SERF (South East Regional Forum)

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					c                                ‘I_JlJJ_EAS’I’ REIGl[-QNAL FORUM

        i    *                             ~ONSTIT’U7’IO~
        II   .
                 The majority of local authorities in the south east have agreed to
                 constitute Q South East Regional Forum

                 The purpose is to agr* a constitution for a single body across the whole
                 of the south east (outside London), notwitis~nding that there are separate
                 constitutions for the different regions of the soutl~ e a s t , w h e r e      t h e y
                 been established.

c   t
                 T h e b o d y i n t e n d s t o o p e r a t e o n a c r o s s - p a r t y basis to rep
                 coUective interests of all local authorities and citizens of the south east,
                 and it should act independently of central government or
                           T’he body will swk to resolve differences through discussion
                 and avoid adversarial political debate. However, member authorities will
                 have the riiht to respond to the specific needs of their indjvidual
                 communities, so minority views will be respected and heard within the

                 Changes to the constitution (eg if other bodies wish to join) will be agreed
                 by a simple majority, providing advance notice (of not less than 28 days)
                 has been given to the full Forum.

                 1,     Title
                        The name tile body will be known as The South I&t Regional

                 2.     Membership
                        Entitlement to membership - all county, district and unitary
                        authorities in the south east (outside L&don)

3.   Objectives
     Local authorities                    eas
                          the s o u t h (outside t
     ILIl orga&atiou
     establish           bringing   logcthcr all Districts, C o u n t y
     and Unitary Councils from the regions within the south east. The
     obje&ves of this body RW

     i)     To promote the economic, environmental and social w&IL
            being of the individuals and communities of the south cast
            (outside London) and lobby for rcsourccs, investment and
            support in Whitehall, Brussels and the market place.

     ii)    To collaborate with London and to represent the interests
            of the south east (outside London) in “macro-regional”

     iii)   To make representations on behalf of the interests of the
            regions and the authorities in the south’ east (outside
            London) on the national and international stage.

     iv)    To ensure that the economic success of the south east is
            recognised as beneficial to the UK as a whole.

     v>     To liaise with other regional institutions as appropriate-
     The body is a consultative forum, representative of party,
     authority type and regions of the south east (outside London),
     which seeks to agree a consensus position on strategic issues in the
     area with a view to exerting influence on Govcmmcnt, European
     Parliament and other bodies and agencies.

     The body will not take on any responsibilities from existing local
     authorities or regions in the south east, No powers wiI1 be
     conveyed to the body to make decisions that will bind in any way
     one or any number of its member authbrities.

     A S the body becomes estabiished, the constituent member
     authorities may wish to review any shared powers in response to
     external changes.
5.   Meetings and Election of Chairs/Vicx Ckirs
     (9       T11c Forum shall meet not less than twice annually; such
              meetings shnll be atlatlded by up to 3 Meln1wl-s p”r’ ~uk~‘lty.
             Nominations ahe b o d y s h a l l b e the                 coach
             the - arrangements of a u t h o r i t y .
             normal m e m b e r                                      T h e
             meeting next afrcr 1 June in each year shall be the Annual
             General Meeting,

     (ii)    The Forum shall hold such other meetings as may be calicd
             by agreement between the Chair and Vice-Chair or
             requested by not less than 20 member authorities, in each
             case giving at least 21 days notice. The quorum for any
             meeting will be one third of the membership of each type
             of authority (ie: Counties, Unitaries and Districts).

     (iii)   There shall be elected at the AMIMI General Meeting a
             Chair, 3 Vice-Chairs (representing four separate political
             groups) and an Executive Committee made up of the Chair
             and Vice-Chairs and 13 others of whom 4 will be from
             Counties, 4 from Unitaries, 4 from Districts and 1 overall
             Independent representative.

6.   Voting at the full body
     Each         member authority will have one vote. Each County
                                                                     wil.I have a total
     tota) number of districts within its area (A maximum of 160 votes
                                m e m b e r a u t h o r i 46 votes w i l l h
     between them and will agree the distribution of these votes, based
     on approximately 1                                          systems
     and procedures will be contained in the standing orders for SERF.

                   ,i ,
7.   Standing Sub Groups
     Confcrcnce in February 1997 identified and agreed the following
     four standing sub-groups:-

     *      Relations   with the        Association of London Govermncn~
     *      English Regional Associations

     *      European issues,

            Financial issues,

     Other strategic stnnding sub-groups will be established on full
     forum approval of a recommendation from the Executive

     Standing Sub-Committees shall be fully representative of party,
     authority type and regions of the South East Forum area. Ad hoc
     groups, eg on significant issues will be formed with the agreement
     of the Executive Committee.

8.   Liaison Arrangements
     Within and beyond the South East Regional Fomm, individual
     authorities may wish to co-operate for specific purposes. SERF
     will recognise existing and evolving Regional Fora wjthin its area.
     It will be for such groupings to draw wider matters to the attention
     of SERF, having fist registered their existence, terms of
     reference, representation arrangements etc.

9.   Representation on Outside Bodies
     Every effort will be made to ensure that SERF re.presentation on
     outside bodies fairly reflects the consultative nature of the Forum
     as a whoIe.

                           .:. .
    10, Delegations
         The purpose of .delegations from SERF is to have the maximum
         effect in reprcscnting the interests of the people in the South Eclst
         (outside of London) aa a whole, It will lx important to balance the
         interests of effectiveness (which may imply small, tightly focused
         dclcgations) and representntiveness which ilnylies larger numbers.
         Where smnlier numbers arc preferred, Members nominated to
         represent SERF wiIl recognise their responsibility to represent the
         views of SERF as a whole.

    11. Secretariat Support
         An interim arrangement for SERF support for the fust year (July
         1997 - July 1998) will be adopted, under which a SERF member
         authority delivers that support on the basis of an agreed
         specification, in return for an appropriate level of funding.
         Funding for the initial secretariat support will be secured through
         contributions from member authorities, on the basis of E500 per

    12. Budget
         The budget for SERF will be set on an annual basis and agreed by
         a majority vote of those present at the winter meeting each year.

    July 1997


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