A guide to the Annual General Meeting
The Bond Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a formal meeting of Bond members which provides an opportunity to review the work of the organisation in the previous year, at which the organisation’s finances, current progress on the strategy and plans for the future are presented to members for discussion and examination.
It is also the occasion on which new board members are elected, and any other business relating to the organisation can be discussed.
This guide answers the questions that you may have about the AGM and the election process.
The 2017 AGM took place on Tuesday 5 December 2017.
Click here for the minutes of the 2016 AGM, which were approved at the 2017 AGM. The minutes of the 2017 AGM will be approved at the 2018 AGM.
Who can attend?
Anyone from a Bond member organisation can attend the AGM, free of charge, but only your organisation’s designated voter can take part in discussions or vote.
Elections to the Bond board
How can I stand for election to the Bond board?
There are up to 12 members of the board of Bond, and there are regular annual vacancies as terms of office come to an end. Anyone from a full member organisation (but not associate members) can stand for election to the Bond board. You don’t have to be the chief executive of your organisation, but you will need lots of energy, as well as substantial leadership and strategic experience.
As part of your application, you will need to have written consent from your employer that they are willing to release you for the time commitments involved. We will also need a short written statement that demonstrates the skills and approaches that you will bring to the board. The statement, along with a career profile, will be published ahead of the election.
What kind of time commitments are involved?
Election to the board is for an initial three-year term. You will need to allow for approximately one day per month averaged across the whole year. There are four board meetings per year, a board away day, the Annual General Meeting and the Bond Annual Conference. Board members are expected to prioritse these dates.
You may also be required to serve on individual board sub-committees, to serve on external committees or represent Bond at external meetings. There is a substantial amount of reading and paperwork associated with the governance of the organisation, which will require your energy and attention. Newly elected board members will receive a full induction.
How does the board choose co-optees?
The board can nominate up to four co-optees to sit on the board, and up to three of these can come from outside the membership. Co-optees are there to provide specific and particular skills and perspectives which can add value to strategic delivery and the successful governance of the organisation.
The presumption is that co-optees will be sourced initially from within the membership and the board will only consider non-members for the board where those skills and perspectives cannot be found within the membership.
Motions and resolutions
So that members are able to raise issues of concern, Bond has a process by which members can bring motions and resolutions to the AGM for discussion by the wider network.
How do I bring a motion or resolution?
You will need to complete the form, and include the details of a proposer from your organisation and a seconder from a different organisation. Your draft motion should be no more than 100 words. In recent years members have debated motions around issues of drug policy, caste discrimination and the UK disapora.
What’s the difference between a motion, an ordinary resolution and a special resolution?
Motions are designed to make it simple to bring forward matters of policy or issues of concern to the AGM which you would like to see debated by the wider membership. It’s designed to be a much easier process than proposing an ordinary resolution or a special resolution, and only requires the support of one other member organisation. Motions are passed by a simple majority.
Special or ordinary resolutions
To propose a special or ordinary resolution requires the signatures of at least 5% of the membership (currently this would mean 22 members). Both these resolutions are reserved for formal Companies Act business, such as constitutional or name changes. Special resolutions require at least a 75% majority. Ordinary resolutions are for other business under Company Law which is less significant in nature and can be passed by a simple majority.
Will my motion or amendment be accepted automatically?
No. All proposals for motions, resolutions or amendments will first be considered by a Standing Orders Committee made up of three board members. The committee will work with proposers to help clarify anything in the motions or resolutions that is unclear or ambiguous and produce composite motions when there is one more than one submission in the same area. The committee will also consider amendments in the same way. The aim is to make sure that the motions, resolutions and amendments are clearly articulated to the wider membership and there is a clear issue to vote upon.
Could my proposal for a motion or amendment be rejected?
It is very unlikely that a motion or amendment would be completely rejected. The only circumstance in which this would happen is if the same issue has been discussed at two previous AGMs or if the issue is not regarded as specifically relevant. In all other circumstances we will work with you to produce a motion that is clear and concise, and ready for consideration by the wider membership.
If you are not happy with the decision of the Standing Orders Committee and want to appeal, an Appeals Committee, made up of three different board members, will be set up to consider the points raised, and report back to the board and the proposers with their recommendations. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
If the motion or amendment is passed at the AGM, what happens next?
The board will take very seriously any motion passed at the AGM, and will report back to the membership at the AGM the following year on how it has met the terms of the motion. In practice, the board will respond to member concerns much more quickly. The only circumstance in which the terms of a motion will not be complied with, is when it contradicts the strategic direction of Bond, or is not felt to be in the best interests of the organisation; in either case, the decision would be explained to the membership.
Are there other ways of raising issue of concern?
There are many ways to raise issues of concern within the network. You can contact the board at any time or the chief executive and staff at Bond. Your issue can be raised in confidence and we will help you find the best route to bring any appropriate concerns to the wider membership. You can use the Bond groups if the issue has a relevance to one of their thematic areas, and you can communicate through the wider network of My Bond. The annual conference, our events programme and the range of communications channels are also available to raise issues within the membership.
The AGM happens only once a year, so we don’t see this as the main forum by which issues of concern should be raised. As there are many routes both formal and informal that can be used to bring issues to wider attention, we feel that the AGM should be used to raise issues where all other options have been exhausted. Please talk to us first if you are at all uncertain about which channel to use.
Who can vote at the AGM?
All organisations that are full members of Bond have the right to vote at the AGM. On joining Bond, full members nominate an individual in their organisation (the Bond voter) to hold the voting rights permanently on their organisation’s behalf. If no Bond voter is nominated, the director or chief executive becomes the Bond voter by default.
We send all correspondence regarding the AGM, including any motions, resolutions or amendments, by email directly to all Bond voters. They can vote in person, by proxy or by email/post.
Can someone vote on my behalf?
If the Bond voter is unable to attend the AGM, they can vote by email or post or nominate someone else temporarily to vote on their behalf at the AGM using a proxy voting form. The proxy form will be sent out with the AGM papers.
If you have any questions about voting by proxy or by email/post, please contact AGM@bond.org.uk.
Who can take part in discussion at the AGM?
Anyone from a member organisation can attend the AGM, but only Bond voters can speak or vote in a debate on a motion or resolution. There’s a formal process by which issues are discussed, for which more details can be found in the Standing Orders.