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Save the Cass at Aldgate Community Group: Terms of Reference

Purpose

The voluntary Community Group, Save the Cass at Aldgate: Campaign for Community Assets for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, has been set up in the first instance to register the buildings occupied and about to be occupied in Aldgate by the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design (the Cass), as a Community Asset that furthers the social well-being and social interests of the local community. The buildings include Central House, home to the art and architecture schools, and Calcutta House – where the Design School will be moving to this summer (2016).

 The Community Group will take the opportunity to address the wider issue of community assets representing the arts in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It will campaign for their retention, support and inclusion in the development of a ‘Neighbourhood Development Plan’.

 The formation of this group and the above activities are undertaken under the government’s Localism Act 2011.

 Membership

The Save the Cass at Aldgate Community Group includes named residents living or working in the borough of Tower Hamlets.

 Powers

To further its purpose, the Save the Cass at Aldgate Community Group will maintain a Working Group of 3-7 members charged with managing the nomination/s for Asset of Community Value. The Working Group will be responsible for keeping records, developing and maintaining channels of communication between members, seeking advice from professional consultants, and working with the Borough of Towers Hamlets on all aspects concerning the nomination/s for Asset of Community Value.

 Finance

To further its purpose the Save the Cass at Aldgate Community Group may engage with fundraising activities. These will be authorised by the Working Group who will be responsible for their conduct and oversight on behalf of the Community Group.

 Conduct

The Save the Cass at Aldgate Community Group will adhere to a code of conduct:

1. Minutes of formal meetings will be kept and made available to all members of the Community Group within seven days of the meeting.

2. The Working Group will collect evidence, develop strategies and recommendations. It will report to the wider membership at regular intervals, seeking their views and support and acting accordingly.

3. Members of the Working Group will aim to make decisions by consensus. However should a vote be required each member will have one vote and a simple majority will be required to support any motion. The Chair (or in their absence, Acting Chair) will have one casting vote. Show of hands will suffice for voting but names can be recorded if required by any working group member present.

4. All members will abide by common rules of discussions protocol including orderly, chair managed discussions and a culture of mutual respect.

 Governing Principles

All members of the Community Group will recognise that, while they may represent a particular group in the community, their role is to move forward the objective of the Community Group in a way that benefits the whole community. Members of the group will recognise and declare any potential conflicts of interest.

 Members of the Working Group accept the following principles:

a) A steering group which is open and transparent and welcomes new membership

b) An inclusive consultation and decision making process

c) Active participation by members

d) Robust evidence gathering

e) Actions based on evidence of consultation

 Members of the Working Group accept the following principles in conducting their role (known as the Nolan Principles as recommended by the Committee of Standards in Public Life 1995)

Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.