Who we are
The name of the association is:
South Kensington and Queen’s Gate Residents Association
2. Defined Area
The Association covers the following defined geographical area:
Within the Queen’s Gate, “Brompton” and Courtfield Wards
With an area of primary concern extending:-
from Palace Gate and Kensington Road south to Old Brompton Road and from Gloucester Road in the West to Exhibition Road and the boundary with Westminster Council in the East.
3. The aims of the Association are:
a) To represent the interests of, and promote membership to all the residents within the defined area.
b) To promote the interests and rights of residents and encourage them to be more actively involved.
c) To ensure that all residents are consulted and informed regularly.
d) To work towards improving the quality of life for local people and their community.
e) To encourage a community spirit and sense of responsibility.
f) To be non party political.
g) To represent the majority view of the community.
h) To represent the views of children and young people who are not old enough to be voting members.
4. Equalities and Diversity
a) The association will seek to promote equal opportunities within the community and the membership.
b) The association will value diversity and promote good relations with all members of the community and not discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, race, faith, gender or sexual orientation.
c) The association will provide information on the ways that members can contribute their views, and how they can meet people’s individual needs.
d) The Association recognises that all sections of the community have a positive contribution to make to the life of our communities. The Association will represent the interests of all local residents to the best of its ability, and carry on the day to day business of the Association in an efficient, fair and responsive way.
e) The Association will welcome all new members and provide appropriate information and support.
a) Membership of the association is open to all persons age 16 or over living in the Defined Area.
b) Wherever possible meetings will be held in local venues that are accessible.
c) Every member shall have access to a copy of the constitution, contact details for committee members, details of any planned meetings and how to include an item on an agenda.
d) Membership fees will be decided and reviewed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Any money raised by, or on behalf of, the Association will be used to further the Association’s aims.
e) Associate membership is open to people who do not live in the Association area, but have an interest in helping the Association achieve its aims. The Committee will decide whether or not to grant associate member status, and associate member voting rights as and when it occurs.
f) Voting membership will end when a member stops living in the area represented, dies or resigns, unless the Committee decides to grant associate membership as in 5 e).
g) In the event of breaches of the Constitution or Code of Conduct, membership of the Association can be suspended or ended by a two thirds majority vote of the Committee (of those present)
h) Notification of suspension of a member must be given in writing to the member with a copy of the Constitution attached.
a) Any member who has been suspended or had their membership terminated shall have the right to appeal. If a member wishes to appeal they have the right to ask the Secretary to arrange a special meeting to hear their appeal.
a) Appeals must be made to the Secretary within twenty eight (28) days of receipt of the letter suspending them. A special meeting must be held to hear the appeal within twenty one (21) days of the Secretary receiving notification from the member.
b) The appeals panel shall include at least three ordinary members of the association who are not on the Committee.
c) Any member appealing suspension shall have the right to bring a third party and also, if they wish, to be represented by the third party.
d) The decision of the appeals panel shall be binding on both parties.
7. Code of Conduct
a) Members shall conduct themselves in a manner that will not cause offence to others. Harassment, bullying, intimidation, or discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated and will be grounds for suspension of individual members. The Chairperson and committee members have the right to warn the member(s) of their behaviour. If they persist they will be suspended until further notice.
b) All committee and association members must comply with the Constitution and Code of Conduct at all times. Any serious breach of the Constitution or Code of Conduct may result in committee members, following a majority vote of the Committee, being asked to resign and if appropriate, termination of membership as indicated in 5 (g).
c) Members must never personalise issues, and should be willing to recognise that everybody is entitled to express their point of view without unduly preventing progress of discussion.
d) Voters should always be prepared to accept the majority decision and not take such a decision as any form of personal slight or criticism.
e) Members cannot receive any payment from the Association other than for bona fide expenses agreed by the Committee and approved in advance.
f) Members must never use their position to seek preferential treatment from the Council or other organisations for themselves, their family or relatives..
g) Committee members must not divulge any association business which is treated as confidential to other persons or organisations.
h) Statements to the media or other organisations on behalf of the Association should be made by the Chairperson or committee members with the prior approval of the Committee.
i) Correspondence sent on behalf of the Association must be signed by the Secretary or Chairperson, agreed by the Committee and recorded in a log by the Secretary.
j) Any resident who feels that they have not been treated fairly and equally by the Association can raise this with the Committee who will respond within twenty eight (28) days.
k) Any complaints received about the conduct of the Association or individual members will be taken to the Committee who will respond within twenty eight (28) days. The Committee will only deal with complaints that relate to the activities of the Association and its members in relation to the Constitution and Code of Conduct. Committee members will not deal with neighbour or inter-personal disputes in the area.
