shall, if they are present at the meeting, make their interests known and shall not vote upon the business, nor shall they remain present during the discussion unless requested to do so by the other members present.

  2. Rules 38 to 40 state:

    • the conduct of Committee meetings;
    • the requirement for there to be a President and Vice-President of the Committee and the way in which they are to be elected and removed from these positions.

    38. Committee meetings shall be held at such times and places as the Committee shall from time to time decide or as the Society in general meeting may direct. Six Committee members (comprising at least three members of the Finance Group and at least three members of the Secretarial Group), or such greater number as the committee shall determine, shall form a quorum.

    39. (a) At their first meeting after the beginning of each financial year, the Committee shall elect a President and Vice-President from their own number to hold office until the first meeting of the Committee held in the following financial year. If both the President and Vice-President are absent or unwilling to chair any Committee meeting, the Committee members present shall elect one of their number to be President for the meeting.

    (b) The President and Vice-President may resign their office by notice in writing to the Secretary, and should this occur the Committee shall forthwith elect Committee members to fill the vacant posts.

    (c) The President or Vice-President may be removed from office by a vote of a majority of Committee members present at a special meeting called for that purpose.

    40. Conduct of Committee meetings shall be in accordance with such Standing Orders (which shall not conflict with the rules of the Society) as from time to time exist.

  3. Rules 41 to 46 state:

    • the powers of the Committee
    • that the Committee may delagate any of its powers to working groups, with the agreement of ASH Co-op.’s General Meeting
    • that the Committee may delagate any of its powers to managing agents, with the agreement of ASH Co-op.’s General Meeting and the Housing Corporation.

    41. The Committee may exercise all such powers as may be exercised by the Society and are not required, either by these rules or by statute, to be exercised by the Society in general meeting. This is subject nevertheless to the provisions of these rules and and regulations not inconsistant with these rules made from time to time by the Society in general meeting. The Committee shall in all things act for and in the name of the Society.

    42. Without prejudice to its general powers conferred by these rules, the Committee may exercise the following powers:-

    (a) To purchase, sell, build upon, lease or exchange any land, including the agreement and acceptance of any liability for resultant expenses, and to enter into any contracts and settle contract terms;

    (b) To settle the terms of engagement and remuneration (i.e. payment) if any of the Secretary and other officers of the Society and of any consultant, agent or employee employed by the Society in the furtherance of its objects (Rule 2 states: The objects of the society shall be:- (a)the construction, improvement and management on the Co-operative Principles (as set out in the appendix of these rules) of houses for occupation by members of the Society and (b) the provision and improvement on the Co-operative Principles of land or buildings for purposes connected with the requirements of the members occupying the houses provided by the Society).

    (c) To mortgage any land, including the agreement and acceptance of any liability for resultant expenses;

    (d) subject to the Society’s Agreement with the Housing Corporation, to appoint Managing Agents and to determine, revoke, alter from time to time, and at all times enforce as it thinks fit, the terms and conditions on which the property of the Society is to be let and managed;

    (e) To appoint and remove all solicitors, architects, surveyors and employees of every description.

    (f) To pay expenses (including travelling expenses) necessarily incurred by Committee members in the execution of theirs duties;

    (g) To compromise, settle, conduct, enforce or resist either in a Court of Law or by arbitration, any suit, debt, liability or claim by or against the Society;

    (h) to affiliate or subscribe to any organisation in such manner as the members in general meeting may form time to time determine;

    (i) to implement any policy determined in accordance with rule 24(v). ( This rule allows the Semi-Annual General Meeting to decide a policy for distributing any ‘profits’ generated by ASH Co-op.’s activities).

    43. A receiver appointed by a mortgagee may assume such powers of the Committee as s/he deems to be necessary to carry out her/his duties.

    44. (a) Subject to the agreement of a majority of members present and voting at general meeting, the Committee may delegate any of its powers to Working Groups appointed in general meetings of the Society, which shall be governed by the provisions herein contained for regulating the meetings and proceedings of the Committee so far as they are applicable. Any decisions made by such Working Groups shall be reported to the next meeting of the Committee or to the next Ordinary General Meeting of the Society, whichever is the sooner.

    (b) Subject to the agreement of majority of members present and voting at general meeting, the Committee may delegate such of its powers as may be necessary or expedient to Managing Agents appointed under rule 42(d).

