What is Common Weal? / Constitution and Articles

Constitution and Articles

Article 1 - Name 

The organisation shall be named Common Weal.

Article 2 – Constitution

This constitution is the governing document of Common Weal. All decisions and actions of the organisation are to be made in accordance with the rules and principles set henceforth.

Article 3 – Purpose

3.1 Common Weal exists for the purpose of the promotion of thinking, practice and campaigning on social and economic equality, participative democracy, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, quality of life, peace, justice and cooperation on the left of the political spectrum.

(a) This includes societal issues along with those concerning government and governance.

3.2 Common Weal may not officially affiliate to any political party but shall be free to work and co-operate with any political party.

(a) Common Weal will work with any political party based upon their political position and its compatibility with Art.3.1.

(b) Article 3.2 shall not restrict Common Weal in its ability to comment upon any political party or political issue at any time.

3.3 Common Weal shall pursue furtherance of its purpose - as set out in Article 3.1 - through the following means:

(a) Research and policy development
(b) Campaigning
(c) Advocacy
(d) Writing and publishing
(e) Co-operation with other organisations and grassroots campaigns
(f) Organisation of events
(g) Establishing special projects
(h) Employment of persons
(i) Common Weal will be a moral and ethical employer.
(h) Any other means considered suitable by the Board, in accordance with Art.5.5.

3.4 The Board will assume responsibility to determine whether any suggested action or project is in accordance with Art.3.1.

Article 4 – Legal Entity

4.1 Common Weal exists as a company (Common Weal Ltd) limited by guarantee and will have no share capitalisation. The company will exist as a non-profit distributing organisation.

4.2 The Director of Common Weal assumes responsibility for all operational matters of the organisation.

(a) The Director must report regularly to the Board of Common Weal Ltd on operational matters.

4.2 The Directors of Common Weal Ltd are the members of the Board, as established in Art.5.

(a) The Directors will assume this position in concurrence with membership of the Board.

(b) Any member of the Board that terminates their membership of the Board will automatically terminate membership as Director of Common Weal Ltd.

(c) Each Director of Common Weal Ltd will hold exactly one share limited at the price of £1. 4.3 The Board shall appoint a Director and a Company Secretary in accordance with Art.5.5.

4.4 Any subsidiary company established that may contain financial risk that could potentially damage the sustainability of Common Weal must be structured in such a way as to insulate the parent company of Common Weal Ltd.

(a) Any subsidiary company will be established with the aim to pursue any specific aspect of Art.3.1.

4.5 The Board is to decide upon the attribution and dispersal of assets in the event of Common Weal Ltd being wound up.

(a) The Board must make this decision in consideration with Art.3.1

Article 5 – Governance

5.1 The supreme decision making body within Common Weal is the Board.

(a) The Board must operate in accordance with Art.2

5.2 The Board shall consist of seventeen persons.

(a) This will be comprised of the Director, 9 male and 8 female members.

(b) The Board assumes responsibility to ensure that it is balanced, representative and fit for purpose, in accordance with Art.5.5.

5.3 There shall be no term limits placed upon membership of the Board.

(a) In the event of a member leaving, the Board shall approve replacements in accordance with Art.

(i) In the event of a replacement being appointed, they will assume the Directorship of Common Weal Ltd and the share will be transferred accordingly.

(ii) In the event that there is an interim period before the appointment of a new Board member, the Directorship of Common Weal Ltd will remain vacant.

5.4 The Board shall have the right to make appointments and establish delegated bodies within Common Weal.

(a) Delegated bodies must be established with a clear:

(i) Constitution
(ii) Governance structure
(iii) Statement of relationship between delegated body and Common Weal
(iv) Statement of capacity in regards to any delegated body being wound up

(b) The Board shall assume ultimate responsibility for any appointment or delegated body.

5.5 The Board shall always seek decide on matters through consensus.

(a) The Board shall seek to mediate any disagreement.

(b) In the event that there is no consensual agreement the Board shall decide on matters by means of a majority vote.

(c) No individual Board member shall hold the power of veto.

5.6 The Board must meet a minimum of three times per calendar year.

(a) There shall be an annual AGM called by the Board.

(b) For a Board Meeting to be quorate at least six members of the Board must be in attendance

Article 6 – Funding

6.1 Common Weal may raise funds for the organisation subject to provisions within this Article.

6.2 Common Weal shall not raise funds from any source:

(a) That may be seen to compromise the purpose of the organisation as given in Art.3

(b) That may be seen as to compromise the organisation’s:

(i) Independence
(ii) Ability to act freely in policy development
(iii) Ability to campaign
(iv) Image as a progressive and ethical organisation

6.3 The Board shall decide upon matters of funding in accordance with Art.5.5.

Article 7 – Spending

The Board may freely decide on matters of spending in accordance with Art.5.5.

Article 8 – Statements of Practice

Common Weal's operational practices are bound by statements of practice to be agreed by the Board. The statements of practice that bind Common Weal can be found on the Common Weal website.