Talking Shop’s existing constitution dates from October last year, well before the Market & Cafe. We are holding a Public Meeting to agree a revised constitution on Tuesday 13th September, 7.45pm at the Village Hall. We will take this opportunity too to discuss the objectives of the project, the challenges we face and strategies to overcome those challenges. Please put this date in your diary – the more people who come along the better the project. In the meantime have a look at the new proposed constitution:

Constitution for ‘Talking Shop’, an Action Group, Sandford-on-Thames

This constitution was adopted on ………………………..

1.    Name

The name of the organisation shall be ‘Talking Shop’ (referred to in this document as the Action Group).

2.    Area of Benefit

Sandford-on-Thames, Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

3.   Aims

3.1. To improve opportunities for community and social inclusion.

3.2. To improve access to local produce and services.

3.3. To create a sustainable ‘community hub’ including a Community Café &/or Market &/or Shop (hereafter referred to as the Community Hub) to be run for the benefit of all who live and work in the area.

3.4. To contribute positively to the sustainability of the community’s resources.

4.    Objectives of the Action Group

4.1. To develop a democratic organisation with an open membership structure.

4.2. To develop, organise, promote and run Sandford’s Saturday Market & Café as a sustainable resource, a source of local produce and as a part of the Community Hub.

4.3. To research, plan, promote and set up a Community Hub shaped so as to be sustainable, accessible and to best meet the needs of the community.

4.4. To develop and support a committed volunteer team, including providing and promoting opportunities for volunteers to meet and socialise, and promoting opportunities for further learning / training / employment for those volunteers.

4.5. To form community partnerships with other communities, groups and organisations.

4.6. To work with and support local producers.

4.7. To understand, support and promote opportunities for sustainable local energy generation.

5.   Values

5.1. At all stages of the project the Action Group will strive to promote inclusion and equality of opportunity.

5.2. The Action Group will reuse and recycle materials where possible and will design its operations where possible to (i) minimise energy consumption and waste, and (ii) to generate its own energy locally and sustainably.

6.   Management and Membership

6.1. The Action Group shall be managed by a Steering Committee, comprising in the first year of those members of the Action Group who volunteer to join the Steering Committee and can devote time to promoting, directing and achieving the objectives of the organisation.

6.2. After the first year Steering Committee members will be elected once a year at the Action Group’s AGM. The Committee has the power to co-opt up to 4 additional members during the year. Working Groups set up by the Steering Committee also have the power to co-opt members into those groups.

6.3. Holders of office in the Steering Committee will be detailed in an annexe to the Constitution and updated as necessary.

7.    Meetings

7.1. The Steering Committee will meet at least monthly. All minutes will be publicised.

7.2. The quorum for meetings of the Steering Committee shall be one third of the members of the committee or 2 people if membership is less than 6.

7.3. Public Meetings will be held quarterly. All meeting dates will be advertised and all residents of the area are invited to attend/submit ideas.

7.4. The Steering Committee may at any time call an extra-ordinary meeting stating the issues to be discussed.

7.5. An AGM will be held annually at which the Steering Committee will present a report on the year and the annual accounts.

8.    Powers

8.1. The Action Group shall have the power to do all such lawful acts as are necessary to achieve its Aims and Objectives.

8.2. The Action Group shall set up a proper vehicle to take over the running and management of the Community Hub when appropriate.

9.   Finance

9.1. The Action Group shall have the authority to raise funds and to solicit and accept donations to further its aims and objectives and shall apply those funds solely for this purpose.  A record of all sums received shall be maintained.

9.2. The Action Group shall have the authority to open and run a bank account and shall authorise a member or members of the Steering Committee to operate the account on their behalf.

9.3. Any funds remaining in the bank account shall on dissolution be paid directly to the vehicle set up to run the Community Hub.  If the Action Group is dissolved without a Community Hub being formed, all remaining funds shall be divided: donations first to be returned to donors if the donor so wishes (funds to be allocated proportionately if necessary); then any remaining balance to be donated to a local cause, project or charity, such recipient(s) to be decided at a public meeting through the agreement of two thirds of those present.

9.4. No payment shall be made to a member of the Steering Committee except to reimburse approved expenses incurred in the work of the Action Group (for which a receipt shall be required).


10.1.              Amendments to the constitution must be considered at a public meeting and require the agreement of two thirds of those present.


11.1.              The Action Group shall be dissolved on the following grounds:

  • The formation of a proper legal vehicle to run and manage the Community Hub
  • Two thirds of the members of the Steering Committee agreeing to dissolve the Action Group
  • The Steering Committee failing to meet for a period of 6 weeks

Signed & Dated:

……………………………………………..(Chair) ..………………………………….. (Secretary)