    45. All acts done in good faith by any meetings of the Committee or Working Groups shall be deemed valid notwithstanding any later discovery that there was any defect on the appointment of any member or that any one or more of them were disqualified.

    46. A resolution in writing signed by all the Committee members or by all the members of a Working Group shall be as valid and effectual as if it had been passed at a meeting of the Committee or Working Group duly called and constituted.

  4. Rules 7 to 8 state:

    • the Committee’s control over membership and share issue

    7. The Committee may within their absolute discretion admit or refuse to admit any person to membership of the Society.

    8. All applications of membership shall be made to the Committee at the Registered Office of the Society (3 Fletchers Terrace, Cambridge, CB1 3LU). Applicants who are approved shall be issued with one share each upon payment of one pound, shall have their names entered in the register of members and occupy housing provided by the Society.

  5. Rule 16 states:

    • that the Committee is allowed to offset the cost of shares and deposits against members’ debts to ASH Co-op.

    16. The Society shall have a lien ( “a right over another’s property to protect a debt charged on that property” – Concise Oxford Dictionary) on the share and returnable payment (This would apply to any deposit charged by ASH Co-op) of a member for any debt due to it by the member including the cost to the Society of rectifying or indemnifying in respect of each breach by the members of his agreement with the Society, such costs to be assessed by the Committee, and the Society may set off any sum standing to the member’s credit including any loan money and interest in or towards the payment of such debt.

  6. Rule 17d and 19 state:

    • that the Committee shall decide the terms and conditions on which ASH Co-op. may borrow money

    17 (d) Subject to the preceding provisions of this rule and to the provisions relating to loan stockcontained in rules 18, 19 and 20, the Committee shall have power to determine and vary from time to time the terms and conditions on which money is borrowed or loan stock is issued. ( Loan stock offers a way of ASH Co-op. borrowing money against the value of its property and repaying it at a fixed rate of interest. It could use this money to further its aims and would thus act not unlike a building society, offering interest to those who deposit money for use by the Society.)

    19. Loan stock if any, shall be paid for at such times and in such amounts as the Committee may from time to time require in writing. Such loan stock shall be issued in multiples of not less than five pounds and shall carry such interest, if any, as may have been determined by the Committee under rule 17. A certificate sealed by the Society shall be delivered to the loan stock subscriber upon payment to the Society of the full amount of such loan stock.

  7. Rule 25a states:

    • that the Committee may call a General Meeting of ASH Co-op.

    25 (a) An Ordinary General Meeting shall be convened either by order of the Committee or upon a written request to the Secretary signed by at least one-tenth of the members of the Society. Such requisitions shall state the business for which the meeting is to be convened.

  8. Rules 54 to 55 state:

    • how minutes of Committee meetings are to be kept;
    • how ASH Co-op.’s seal is to be used.

    54. Minutes of every general meeting and of every Committee Meeting shall be kept and read at the next respective meeting and signed by the chairperson of the meeting at which they are read. All minutes so signed shall be conclusive evidence of any fact stated therein.

    55. The Society shall have a seal which shall be used only as authorised by the Secretarial Group. The affixing of the seal shall be attested by the signatures of the two Committee members and the countersignature of the Secretary for the time being. (A seal is not a sea-mammal, often exploited by circuses to balance balls and catch fish, but a grey metal implement which stamps the name of ASH Co-op. onto paper.)

  9. Rules 72 to 73 state:

    • the responsibilities of the Committee on the death or bankruptcy of a member of ASH Co-op.

    72. Upon a claim made by the personal representatives of a deceased member, or the trustee in bankruptcy of a bankrupt member, to any property in the Society belonging to the deceased or bankrupt member, the Committee shall transfer or pay such property to which the personal representatives or Trustee in bankruptcy has become entitled as he/she may direct.

    73. Subject to the provisions of the 1965 Industrial and Provident Societies Act, members may nominate persons to whom any of their property in the Society shall be transferred at the time of their deaths. On receipt of satisfactory proof of death of a member who has made such nomination is and to the extent that the nomination is valid under said Act, the Committee shall either transfer or pay in accordance with that Act the full value of the property comprised in the nomination to the person nominated.

SECTION B Committee Standing Orders

ASH Co-op.’s rules allow it to decide how the Committee will go about its business. These standing orders repeat some of the rules and add certain policy decisions made by ASH Co-op. in General Meeting (e.g.the notice required for committee meetings). Their purpose is to ensure that the Committee works in a way which is clear and agreed by all members of ASH Co-op.