8. The Committee
a) The Committee shall monitor the work, finances and membership of the Association.
b) The Committee will produce and update a simple action plan throughout the year to be used to prepare an Annual Report to members at the AGM.
c) The Committee shall have a minimum of the following officers: a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Committee members shall be elected by a vote of those present at each Annual General Meeting. The Committee will include named persons that the Council can contact for consultation.
d) There shall be only one committee member per household.
e) The Committee may appoint sub-committees to carry out the activities of the Association. Sub-committees shall be directly accountable to the Committee. The Committee will agree in advance the terms of reference for any sub-committees.
f) All sub-committees shall keep records of all meetings to be made available as required to the Committee or general meeting. The Committee or general meeting may dissolve any sub-committees. All records of the sub-committee will pass to the Committee.
g) Any vacancies on the Committee may be filled by co-opting members with full voting rights until the next general meeting or AGM.
h) Committee members shall declare any potential conflict of interest and withdraw from discussion and voting where appropriate.
i) The quorum for Committee Meetings and for decisions outside meetings shall be three (3) or 50 percent (whichever is the greater) of committee members.
j) The committee has the power to make decisions using electronic media outside of committee meetings. Any external contact, vote, or consultation by electronic or other means must be logged and recorded by the Secretary and formally approved at the next meeting (general or committee).
k) Committee meetings may be called by the Chairperson and Secretary, or at the request of one third of committee members. A minimum of seven (7) days notice must be given.
l) A minimum of six (6) committee meetings will be held in each calendar year.
m) All committee meetings are open to all members as observers.
9. Duties of the officers
a) All the officers of the Association have a duty to further all the aims of the Association.
b) The Chair shall conduct the meetings of the Association, If the Chair is absent, the other committee members will appoint one of the other members to take over.
c) Meetings will be convened by either the Secretary or the Chairperson, giving the relevant notice to members. The Secretary shall ensure that a proper record is kept of all meetings of the Association, its committees and sub-committees in the form of minutes. The Secretary shall keep a record of all correspondence, consultation and activities carried out on behalf of the Association, and provide them as required by the Committee or general meetings. A register of committee members and paid up members of the Association shall be kept.
d) The Treasurer shall oversee all banking and financial arrangements outlined in part 14. Finance, be responsible for keeping proper accounts of income and expenditure and report on the Associations financial matters to the Committee and AGM. All cheques must be signed by the Treasurer and one other committee member.
e) Any member delegated to represent the Association in consultation with any other body shall act on the instructions of Association and shall report back to the Committee or general meeting whichever is the sooner.
f) The officers named for consultation with the Council shall be responsible for ensuring that their responses represent the views of the Association and not those of any individual. The named officer will keep a record of responses and provide them as required by the Committee or general meetings.
a) The Association shall hold an AGM once each calendar year and not more than fifteen months shall pass between one AGM and the next.
a) The AGM shall:
• Agree the minutes of the last AGM
• Receive an Annual Report from the Committee
• Present a statement of accounts to members
• Elect committee members
• Agree rates for membership fees (if any)
• Vote on any amendments to the Constitution
• Consider any resolution put forward by members
c) Any member over the age of sixteen (16) shall be entitled to stand for election to the Committee.
d) Nominations for the Committee will be accepted both before and at the AGM.
e) Nominees should be present at the AGM unless they are unable to attend due to illness, holiday, etc at the discretion of the Committee. The Secretary must be informed before the meeting.
f) Elected Councillors and Council Officers shall be invited to attend each AGM. They will confirm the meeting was arranged and conducted in accordance with the Association’s Constitution. All members must receive in writing not less than seven (7) days notice of the AGM. Notice of the AGM shall be displayed on public notice boards in the Association’s Area.
