By John Kapp, 22, Saxon Rd, Hove BN3 4LE, East Sussex   Tel: 01273 417997

1.   Name

The body hereby constituted shall be called the Local Involvement Network for Brighton and Hove (hereafter called ‘the LINk’)

2.   Purpose
The purpose of the LINk shall be to act as a watchdog over the Health and Social Care Services commissioned and provided in Brighton and Hove (hereafter called ‘the Services’)

3.   Aim
To make the Services more user-centred.

4.   Objectives
a)   To make recommendations for improvement of the Services
b)   To request representation of lay members on every committee concerned with the care of the users of the Services (patients and clients, hereafter called ‘users’)
c)   To recruit and support users to sit as lay members on those committees with equal rights.

5.   Powers
The LINk is a statutory body, set up under the Local Government Act, 2007, to have the following statutory powers
a)   To request information from providers and commissioners of Services and get a reply by a date.
b)   To make reports recommending action to providers and commissioners of Services and get a response by a date.
c)   To inspect premises of providers and commissioners and report on them.
d)   To report to the local Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee(s) (HOSCs) .

6.   Accountability
The LINk is part of the system of government regulation of the Services. The LINk shall be accountable to the other regulatory parts as follows:
a)   Local level of Brighton and Hove: The Brighton and Hove Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) consisting of local councillors.
b)   Regional level: Overview and Scrutiny Committees of West and East Sussex, Surrey, Kent, etc. The Strategic Health Authority for Surrey Sussex and Kent.
c)   National level: The Healthcare Commission (HCC) The Social Care Commission (SCC) The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and such other regulatory bodies as may at times be deemed appropriate.

7.   Eligibility for Membership
All adults residing in Brighton and Hove who are not employees of the Services shall be eligible for membership.

8.   Members.
Members shall be those persons eligible who shall register as a member with the Secretary by giving their name, address, e mail address and telephone number, and whose name is placed on the list of members.

9.   Associates.
Associates shall be associations of people (such as Age Concern) who have a registered address in Brighton and Hove, who shall register as an associate with the secretary by giving the name, address, e mail address and telephone number of their association, and whose name is placed on the list of associates.

10.   Rights of membership
Members shall have the right to stand for election to the executive committee, and to be informed of the date, time and place of meetings to which they are entitled to attend, speak and vote.
Associates (such as Age Concern) shall have the right to be collectively informed of the date, time and place of those meetings to which their members are entitled to attend, such as general and public meetings. Associates shall not have any voting rights.
Employees of the Services shall have the right to attend and speak at general and public meetings, but shall not have a vote.

11.   Annual General Meetings (AGM)
There shall be an AGM at the same time each year in public, in which the following business shall be transacted.
a)   To receive the chairman’s annual report
b)   To receive the secretary’s report
c)   To receive the treasurer’s report and accounts
d)   To receive annual reports from the chairmen of sub committees.
e)   To elect the members of the executive committee of up to 20 people
f)   To decide on the work plan for the year, without prejudice to such additional subsequent work as shall be decided by the executive committee.
g)   To transact such other business as shall be determined by the executive committee.
h)   To transact such other business as shall be requested by any member in writing to the secretary with a month’s notice.

12.   General meetings
One clear month’s notice shall be given to all members and associates of any general meeting, giving the place, date and time of the meeting, together with the business to be transacted, including the reasons in detail for calling the meeting.

13.   Election of Executive Committee
a)   Election: The election of the executive committee shall take place at a general meeting, normally the AGM. The notice convening the meeting shall call for nominations to be communicated to the secretary. Nominations shall close at noon 7 days before the meeting, unless there are still vacancies, when nominations shall remain open until all vacancies have been filled, or the issue of ballot papers at the general meeting.
b)   Eligibility to stand for election: Any member shall be eligible to stand for election unless they have already served for 5 consecutive years. Retiring members of the executive committee may nominate themselves. New applicants must be proposed by a member and seconded by another member. The list of valid nominations shall be created by the secretary and promulgated on the website of the LINk, or the Council as soon as possible after close of nominations, together with the election addresses.
c)   Election address: By the close of nominations, those nominated shall provide the secretary with an election address of up to 300 words, stating their reasons for standing. The election addresses shall be printed on a paper in alphabetical order of surname, tabled and and distributed to those present at the start of the meeting.
d)   Hustings: If there are more persons nominated than vacancies, an election will be held at the general meeting convened for that purpose. Candidates in alphabetical order of their surname will be invited to address the meeting for up to 3 minutes, and answer questions from the floor for a further 2 minutes.
e)   Voting: Voting shall be in person at the meeting by the issue of a ballot paper to each member voting containing the names of all those standing for election. The member shall place a cross opposite the name of the candidate that he wishes to vote for, fold his paper to hide his vote and place it in a ballot box. Members who cannot be present may appoint a proxy member to vote for them, by giving notice to the secretary to that effect.
f)   Returning officer: The returning officer for the election shall be a support officer, or other person who has no direct interest in the outcome of the election. The retiring chairman shall relinquish the chair for the election, and the returning officer shall chair the meeting and conduct the election. Two scrutineers shall be appointed who shall oversee the count, which shall take place immediately after voting. The returning officer shall announce the names of those elected and the number of votes received for each. The retiring chairman shall then take back the chair and conclude the business of the meeting.