(R = set by the Rules) (P = policy set by General Meeting)

Committee Membership

  1. Membership of and election to the Committee is determined by the Rules.
    1. Members of the Committee shall also be members of ASH Co-op., (except in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1996 which grants the Housing Corporation the power to appoint members to ASH Co-op.’s Committee). (R)
    2. In addition to the election of Committee members at the Semi-Annual General Meeting (R), members of ASH Co-op may be elected to the Committee under the following conditions (P):
      • He / she is nominated in writing by two other members of ASH Co-op.
      • Their nomination is publicised on the agenda of a General Meeting
      • Their election is confirmed by a majority of members present and voting at that General Meeting
  2. A Committee member shall be deemed to have vacated his office if he / she (R):
    • gives written notice to the Secretary;
    • ceases to be a member of ASH Co-op;
    • becomes bankrupt;
    • is convicted of an indictable offence;
    • absents himself/herself from four consecutive meetings without having offered apologies for absence, prior to any of those meetings.

    Committee Meetings

  3. While all members of ASH Co-op. are entitled to attend any Committee Meeting, voting is restricted to Committee members. At any Committee meeting the Chair shall not vote unless a casting vote is required. (P)
  4. Each meeting of the Committee shall be chaired by the President or Vice-President of the Committee. In the case of both being absent from any meeting, committee members present shall elect a Chair from amongst their number. (R)
  5. Six Committee members shall form a quorum, three of whom shall be from the Finance Group and three from the Secretarial Group. (R)
  6. The Committee will meet at least every month. Normally, committee meetings will take place on the third Thursday in each month and will be called by the previous Committee meeting. (P) Committee meetings may also be called by any General Meeting. (R)
  7. Appropriate staff members ( i.e. paid employees of ASH Co-op) will be required to attend committee meetings except when dealing with certain confidential matters in the Agenda. (P)
  8. Notice of any committee meeting will be fixed to the door of the registered office of ASH Co-op. (at 3, Fletcher’s Terrace, Cambridge) at least 7 days before that meeting. (P)
  9. An agenda detailing the business of any Committee meeting will be distributed to each house owned by ASH Co-op. at least 48 hours before that meeting. (P)
  10. Any member of ASH Co-op. wishing an item to appear on the agenda of a Committee meeting may ensure this by giving written notice to the registered office at least 72 hours before the meeting.

    Committee Responsibilities

  11. The powers and responsibilities of the Committee are determined by the Rules of ASH Co-op and section C. of this document. (R / P)

    Delegation of Powers

  12. The Committee will seek the approval of a General Meeting of ASH Co-op. in delegating any of its powers to working groups.The Committee will ensure that any decisions made by the working groups to whom it has delegated powers are reported to the next properly convened meeting of ASH Co-op., in accordance with Rule 44 a . (R)
  13. The Committee will ensure that all members of ASH Co-op.’s working groups are ratified by a General Meeting in their relevant responsibilities. (R)

    Declaration of Interests

  14. The Committee will comply with Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1996 which requires committee members to declare their interests in any of ASH Co-op.’s housing activities. (P)

SECTION C Responsibilities, Officers and Groups

The following are the specific areas where the Committee is responsible for the business of ASH Co-op., not delegated to ASH Co-op.’s working groups. While some areas of business are solely the responsibility of the Committee (e.g. certain regular and predictable procedures such as preparing budgets and reveiwing policies) others need the approval of the General Meeting before being put into effect.

(C = areas of business which the Committee may carry out on behalf of ASH Co-op.) (GM = areas of business which require the approval of the General Meeting)

It is the Committee’s responsibility:

