Constitution

1.NAME

The name of the organisation is Heads of Planning Scotland (HOPS)

2.PURPOSE

2.1 The purpose of Heads of Planning Scotland is to,

  • Promote the profile of public sector land use planning
  • Support and promote excellence in planning leadership
  • Ensure the delivery of a culture of continuous improvement in Planning Authorities
  • Provide advocacy and coordination to ensure that the planning authorities are properly resourced to deliver quality outcomes

3. POWERS

3.1 In relation to the above purpose Heads of Planning Scotland may undertake the following,

  • Support effective service delivery by Planning Authorities
  • Support Skills Development in Planning Services across Scotland
  • Work with other organisations to achieve the agreed objectives of HOPS, and manage such funds appropriately
  • Publicise and promote the work of HOPS, and organise events as appropriate
  • Take any form of action that is lawful and necessary to achieve the purpose of HOPS

4.MEMBERSHIP

4.1 The following organisations are eligible to be Member Organisations of Heads of Planning Scotland or to take part in the work of the Sub-Committees:

  1. Local Authorities in Scotland
  2. National Park Authorities in Scotland
  3. Strategic Development Plan Authorities in Scotland

Other organisations (but not Member organisations) can be co-opted as agreed by the Executive Committee.

4.2 All Member Organisation applications shall be agreed by the Executive Committee

4.3 Where it is considered membership would be detrimental to the purpose and activities of HOPS, the Executive Committee shall have the power to refuse membership, or may terminate or suspend the membership of any Member Organisation, including co-opted members.

4.4 Member Organisations wishing to withdraw from Heads of Planning Scotland must give written notice and reasons for withdrawal to the Executive Committee at least 3 months prior to the withdrawal coming in to effect.

4.5 All Member Organisations are expected to contribute to and support the work of HOPS and to nominate senior officers within their organisation to assist in representing HOPS. The Chair shall be informed in writing of all Members prior to the officer undertaking any action relating to HOPS business.

4.6 Any individual can be co-opted to join HOPS with the agreement of the Executive Committee.

4.7 Member Organisations and Individual Members of HOPS shall be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions set out in the Constitution of HOPS.

4.8 Each Member Organisation will nominate one lead individual who will have voting rights to act on behalf of that Member Organisation. Each Member Organisation shall inform the Chair as to who their voting Member is.

5.SUBSCRIPTION

5.1 All local authorities and National Park Authorities who are Member Organisations of HOPS will be liable to pay an annual subscription of such amount agreed at a General Meeting.
5.2 The annual subscription shall be for the period 1st April to 31st March. Subscriptions for each financial year will be due by 31st March of the previous financial year.

6.EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

6.1 Heads of Planning Scotland shall be administered by an Executive Committee with a core membership of no less than 7 persons and no more than 14 persons from Member Organisations. This excludes co-opted members. Member Organisations, as represented by their Individual Members, of the Executive Committee will be elected for a period of up to 2 years and may be re-elected at the Annual General Meeting. Executive Committee members may also be co-opted from other organisations with the Agreement of the existing members of the Executive Committee.

6.2 The Chair shall ensure that a geographical spread of member organisations is represented on the Executive Committee.

6.3 The Chair, Vice Chairs, immediate Past Chair and Chair of any Sub Committee will also be on the Executive Committee.

6.4 The Executive Committee has the following remit,

  1. To develop, ensure delivery of and monitor the Business Plan
  2. To agree and monitor the annual budget
  3. To lead communication and liaison with the Scottish Government, public bodies, COSLA, RTPI and other organisations relevant to the interests of HOPS
  4. To make recommendations and take action in relation to matters of policy
  5. To direct public relations and stakeholder communications
  6. Any other matters agreed by members of the Executive Committee

6.5 All members of the Executive Committee are responsible for promoting the work of the Executive Committee and for raising issues at the Executive Committee for discussion.

6.6 The Executive Committee may appoint a Member to represent HOPS for particular purposes e.g. stakeholder or media relations.