11. Special General Meetings
a) A special general meeting may be called by the Committee or if requested by at least twenty (20) representatives of the members.
12. General Meetings
a) General meetings are open to all members living in the defined area. Every member present is entitled to vote on proposals put forward.
b) At least seven (7) days notice shall be given for a general meeting. Every eligible household will receive an invitation.
c) Decisions at meetings (except those dealing with alterations to the constitution) shall be taken by a simple majority of those voting, including any proxy votes held by a Committee member and notified to the Secretary not later than three (3) days before the meeting. Each member has one vote.
d) The Chairperson of the meeting shall have only a casting vote on any resolution.
e) If a counted vote is needed, the numbers shall be counted and recorded in the minutes.
f) Alterations to the Constitution require a two-thirds majority of those voting at a general meeting. Full details of proposed changes must be circulated at the next general meeting.
g) Conflicts of interest must be declared. A member who declares conflict of interest should then withdraw from the discussion and voting on the issue in question.
a) All formal meetings must be minuted and the minutes formally approved by the next meeting (committee or general)
a) An accurate record of income and expenditure must be produced each year at the AGM to be made available to all members on request.
b) Accounts should be open to inspection by members on request
c) All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the aims of the Association and for no other purpose.
d) The Association will carry out any appropriate external scrutiny and/or audit of the accounts as required by current legislation.
e) Account(s) must be opened in the name of the Association. Cheques, transfers and other banking instruments or instructions shall be signed by the Treasurer and at least one (1) other signatory who must also be members of the Committee.
f) Signatories must not be related to, or be members of, the same household.
g) Proper records of all transactions including petty cash transactions must be kept.
h) Finances raised for or on behalf of any sub-committee must be applied only within the terms agreed by the Association Committee.
The Committee, or if a committee no longer exists, a majority of remaining members of the Association, can propose that the Association should be dissolved. They must give at least fourteen (14) days notice to all eligible members that a meeting is taking place proposing to dissolve the Association. For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum need not apply, and the Association may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of those present. Any assets remaining after settling any liabilities shall be applied for the benefit of the community in accordance with the aims of the Association.
We are a community association working to improve our neighbourhood. The Association was formed in 1971 to promote the interests of residents and local businesses in what is one of the most attractive and best known areas of London.
We are regularly consulted by, and liaise with, all those organisations involved in the enhancement, development and protection of the neighbourhood, including:
- The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
- The Metropolitan Police
- Transport for London
- Relevant Government departments
- Neighbouring amenity societies
- Residents Associations
We keep an ever-watchful eye on major planning issues, monitor licensing applications and work with the police on crime prevention. The disruptive effects of numerous subterranean builds are of particular concern. Noise in the early hours around clubs has been a source of complaints by residents. Other anti-social activities, street cleaning and lighting, traffic and parking, keep your Committee very busy.
South Kensington is a ‘destination’ venue with the exhibitions, museums, casinos and embassies attracting an incredible 36 million visitors each year. In our patch we have 7 major schools and 5 smaller nursery and day centres. Queen’s Gate is designated as a ‘Preferred Embassy Zone’ and there are regular demonstrations outside the 7 embassies and consulates.
Specific problems for Residents addressed over the past year have included:
- Noise and traffic disruption caused by the construction of basement extensions
- The planned Iranian Embassy on the corner of Queen’s Gate and Harrington Road
- Daily placing of pornographic prostitute cards in many of the 67 telephone boxes
- Upgrading of South Kensington Tube Station to match the volume of visitors
- A proposal for a large casino in Ashburn Gardens alongside the Holiday Inn
- Plans to convert existing garages on Pelham Street into retail outlets
- Dirt and litter around Gloucester Road Tube Station and Stanhope Gardens
- Commercial developments at the Natural History and Victoria & Albert Museums
Joining our residents association is a small decision that could make a big difference to our neighbourhood.