  1. to ensure that there are current policies for each of the following areas of activity which comply with current good practice and relevant legislation (GM):
    • Secretarial (see Appendix 1) – ensuring the proper administration of ASH Co-op.
    • Finance (see Appendix 2) – ensuring that all ASH Co-op.’s financial activities are clear, accountable and conducted within current standards of financial probity
    • Maintenance (see Appendix 3) – ensuring that ASH Co-op. meets its obligations under the Law and terms of the tenancy agreement to keep its housing property fit for human habitation
    • Allocations (see Appendix 4) – ensuring that access to ASH Co-op.’s housing is open, fair and based on housing need as well as applicants’ wish to participate in the running of ASH Co-op.
    • Education (see Appendix 5) – ensuring that ASH Co-op.’s members, volunteers and employees are sufficiently well informed to play an active part in the running of ASH Co-op. and to channel funds for training where necessary
    • Welfare (see Appendix 6) – ensuring that members seek to provide support for distress arising from actual or potential breaches of the tenancy agreement by ASH Co-op. or its members
    • Development (see Appendix 7) – ensuring that ASH Co-op. has clear plans for future activities
    • Employment (see Appendix 8) – ensuring that ASH Co-op. has sufficient voluntary and paid staff to meet its aims
  2. to ensure that each of the above policies is reviewed at least annually (C)
  3. to ensure that ASH Co-op. appoints a Secretary and a Treasurer (GM)
  4. to ensure that ASH Co-op. has a Secretarial Group and a Finance Group which shall be as far as possible of equal size and shall be elected in accordance with the standing orders of the Committee (GM)
  5. to ensure that at least two members of the Committee are identified as responsible for the operation of the following areas of activity (C):
    • Maintenance (see Appendix 3 for particular responsibilities)
    • Allocations (see Appendix 4 for particular responsibilities)
    • Education (see Appendix 5 for particular responsibilities)
    • Welfare (see Appendix 6 for particular responsibilities)
    • Development (see Appendix 7 for particular responsibilities)
    • Employment (see Appendix 8 for particular responsibilities)
  6. to ensure that there is a current Equal Opportunities Policy (GM), which is to be reviewed annually (C)
  7. to ensure that there is a current Complaints Procedure (GM), which is to be reviewed annually (C)
  8. to ensure that ASH Co-op.’s current tenancy agreement conforms to current accepted good practice in housing management (GM) and that it is reviewed at least annually (C) (The current Housing Corporation Tenant’s Guarantee gives details of minimum tenancy requirements.)
  9. to ensure that all members have a copy of (C):
    • a tenancy agreement for the accommodation they occupy;
    • ASH Co-op.’s rules;
    • ASH Co-op.’s member’s handbook;
    • all current policies;
    • the Housing Corporation’s current Tenant’s Guarantee for Housing Associations which are fully mutual housing co-operatives;
    • guidance for members, should they wish to approach the Housing Association Tenants Ombudsman Service;and access to:
    • agendas and minutes of ASH Co-op.’s meetings
  10. to ensure that the Annual General Meeting (C):
    • takes place within 3 months after the end of the financial year
    • receives audited accounts for the previous year
    • receives an annual report of the previous year’s activities
    • appoints an auditor for the following year
  11. to ensure that the Semi-Annual General Meeting (C):
    • takes place within 3 months before the end of the financial year
    • approves a budget for the following year
    • approves rent and services charges for the following year
    • elects a Committee for the following year
  12. to propose the appointment of ASH Co-op.’s solicitors (GM)
  13. to ensure consultation with members in all areas of ASH Co-op.’s activities (C)
  14. to adopt any other policies and procedures to ensure that ASH Co-op. complies with accepted good practice in all areas as required by Housing Corporation and any other statutory agencies (GM)
  15. to ensure that reports on the following areas of activity are received by the Committee at least quarterly (C):
    • Maintenance (see Appendix 3 )
    • Allocations (see Appendix 4)
    • Education (see Appendix 5)
    • Welfare (see Appendix 6)
    • Development (see Appendix 7)
    • Employment (see Appendix 8)
  16. Sub Committees

    The Co-op shall have the following sub committees (working groups), which shall be convened by the appropriate Co-op Officer/Co-ordinator:

    • Development
    • Education and Training
    • Employment
    • Finance
    • Maintenance
    • Membership
    • Rent
    • Secretarial
    • Welfare

    The Co-op shall have other sub committees as necessary from time to time. The establishment of a new sub committee shall be agreed at the Management Committee.

  17. Officers (Co-ordinators)

    The Co-op shall have the following officers/co-ordinators; the relevant job descriptions are included in the appendices to this section:

    • Chair
    • Vice Chair
    • Secretary
    • Assistant-Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Maintenance Officer/Co-ordinator(s)
    • Keys and Locks Officers
    • Gardens Officer(s)
    • Car Park Officer
    • Allocations Officer/ Co-ordinator(s)
    • Development Officer/ Co-ordinator
    • Education Officer/ Co-ordinator
    • Welfare Officer/ Co-ordinator
  18. Officers’ (Working Group) Meetings

    The Co-op shall hold Officers’ Meetings/Working Groups regularly. These meetings shall review the work of the Co-op in more details than is possible at a Management Committee. Any decisions must be ratified by a Management Committee Meeting after a report and recommendations are made and the minutes are made available.