6.7 At least 3 Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held each year. 5 Members of the Executive Committee shall form a quorum.

7.OFFICERS

7.1 The officers of HOPS shall be the Chair and the 2 Vice Chairs. These officers shall hold office for a period of up to 1 year, with the option to extend for an additional year, unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Committee.

7.2 Following their term of office, the Junior Vice Chair shall become the Senior Vice Chair and the Senior Vice Chair shall become the Chair, unless alternative arrangements are agreed by the Executive Committee.

8.ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

8.1 Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected or re-elected to the Executive Committee at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nominations should be submitted in writing to the Vice Chair, not less than 1 month prior to the date of the AGM. Nominations shall be agreed by 2 members of HOPS (excluding the nominee) and shall include an assurance signed by the nominee that they are willing to serve on the Executive Committee if elected.

8.2 Where the number of nominations for election to the executive Committee exceeds the number of vacancies, the current Vice Chair shall arrange for a postal vote to be conducted prior to the date of the AGM. Where the number of nominations is less than the number of vacancies the Chair shall ask for nominations at the AGM and any voting shall be by a show of hands.

8.3 Nominations for election or re-election to officer positions shall be submitted in writing to the current Chair not less than 1 month prior to the date of the AGM. Nominations shall be agreed by 2 members of the Executive Committee (excluding the nominee) and shall include an assurance signed by the nominee that they are willing to serve if elected.

8.4 Elections to officer positions will be held at the AGM. Voting arrangements should be agreed by the Executive Committee. Normally, each Member Organisation will have one vote which will be cast by their nominated Voting Member.

9.SUB COMMITTEES AND AD HOC GROUPS

9.1 The Executive Committee may appoint Sub Committees and Ad Hoc Groups to consider,
report and act on any matter pertaining to the purpose of HOPS.

9.2 The Chair and any members of the Sub Committee or Ad Hoc Group shall be agreed by the Executive Committee. Non-members of HOPS may be co-opted on to a Sub Committee or Ad Hoc Group with the agreement of all the HOPS Members on the Sub Committee or Group. The post of Chair of any HOPS Sub – Committee is normally held for a period of 2 years but can be for any other period as determined by the Executive Committee.

9.3 The Chair of each Sub Committee shall develop and maintain a statement of the purpose and work of the Sub-Committee/Group. The Chair of each Sub-Committee or Group shall also report progress to the Executive Committee, and at the AGM, preferably in the form of a short,written update report circulated in advance with the agenda papers.

9.4 The roles and remits of the Sub Committees are attached as Appendix 2 to this Business Plan.

9.5 All meetings will be chaired by the Sub Committee Chair and meetings will be scheduled for at least 4 times per year, normally ahead of the Executive Committee meetings to ensure proper alignment and decision making.

9.6 Dates and venues will be communicated by the Sub Committee Chair at the start of each year, but video conferencing, SKYPE etc, and alternating venues will be encouraged to maximise attendance levels. All Minutes and Agendas will be published on the HOPS website.

10.ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND DUTIES OF THE CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR

10.1 There shall be an Annual General Meeting of HOPS held each year. A General Meeting may be called by the Executive Committee or by the combined request of at least 12 Member Organisations. The request must state the reason for the Meeting and be sent to the HOPS Senior Vice Chair. The Meeting shall be called by the Senior Vice Chair within 28 days of receipt of the request.

10.2 Representation from 12 Member Organisations shall form a quorum at any AGM. Every Member Organisation shall have 1 vote via their nominated Voting Member. In the event of an equal number of votes, the HOPS Chair shall have a casting vote as well as a deliberate vote.

10.3 In the absence of the HOPS Chair and Vice Chairs from any General Meeting, the meeting shall elect a Chair for the meeting from the Members present. The elected Chair of the meeting shall have discretion regarding matters of procedure.

10.4 Any member may bring forward any matter relating to the purpose of HOPS for consideration at a General Meeting. Written notice of the matter should be given to the HOPS Senior Vice Chair, not less than 21 days before the date of the Meeting.