14.   Membership of the executive committee
The members of the executive committee shall be those members elected for one year at the AGM, plus those people co-opted for the rest of the year by the executive committee up to a maximum of 20 people. Members may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Secretary. Members who miss three meetings in a row will be deemed to have resigned, and their places may be filled by co-option.

The first executive committee meeting of the year shall elect the officers for the coming year from among the members of the executive committee, to take office until the end of the subsequent AGM.

The officers shall be the chairman, the deputy chairman, the vice chairman, the secretary, (who may be a support officer appointed by the Host) the minutes secretary (who may be a support officer appointed by the Host) the treasurer, the president, the vice presidents, the patrons, and such other officers as the executive committee shall decide. All offices need not be filled at the first meeting, and offices may be changed by the decision of any executive committee meeting.

15.   Executive Committee meetings
The executive committee shall meet at least 6 times per year in public. At least 1 weeks notice shall be given to all executive committee members of the time and place of the meeting, and the agenda of business to be transacted, which include the following as a standing agenda:
1   Apologies for absence
2   Notice of Any Other Urgent Business to be taken at this meeting
3   The minutes of the last meeting shall be taken for accuracy, amended and approved as a correct record and signed and dated by the chairman.
4   Matters arising from the minutes not covered on the agenda.
5   Feedback reports from members attending as lay representatives of committees under 4c)
6   Feedback reports from members attending other meetings
7   Such business as shall be decided by the chairman and secretary.
8   Any Other Business as raised by any member of the committee in writing or in person, by giving the secretary 2 week’s notice in writing.
9   Any Other Urgent Business as raised by any member of the committee in person at the meeting, preferably by giving the chairman or secretary notice before the meeting, or raised under item 2.

16.   Sub Committees
The executive committee shall be empowered to create and disband such sub committees as it sees fit, which may be standing sub committees, or ad hoc sub committees (task and finish groups) subject to the following:
a)   The terms of reference of every subcommittee shall be agreed by the executive committee.
b)   At least one member of the subcommittee shall be a member of the executive committee, (hereafter called ‘the member’)
c)   The member undertakes to make the sub committee happen by accepting the following duties,

17.   Duties of the member setting up a sub committee
a)   To recruit suitable people to sit on the sub committee, (who should preferably be members, but do not have to be).
b)   To arrange a suitable place, date and time for sub committee meetings (which may be the homes of members)
c)   To report back on the progress at each meeting at the executive committee
d)   To write up the final report and present it to the executive committee
e)   To get it established as an issue, get it sent by the secretariat to the appropriate office of the Services and regulatory bodies, to monitor replies, and take follow-up action.
f)   To write it up for the annual report and present it at the AGM.

18.   Standing orders
The following standing orders shall apply to all meetings held by LINks, including sub committee meetings:
a)   Every meeting shall have an elected chairman and secretary.
b)   The chairman is responsible for getting through the business of the meeting within the allotted time, and for signing the minutes as a correct record, which shall be made publicly available as an audit trail.
c)   The secretary is responsible to record the minutes of the meeting, distribute them to all members of that meeting within a week of the meeting, and for giving at least a week’s notice of the holding of the next meeting.
d)   Members shall indicate that they wish to speak to the chairman, who shall call them to speak in the order that they indicated. When they have the floor they shall address the chairman.
e)   Any member may interrupt the proceedings and propose a motion at any time, (such as ‘the motion be put’, ‘next business’, ‘point of order’) which the chairman shall deal with and dispose of straightaway.
f)   The chairman shall treat all members equally, and listen to proposals and contributions to the discussion with respect, but shall not allow any member to harass other members or hog the discussion.
g)   The chairman shall sum up the discussion on each issue, and state the decision of the committee, which the secretary shall minute. If that decision is contested, the chairman shall allow the discussion to continue to try to reach consensus. Only if that cannot be achieved within reasonable time shall the chairman put the matter to the vote, when the decision shall be that of the majority. The chairman shall have a casting vote.
h)   The minutes shall include proposals made, decisions taken, the number of votes cast for and against, and the action to be taken by whom and by when. Points made in discussion need not be minuted. Any member has the right to request a recorded vote, when the vote shall be recorded against the name of the member voting.

19.   Secretariat support
LINk shall be a user-led, statutory body for which paid secretarial support (Host, hereafter called ‘the support’) is provided at public expense by the government via the Council. The model for support shall be the way that council officers support elected councillors, to make the Council member-led (not officer-led) (The Host is like a bus driver, the executive committee is like the 20 passengers, the chairman is the navigator, telling the driver where to go)

Under the general direction of the chairman, the support shall provide support for members as follows:
a)   Meetings for members, including general meetings and executive committee meetings, but not sub committee meetings. The support shall organise the setting up of the meeting, hiring the meeting hall, paying the room hire, notifying the members of the place, date and time, preparing the agenda in discussion with the chairman, sending out the agenda papers, writing and sending out the minutes.
b)   Secretarial services for the chairman and members of the executive committee, including implementing the decisions taken at the meetings, writing and answering letters, e mails and other correspondence, maintaining an office with a filing system, answering the telephone, dealing with enquiries from members and the public.

20.   Changes to this constitution
Changes may be made to this constitution by any member writing to the secretary with the reasons for the proposed change, and the proposed new wording. The secretary shall put the matter on the agenda of the next executive committee, who shall determine the appropriate action. The constitution shall only be changed at a general meeting, which can be an AGM or a Special General Meeting (SGM)

If 20% of the membership request a SGM, the executive committee shall call one within 3 months of the date of the request.

Drafted by John Kapp,

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