    Officers meetings shall be open to all members who wish to attend. The Secretary shall ensure that all Officers’ Meetings are minuted.

  19. Officers not working with a sub committee

    Chair:

    1. Chair meetings:
      1. Chair all SAGM, Management Committee and Officers Meetings
      2. Ensure that all meetings are run within Co-op rules and standing orders.
    2. Deal with outside bodies
      1. Represent the Co-op in dealings with outside bodies.
      2. Report on meetings with outside bodies to Co-op meetings
    3. Deal with members to resolve problems
      1. Advise on house disputes etc., in line with Co-op policies
      2. Organise dispute and complaints’ panels in line with Co-op policies
    4. Emergency Action
      1. Take Emergency Action in cases of emergency, in line with Co-op policies.
    5. Cheque signatory
      1. To be a cheque signatory

    Vice Chair:

    1. Deputising for the Chair and taking on up to half the workload of the Chair.
      1. Chair meetings when the Chair is absent. To take over the Chair in meetings when the Chair wishes to speak on an item, is personally involved in an item, or there is a challenge to the Chair.
    2. Officer Liaison
      1. To be responsible for liaison with different officers.
    3. Cheque signatory
      1. To be a cheque signatory

    Appendix 1 – SECRETARIAL

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Secretarial Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • the responsibilities of the Secretary
      • conduct of meetings
      • preparation and distribution of agendas and minutes
      • correspondence
      • office storage and filing
      • photocopier, computers & office equipment
      • stationery
      • share issue
      • register of members
      • use of the Co-op. seal
      • liaison with ASH Co-op.’s solicitors
      • liaison with the Housing Corporation
      • correspondence with the Registry of Friendly Societies
      • affiliation and liaison with other housing organisations
      • Co-op. Mag.
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of a secretarial group
    2. To review the Secretarial Policy at least annually (C)
    3. To ensure that as far as possible half of the members of the Committee are identified as the Secretarial Group, responsible for (C):
      • ensuring the operation of the Secretarial Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to ASH Co-op.’s General Meeting
      • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of the current Secretarial Policy
    4. To ensure that at least one Committee member with responsibility for the following areas of activity is represented within the members of the Secretarial Group (C):
      • Maintenance
      • Allocations
      • Education
      • Welfare
      • Development
      • Employment
    5. To ensure that an annual report of ASH Co-op.’s activities during the previous year is prepared (C)- to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.
    6. To ensure ASH Co-op.’s compliance with Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1996 (C)- the law governing the declaration of interest, the payment of expenses and receipt of hospitality for committee members.

    Secretary’s responsibilities:

    1. Minutes – Ensure that minutes of Co-op meetings are written and distributed
    2. Agendas – Ensure that agendas for Co-op meetings, including any written reports are written and distributed.
    3. Legal role – Ensure that the Co-op complies with any legal responsibilities, including those of a Friendly Society.
    4. Deal with outside bodies.
      • Represent the Co-op in dealings with outside bodies.
      • Report on meetings with outside bodies to Co-op meetings
    5. Cheque signatory – To be a cheque signatory
    6. Secretarial Group – Convene the Secretarial Group, and ensure that it meets regularly.