10.5 A motion at a General Meeting, except alterations to the HOPS Constitution, shall be deemed to be carried if a majority of the Voting members present vote in favour of the motion.

10.6 The Chair of HOPS shall act as Chair at all General Meetings and Executive Committee meetings. The Chair shall present to the AGM a report of the activities of HOPS during the previous year.

10.7 In the absence of the HOPS Chair, the Chair’s duties shall be undertaken by the HOPS Senior Vice Chair.

10.8 The HOPS Senior Vice Chair shall convene all General Meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee, prepare and keep minutes of such meetings, and undertake all other responsibilities outlined in the Constitution and agreed by the Executive Committee.

11.FINANCE

11.1 The HOPS Senior Vice Chair shall prepare annually a Statement of Accounts made up to 31st March each year, which shall be submitted to the Auditor of HOPS. The Accounts shall be audited within the employer organisation of the Secretariat. The Audited Statement shall then be submitted to the AGM by the Vice Chair.

11.2 A report on the Finance of HOPS shall be presented by, or on behalf of the Vice Chair at every meeting of the Executive Committee. On relinquishing office, the Vice Chairs shall hand over to a successor or the Chair of HOPS, all accounts, receipts, papers, books, documents and money belonging to or relating to HOPS.

11.3 All money acquired by HOPS shall be paid in to an account operated by or on behalf of the Executive Committee in the name of HOPS. All funds must be applied to the purpose of HOPS and for no other purpose.

11.4 Any papers or cash transfers to the HOPS bank account should be signed by the Chair or Vice Chairs, and one other member of the Executive Committee.

12.ALTERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

12.1 All changes to the HOPS Constitution must be agreed by at least two-thirds of the Member Organisations. Notice of any proposed alteration will be given in writing at least 21 days before the General Meeting at which the alteration is to be considered.

13.DISSOLUTION OF HOPS

13.1 HOPS may be dissolved if deemed necessary by at least two-thirds of the Member Organisations at a general Meeting. Any assets shall be returned to their providers or other organisations at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

14.HOPS DECISION MAKING ARRANGEMENTS

14.1 The Executive Committee will endeavor to consult all HOPS member authorities in the decision making process of any work carried out by HOPS where appropriate. 

  • The HOPS Executive will identify any priority responses and need for briefing papers.
  • Consultation from HOPS members will be carried out using an appropriate format, this can include email, survey, HOPS Knowledge Hub and sub-committee meetings. 
  • Where decision making timescales make this impossible, delegated powers will be given to the Chair/Vice Chair to respond to statements/letters/briefings.
  • The submission of formal reports, letters, briefing notes and agreed views will be on behalf of the HOPS Executive. HOPS will acknowledge that this representative view is not always a unanimous view but  on behalf of HOPS acting as a representative, democratic organisation.

14.2 The following procedures are in place for work by HOPS contractors;

  • Regularly update the HOPS Executive on any ongoing work
  • Provide notes and actions of external meetings attended by the HOPS contractor to all Executive Committee members
  • Provide draft HOPS papers/responses to all Executive Committee members for comments/feedback
  • Confirm HOPS authorisation of papers/responses by Chair/Chairs of Sub-Committees
  • Submit formal reports, letters, briefing notes and agreed views on behalf of the HOPS Executive Committee. HOPS will acknowledge that this representative view is not always a unanimous view but on behalf of HOPS acting as a representative, democratic organisation.

15.OTHER MATTERS

15.1 Subject to external funding availability, HOPS may;

  • Carry out surveys for/on behalf of the Scottish Government and/or other relevant stakeholders relating to the HOPS purpose and objectives.
  • Carry out consultations with the HOPS membership and undertake relevant surveys and research on its own or in partnership with others. All such surveys and consultation exercises will be submitted to and approved by the Executive Committee and published on the HOPS website and externally as appropriate.
  • Appoint a person/persons to carry out specific work streams for HOPS, as agreed by the Executive Committee and as directed by the Chair, reporting on all progress to the Executive Committee on a regular basis.

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Updated 19/6/19

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