The VGS is an organisation of three parts:
- Groups – people aiming to achieve something within a subject area such as planning, energy etc. (eg: SidEnergy).
- Projects – well defined practical activities with a clear timescale for achievement. (eg: Community Actions from the Neighbourhood Plan). These need at least some people with existing skills.
- Initiatives – ideas or themes which the VGS can host or initiate, or where it can work with other groups. (eg: Sidmouth Plastic Warriors ) These may start completely from scratch with people developing knowledge as the initiative takes shape.
What do we do?
The Vision group is …
- A research group
- A focus for consultation
- A forum for open discussion of issues, problems and competing solutions
- A pooling of local talents for local problem-solving
- A think tank and ginger group
We are a voluntary organisation and have no political affiliation or funding.
In a little more detail:
The Mission of the Vision Group for Sidmouth is …
- to cherish the heritage of our Regency Resort and the surrounding coast and countryside
- to seek to improve amenities and facilities appropriate for residents and visitors in the 21st Century
- to encourage a vibrant economy, and
- to commend our vision to Local Planning initiatives
The Vision Group for Sidmouth is a branch of the Transition Network
The Vision Group works with other organisations such as …
- Sidmouth Town Council
- The Sid Vale Association
- The Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce
- The Sidmouth Hospitality Association
- East Devon District Council and Devon County Council
- Kennaway House
- The Transition Network
… and other local organisations
Save Our Sidmouth
Further details about VGS can be seen in our Constitution below.
Constitution for the Vision Group for Sidmouth – Revised on 22nd June 2011
1. Type of Association
- VGS is a voluntary, cooperative, unincorporated, not-for-profit, secular, non-party association.
2. Aim, Purpose, and Values
- The aim of VGS is to enable informed debate and to incubate and develop exemplary projects.
- The core purpose of VGS is to encourage the civil parish of Sidmouth to make the transition towards local resilience as a future-focussed community.
- The primary challenges recognised by VGS are global climate change and the reduced availability of fossil fuels
- VGS is committed to participative decision-making and social inclusion.
3. Membership, Policies, and Governance
- Anybody in the civil parish of Sidmouth (which includes Sidbury, Salcombe Regis and Sidford) can become a member of VGS by adding their name and contact details to the VGS distribution list, and can resign by removing their name at any time.
- There is no membership fee.
- VGS does not endorse any political party or political campaign and is not affiliated to any sectarian or religious organisation.
- Individual members may hold or stand for political office or engage in political campaigns and utter partisan or contentious opinions, though not explicitly as officers or members of the VGS.
- Governance of VGS resides with members who take part in open General meetings, including an Annual General Meeting, normally held in the fourth week of June.
4. Action Groups, Projects, Forums, etc.
- VGS’s work is undertaken by groups and individuals who focus on a particular issue for action, research, awareness-raising, participative planning and decision-making or other activity.
- Such action groups, projects and forums work autonomously, but provide and receive mutual support and advice through the umbrella of VGS. They may choose to establish their own constitution and affiliate to networks or organisations with similar aims.
5. Management – the Umbrella Group
- VGS is an open network and all aspects of its management shall be transparent to all members.
- An Umbrella Group provides ongoing management of VGS, with a group of officers steering its meeting agenda.
- The Umbrella’s responsibilities include coordinating VGS activities, supervising resources including finance, initiating projects, external publicity, internal communication and liaison with other organisations.
- Representatives from established VGS action groups, forums and projects form the core membership of the Umbrella Group.
- The Umbrella provides officers to fulfil the functions of chair, secretary, membership secretary, treasurer, press and publicity officer, web manager, or any other functions found to be appropriate.
- A General Meeting approves the appointment of officers, normally for a period of one year. Normally no officer will remain in office for longer than three consecutive years.
- Any member may attend and speak at an Umbrella meeting.
- Notes from Umbrella meetings are published on the VGS website. Email distribution to members and some manual distribution may also be necessary.
- The Umbrella normally meets at least six times per year with at least seven days notice of each meeting.
- Decisions of the Umbrella are where possible by consensus, but if necessary decisions are voted on by a show of hands. If there is a tied vote then the Chair has a second vote.
- VGS resources are held in common, administered by appointed officers, and applied solely to achieve VGS objectives, as agreed by the Umbrella Group.
- The Umbrella provides at least three named signatories to the VGS bank account, two of whose signatures are needed to authorise any transaction.
- The Umbrella receives regular reports on the finances.
- Payments from VGS funds must be authorised by the Umbrella, normally in advance.
- The Umbrella from time to time sets the maximum emergency payment that may be made for any activity, prior to the Umbrella’s retrospective authorisation.
- The accounts are independently examined each year by an independent auditor, not a member of the Umbrella.
- VGS may be dissolved by a two thirds majority voting at a special General Meeting (the dissolving meeting). Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of debts and liabilities shall be transferred to a local not for profit organisation with similar objects, as approved at the dissolving meeting.
7. Alterations to the Constitution
- Established in 2005 as “The Vision Group for Sidmouth”, VGS adopted a formal constitution in June 2008.
- The aims and procedures of VGS will evolve and be rearticulated from time to time.
- The constitution can be amended by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a General Meeting.
8. Adoption and amendment of the Constitution
This revised constitution of VGS (formerly “the Vision Group for Sidmouth”) was adopted at its fourth Annual General Meeting held at Kennaway House, Sidmouth on June 22nd 2011.