    Appendix 2 – FINANCE

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Finance Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • the responsibilities of the Treasurer
      • book-keeping
      • accounts & audit
      • budgeting & financial planning
      • P.A.Y.E.
      • photocopier, payphone & office equipment
      • stationery
      • shares
      • rent
      • service charges
      • insurance
      • banking arrangments
      • reporting requirements
      • tendering procedure & authorisation levels
      • Housing Corporation correspondence
      • guidelines for the operation of a finance group
    2. To review the Finance Policy at least annually (C)
    3. To ensure that as far as possible half of the members of the Committee are identified as the Finance Group, responsible for (C):
      • ensuring the operation of the Finance Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to ASH Co-op.’s General Meeting
      • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of the current Finance Policy
    4. To ensure that at least one Committee member with responsiblity for the following areas of activity is represented within the members of the Finance Group (C):
      • Maintenance
      • Allocations
      • Education
      • Welfare
      • Development
      • Employment
    5. To ensure that annual accounts are prepared and audited (C)- to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.
    6. To approve the use of ASH Co-op.’s reserves (GM)
    7. To approve the sale / disposal of fixed assets (GM) Treasurer’s responsibilities:
      1. Managing the Co-op’s Funds:
        • To monitor all income and expenditure, and ensure that quarterly reports are made to the Co-op in conjunction with the Co-op’s accountants.
        • To advise on the annual budget
        • To recommend changes in the budget during the year
      2. Liaison with the Co-op’s accountants
        • Ensure effective liaison with the Co-op’s accountants
        • Ensure that all necessary information is given to the accountants for the annual audit.
      3. Liaison with Officers a) To liaise with officers over the budget for their areas of work, payment of invoices etc.
      4. Co-op Bank accounts a) To monitor income and expenditure from Co-op bank accounts, ensuring that money is in accounts to gain the most interest, that statements are stored securely, etc. To ensure that statements are made available to the Co-op’s accountants, when appropriate to process the audit. This should include the cheque authorisation.
      5. Finance Group a) To convene the Finance Group, and ensure that it meets on a regular basis. Ensuring responsibility for drawing up cheques out of Co-op funds and ensuring monies are available for this. Also ensuring expenditure is of a legitimate nature.
      6. Rent collection a) To meet regularly with the Co-op’s Rent Officer to ensure that rent collection is maximised, and that all arrears are pursued in line with the Co-op’s policies.
      7. Cheque Signatory a) To be a cheque signatory.

    Appendix 3 – MAINTENANCE

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Maintenance Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • the responsibilities of ASH Co-op. for furniture provision, repairs and maintenance of rooms, flats, structure, communal areas, hut, office and grounds
      • how emergencies should be dealt with – fire, flood, acts of God
      • how repairs can be reported
      • the target response times for emergency, urgent and routine repairs, as detailed in the tenancy agreement – including guidance for tenants as to alternative action if ASH Co-op. fails to meet these targets
      • the planning and management of services paid for by service charges
      • the planning and implementation of improvements to ASH Co-op.’s housing
      • the circumstances under which tenants might be required to move to alternative accommodation – to include guidance on tenants’ rights to disturbance payments and compensation.
      • the preparation and implementation of planned and cyclical maintenance
      • the provisions available for major repairs
      • the employment and supervision of contractors
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of a Maintenance Group
    2. To review the Maintenance Policy at least annually (C)
    3. To ensure that at least two of the members of the Committee are identified as responsible for Maintenance, with particular responsibilities for (C):
      • ensuring the operation of the Maintenance Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee
      • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of the current Maintenance Policy
    4. To ensure that a complete maintenance survey of ASH Co-op.’s properties is carried out at least annually. (C)
    5. To ensure that a summary of the previous years maintenance activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

    Maintenance Officer’s responsibilities:

    1. Repairs – Ensure that a repairs service is provided to Co-op members, including planned and cyclical maintenance. To issue work orders, liaise with contractors, check work and authorise payment of invoices. To operate the tender system as required.
    2. Surveys – To conduct the annual maintenance survey of all houses and flats. To issue work orders for repairs arising from the survey.
    3. Voluntary work – To organise voluntary maintenance work by Co-op members in the Maintenance Group and others, ensuring that volunteers have the skills to carry out work to the agreed standard.
    4. Service contracts – To liaise with organisations with service contracts to the Co-op, ensuring that the contracts operate effectively.
    5. Tools and supplies – Ensure an adequate stock of maintenance supplies is kept, and that tools are kept in good condition.
    6. Budget – Monitor expenditure against budget, and recommend changes.
    7. Paths and external lighting – Ensure that the paths and external lighting are kept in good condition.
    8. Maintenance Group – To ensure that the Maintenance Group meets regularly.

    Keys and Locks Officer’s responsibilities:

    1. Rooms
      • Ensure that all rooms have the appropriate locks and that they are in good working order. To issue keys to new members, after the tenancy agreement has been signed. To provide replacement keys for those lost or stolen within the Co-op’s policy. To receive keys from members leaving the Co-op.
      • To let in members who are locked out or who have lost their keys, at reasonable times and subject to availability.
    2. Front Doors – Ensure that all front door locks are in good condition, and that members of houses have the appropriate keys.
    3. Stocks – Ensure that there is an adequate stock of keys, cores and locks.

