REP’s Handbook On-Line

Representatives Handbook

  

RUNNING AN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

RUNNING AN AGM

This section of the Handbook aims to assist Reps in organising Annual General Meetings.

 It will be particularly useful for new Reps  who have not organised an AGM before.

 It includes:

  • Questions and answers on organising AGMS
     
  • Guidance to help you to improve attendance at meetings
     
  • Suggested election procedures
     
  • Samples of paperwork that you can adapt for use in your group

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

WHY HOLD AN AGM?

  • To ensure that the branch is organised and administered effectively
     
  • To keep members informed of the work of the branch
     
  • To give members a voice in running the branch
     
  • To enable elections to take place

WHEN SHOULD THE AGM BE HELD?

  • Annually, and not more than fifteen months since the previous AGM

HOW SHOULD THE MEETING BE PUBLICISED?

  • Regional AGMS should be notified to the National Committee not less than 28 days in advance of the meeting. All members should receive adequate written notice of the meeting at least 14 days before the Regional AGM – Regional reps can get their membership database from MAG Central.
     
  • All members should receive an agenda and other relevant paperwork in advance of the meeting
    Local Group AGMs should be publicised in Streetbiker at least 14 days before the event.  It is essential to ensure that this information reaches Streetbiker in good time before the AGM. 
     
  • Noticeboards should be used to display inviting posters
     
  • Group members should be urged to speak to members who do not attend regular meetings and encourage them to attend

WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE AGM?

  • All members should be invited to submit motions. There should be a reasonable deadline for this so that any motions received can be circulated before the meeting and time allowed for members to submit amendments to them
     
  • All members should be entitled to nominate and be nominated for officer positions(excepting the position of Regional Rep which requires that a member have held membership for at least one year)
     
  • All members should be entitled to attend, speak and vote at the meeting

WHAT SHOULD THE MEETING BE LIKE?

  • Although there will be formal business, such as elections, to deal with, the meeting should be as relaxed and friendly as possible. The atmosphere should not be aggressive or overly procedural
     
  • Members should be encouraged to take an active part in discussion
     
  • Any procedures and deadlines set out in the branch rules and standing orders should be adhered to

WHAT SHOULD BE ON THE AGENDA?

  • Minutes of the last AGM
     
  • An annual report of branch activities (this should include a summary of outcomes from the previous year’s branch development plan).  This report is generally given by the Rep.
     
  • Audited accounts for the previous year (An audit of the accounts can be carried out by another member chosen by the attendees at the AGM)
     
  • Elections of branch officers
     
  • Any motions which members wish to debate
     
  • Many branches include other items such as an action plan for the year ahead
     
  • Any Other Business
     
  • Set a date for the next AGM

WHAT SHOULD BE COVERED IN STANDING ORDERS?

Standing orders govern the conduct of meetings and help them to run smoothly. They do this by minimising potential areas of argument about procedures. They should be clear and concise and must not be used to exclude or patronise those with less experience. They should include:

  • Arrangements for chairing meetings
     
  • Deadlines for submitting motions, amendments to motions and nominations
     
  • There should be provision for emergency motions to be submitted at the meeting
     
  • Procedures for voting
     
  • Restrictions on length of speeches
     
  • Arrangements for raising questions or points of order

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO AFTER THE MEETING

  • In the case of Regional AGMs, the NC Observer will report to the National Committee on the outcome of the meetings and notify the NC and MAG Central of any change to the Regional Rep. In the case of a local AGM, the Regional Rep should inform MAG Central of any change to the local Rep. 
     
  • In the case of Regional AGMs the NC Observer should pass on the copy of the Regional Accounts to MAG’s Finance Director

 WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO TO ENCOURAGE MEMBERS TO ATTEND?

  • Provide refreshments before the meeting and/or a social afterwards
     
  • Invite a speaker on a topic of interest
     
  • Build agendas around members’ concerns and interests
     
  • Include agenda items on campaigning issues
     
  • Ensure full disabled access to the meeting
     
  • Hold the meeting in pleasant surroundings
     
  • Ensure the venue is easily accessible.  Include a map with the paperwork sent to members
     
  • Ensure the venue is not off-putting to members, for example some members may not feel comfortable meeting in a pub or    in a smoky atmosphere.
     
  • Find out what time and venue is most convenient for members.

ELECTIONS

Procedures for elections must be fair and open and should be specified in the model rules for local groups. This will avoid conflict or allegations of “rigging”.  Your Regional Rep will be able to assist.

Regional and Group Officers

Regional and group officers are elected by a ballot or show of hands at the AGM.  You can encourage people to come forward as officers by:

  • allowing members to play a support role to existing officers as a stepping stone
     
  • enabling two people to job share
     
  • ensuring plenty of training, information and support is available

It is advisable to try and fill certain standard positions such as below:

  • Rep
     
  • Secretary
     
  • Treasurer
     
  • Political Officer

In addition many branches choose to have other officers to assist with the work of the branch such as Membership Secretary, Dealer Liaison Officer, Clubs Officer or Events Officer. It is also useful to elect at least one Deputy Rep so that if the chairperson is unable to attend a meeting there is always a substitute available to take on this role. It is up to the branch to decide what additional officer roles it would be useful to have.

There should be a requirement that any nominations are supported by at least two other members of the branch.  You may wish to give candidates an opportunity to provide a written or verbal election address. This will help members to know who they are voting for. It is important that such procedures are fair and equitable. They should not make candidates feel they will be judged on their skills at writing or speech making.  For example if a written address is to be sought you should specify the maximum number of words candidates must use and apply this to all candidates.

Sample Letter to Members

Sample of Agenda for an AGM

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