    Gardens Officer’s responsibilities:

    1. Ensure that the gardens are maintained to a high standard, the grass is cut and trees and plants pruned as necessary.
    2. Ensure that adequate stocks of garden supplies, tools and equipment are maintained.
    3. To involve Co-op members in work on the gardens. To encourage members to develop the flower beds by their own houses.
    4. Ensure that plants, trees and shrubs etc do not damage the Co-op’s housing stock.

    Car Park Officer’s responsibilities:

    1. Ensure that the Car Park is kept tidy, and that rubbish is not dumped there.
    2. Ensure that all members’ cars are issued with Co-op parking permits.
    3. Ensure that dumped cars are removed.
    4. Ensure that the car park is not used for business purposes.
    5. To serve notices on abandoned vehicles, and ensure they are removed. Ensure that notices are also served on addresses of the owners of abandoned vehicles, if known.

    Appendix 4 – ALLOCATIONS

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Membership & Allocations Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • the criteria for membership of ASH Co-op.
      • the criteria for accepting applicants onto ASH Co-op.’s shortlist – to prioritise housing need while ensuring equal access regardless of age, disability, family circumstances, gender, maritul status, race, religion or sexual orientation
      • the procedure for selecting applicants to the shortlist
      • the policy and procedure for deciding on priority as between applicants, such that applicants are able to take a reasonable view of their own priority.
      • the procedure for accepting shortlisted applicants as members of ASH Co-op. and tenants of its housing
      • liaison and nomination arrangements with the Local Authority
      • current arrangements for tenants wishing to move to other accommodation let by ASH Co-op. or by another landlord
      • the format of the application form and correspondence with applicants
      • monitoring applications and lettings with regard to Equal Opportunities
      • expectations for member participation in the management of ASH Co-op.
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of an Allocations Group
    2. To review the Allocations Policy at least annually (C)
    3. To ensure that at least two of the members of the Committee are identified as responsible for Allocations, with particular responsibilities for (C):
      • ensuring that all applicants for accommodation receive a summary of the current Membership & Allocations policy
      • ensuring the operation of the Allocations Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee
      • ensuring that Committee Members responsible for Education are aware of the name and address of new members of ASH Co-op.
    4. To ensure that a summary of the previous years allocations activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

    Allocations Officer(s)’s responsibilities:

    1. Interviews and placements – To organise Co-op interviews and house interviews on a regular basis. To ensure adequate interview panels are organised, that houses are aware of interviews,etc.
    2. Publicity – Ensure adequate publicity is sent out to advice centres, housing associations, individuals etc. To liaise with other Officers over the issuing of publicity.
    3. Application forms – Ensure that application forms are sent out to all applicants that fit the Co-op’s criteria.
    4. Voids – To monitor void levels, and report to the Management Committee.
    5. Transfers – To advise members of their rights to transfers, ensure forms are issued and transfers processed correctly.
    6. Flats, move-on nominations – To convene interview panels and report to the Management Committee in line with the Flats Policy for vacancies in the flats, move-on accommodation etc.
    7. Allocations Group – To ensure that the Allocations Group meets regularly.

    Appendix 5 – EDUCATION

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Education Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • ensuring that Co-op. members are sufficiently well informed to participate in the running of ASH Co-op.
      • the availablity of training funded by ASH Co-op.
      • the application procedure for training funded by ASH Co-op.
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of an Education Group
    2. To review the Education Policy at least annually (C)
    3. To ensure that at least two members of the Committee are identified as responsible for Education, with particular responsibilities for (C):
      • ensuring the operation of the Education Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee
      • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of:
      • ASH Co-op.’s rules
      • ASH Co-op. Members Handbook
      • the current Education Policy
    4. To ensure that a summary of the previous years educational activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.
    5. To ensure that a copy of the current Membership & Allocations policy is sent to (C):
      • the regional office of the Housing Corporation
      • the Local Authority
      • local advice centres and other organisations advising the public on access to housing
    6. To ensure that a current ASH Co-op. Members Handbook is available. (C)

    Education Officer’s responsibilities:

    1. Training
      • To ensure that Education sessions are organised for new members and potential members
      • To ensure that training is porvided for Co-op Officers, Management Committee members and other members.
      • To ensure that information on training is provided to the Management Committee
    2. Education Group – To ensure that the Education Group meets regularly

    Appendix 6 – WELFARE

It is the Committee’s responsibility:

  1. To ensure that there is a current Welfare Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
    • neighbour disputes
    • debt counselling
    • liaison with other welfare organisations
    • referral of members to other welfare organisations
    • confidentiality
    • reporting requirements
    • guidelines for the operation of a Welfare Group
  2. To review the Welfare Policy at least annually (C)
  3. To ensure that there is a current Equal Opportunities Policy (GM), which is to be reviewed annually (C)
  4. To ensure that there is a current Complaints Procedure (GM), which is to be reviewed annually (C)
  5. To ensure that at least two members of the Committee are identified as responsible for Welfare, with particular responsibilities for (C):
    • ensuring the operation of the Welfare Policy
    • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee
    • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of:
    • the current Welfare Policy, Equal Opportunities Policy and Complaints Procedure
    • a list of local welfare related agencies
    • guidance for members, should they wish to approach the Housing Association Tenants Ombudsman Service
  6. To ensure that a summary of the previous years welfare activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting. Welfare Officer(s) responsibilities:
    1. Information To ensure that information on welfare rights, benefits, health issues and other similar matters are distributed to Co-op members.
    2. Disputes a) To provide support and advice to members in disputes and facing harassment. To ensure that the Co-op’s disputes policy is operated correctly. b) To provide a mediation service as appropriate.
    3. Welfare Group a) To ensure that the Welfare Group meets regularly.

    Appendix 7 – DEVELOPMENT

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that if the following business is carried out, it seeks the approval of the General Meeting in all cases (GM):
      • agreements with other organisations and individuals such as development and management agents, consultants, private lenders, etc.
      • ASH Co-op’s strategy with regards to the acquisition and development of properties including the housing needs to be met in those properties.
      • ASH Co-op’s involvement in any new development schemes, bids to the Housing Corporation for capital funding and acquisition of properties through stock transfer.
    2. To ensure that there is a current Development Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • the preparation of ASH Co-op. ‘s annual plans
      • the preparation of ASH Co-op. ‘s strategic plans
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of a Development Group
    3. To review the Development Policy at least annually (C)
    4. To ensure that at least two members of the Committee are identified as being resonsible for (C):
      • ensuring the operation of the Development Policy
      • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee identifying work which needs to be carried out in the short and long terms
      • ensuring that each new member receives a copy of the current annual and strategic plans.
    5. To ensure that a summary of the previous years development activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

    Development Officer’s responsibilities

    1. New Developments
      • To ensure that the Co-op is aware of new development opportunities, gratns etc. To draw up proposals to be presented to the Management Committee.
      • To be involved in long term planning
    2. Development Group – To ensure that the Development Group meets regularly.

    Appendix 8 – EMPLOYMENT

    It is the Committee’s responsibility:

    1. To ensure that there is a current Employment Policy which includes statements of how ASH Co-op. will operate in each of the following areas (GM):
      • recruitment procedures
      • conditions of employment
      • staff reporting requirements
      • staff supervision and appraisal mechanisms
      • training provisions
      • grievance procedures
      • terms of dismissal
      • reporting requirements
      • guidelines for the operation of an employment group
    2. To ensure that at least two members of the Committee are identified as being responsible for (C):
      • supervising paid staff
      • ensuring the operation of the Employment Policy
      • ensuring adequate working conditions
      • reporting at least quarterly to the Committee
    3. To review annually ASH Co-op.’s (C):
      • Employment Policy
      • staffing levels – to check that there are enough paid staff with appropriate skills to ensure the day to day running of ASH Co-op. where there are not sufficient voluntary staff.
      • staff pay levels – to check that the paid workers are being paid appropriate amounts for the work they do, within current guidelines and ASH Co-op.’s budget. To propose any increases in staff pay, in line with the current contracts with paid staff.
      • staff job descriptions – to check that paid staff have clearly stated descriptions of the work they are to do and that this work is manageable within the hours for which they are employed.
      • staff contracts – to check that there are clearly stated agreements, signed by ASH Co-op. and any paid staff, which describe the terms and conditions of their employment.
    4. If the need arises to recruit more paid staff or replace departing staff:
      • to advertise vacant posts – in keeping with the current Employment Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy (C).
      • to interview applicants – in keeping with guidance contained in the current Employment Policy (C).
      • to appoint successful applicants (GM)
    5. To ensure that a summary of the previous years employment activities is prepared for the Annual Report (C) – to be presented at the Annual General Meeting.