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Earth Moves Cooperative Limited Standing Orders


Including financial procedures on cash, payroll and asset control

March 2017(Draft 1)

Introduction to Earth Moves Cooperative Limited

Earth Moves Cooperative Limited provides an umbrella co-operative that generates economic activity to facilitate well-being and transformation, through a mixture of arts activities and immersion with nature, so as to promote social ecological awareness, across both rural and urban environments and communities.

We offer educational, transformational and uplifting events that involve nature immersion, art and movement. We deliver workshops, classes, performances and team building. We offer services ourselves and also have a selection of freelancers who are known to us and who resonate with our core beliefs..

We are currently developing an industrial scale greenhouse in Wallasey which will function as a venue, organic food producing centre and community hub for growers and like minds.

We aim to to develop and promote economic democracy alongside social-ecological understanding and spiritual unity with the Earth. We aim to facilitate community engagement through linking creative application to environmental concerns and the promotion of progressive principles of nurturing, tolerance, compassion and connectedness. We look to generate collective endeavors for social change and ethical communication and create cultural bridges for and between various strands of the community.

Earth Moves Cooperative Values

“A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

“Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.”

International Co-operative Alliance Statement on the Co-operative Identity

Members Policy Summary

This policy will describe how Earth Moves Cooperative will ensure fairness, and a high standard of professionalism when receiving and spending, public and charitable money.

Policy Statement

The Standing Orders are issued by Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group. No changes shall be permitted without the prior approval of the Group. The Standing Orders will be reviewed from time to time and may be subsequently amended. The absence of a review will not cause them to lapse.

Procedures

Contents

1. ADMINISTRATION

1.1. Incoming/outgoing post

1.2. Official Seals and Company Record Books

1.3. Salaries/ Expenses and Redundancy Payments

1.4. Car Allowances

1.5. Travel by Public Transport

1.6. Approved Consultants

2. MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

3. FINANCES

3.1. General

3.2. Banking

3.3. Financial Accounting

3.4. Budgets and Management Accounts

3.5. Cash Flow

3.6. Income

3.7. Petty cash

3.8. Payments

3.9. Insurances

3.10. Suppliers

3.11. Orders

4. DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE

4.1. Development

4.2. Land and building transactions

4.3. Tenders and Tendering

4.4. Development Finance Applications

4.5. Approved Contractors

4.6. Legal requirements

4.7. Repairs and Maintenance

1. ADMINISTRATION

1.1. Incoming/outgoing post

1.1.1. Incoming post shall be opened by a member of the Core Members Group of the Earth Moves Cooperative

1.1.2. All post addressed to members shall be placed unopened in the pigeonhole at Earth Moves Cooperative’s registered office at 20, Prescot Street, Wallasey CH45 9JW

1.1.3. All post will be dispatched by a director of Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Group. Second class shall be used unless authorised by a a member of the Core Members Group.

1.1.4. All cheques received by post shall be entered onto the Cheque Received System prior to processing.

1.2. Official Company Records

1.2.1. The official Company documents and any registers of members, minute books and tenders received records shall be kept in a safe or locked cabinet.

1.3. Salaries/ Expenses and Redundancy Payments

1.3.1. Salaries shall be paid on the 28th day of each calendar month or nearest working day before the 28th if that day is non-working.

1.3.2. Salary payments are to be made by BACS transfer.

1.3.3. Changes to an employee’s salary will only be processed when the treasurer/finance manager receives a letter of authorisation from the Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group. Changes to the remuneration of Directors of Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group must be authorised by the full agreement of directors of the Cooperative.

1.3.4. Redundancy payments must be authorised by Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group. Payment is to be made by cheque the day after the employee or member has left.

1.3.5. Only expenditure on travel and subsistence wholly and necessary incurred on the business of Earth Moves Cooperative shall be reimbursed. Claims must be made up to the end of each month on standard expense claim forms and authorised by two directors of Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group.

1.3.6. Claims must be supported by a VAT invoice or receipt.

1.3.7. Expense reimbursements shall be paid by cheque.

1.3.8. Expenditure on travelling and subsistence incurred by any individual must have the prior written authority of the Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group.

1.3.9. Director’s expenses shall be approved and authorised by the Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group.

1.4. Car Allowances

1.4.1. Allowances towards the cost of travel by private car on the Cooperative’s business shall be claimed monthly at a rate approved by Earth Moves Cooperative’s Core Members Group.

1.4.2. It is the responsibility of any employee, member or core member using a privately owned car for business purposes to ensure that at the time of use, it is insured for business purposes.

1.5. Travel by Public Transport

1.5.1. Rail travel on the Company’s business must be by standard class or the equivalent price unless pressing reasons arise for other travel to be used. Approval for other class travel at a higher cost than standard class must be obtained in advance from no less than 2 members of the Core Members Group or 2 further Core Members Group if the traveller is a Core Member.

1.5.2. Rail or coach travel must, wherever possible and as a priority, be arranged to take advantage of reduced rate tickets.

1.5.3. Subject to 5.2 above, the cost of travel by rail or coach on the Cooperative’s business shall be reimbursed within the limit of the cost of the journey as if made from the Company’s Office.

1.5.4. The Cooperative will normally purchase all travel tickets in advance.

1.6. Approved Consultants

1.6.1. The Core Members Group must approve all professional advisors before they are allowed to work for Earth Moves Cooperative.

1.6.2. All consultants must sign agreement to the provisions of the Earth Moves Cooperative’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity policy.

1.6.3. If a professional advisor has not worked for the Cooperative for two years or more, they should be subject to re-approval by the Core Member’s Group before being allowed to remain on the list of approved advisors.

1.6.4. If a professional advisor has been working on a regular basis, they should be subject to a re-approval by the Core Members Group every two years.

1.6.5. The recommendation of the Core Members Group on a new advisor to be added to the list will be based on the level of professional service and relevant experience being offered.

1.6.6. It should be made clear to all consultants that fees shall not be paid on any work done “at risk”.

2. MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

2.1. The Company’s management policies are laid down in the Cooperative’s Policy Folder adopted by the Core Members Group.

2.2. These Policies are reviewed by the Core Members Group

2.3. The Core Members Group may amend the procedures and appendix attached to each policy to improve efficiency and performance and reflect growing understanding in each area.

2.4. Occasionally cross cutting issues covering a number of policies and procedures are collected in a strategy paper. The current policies are:

2.5. Equality and Diversity Policy

2.6. The full list of policies are catalogued in the Policy Review Schedule held in the Company’s office.

3. FINANCES

3.1. General

3.1.1. It will be the duty of the Core Members Group to ensure these regulations are adhered to.

3.1.2. All members will be supplied with a copy of the Standing Orders and of any changes to them and will observe them as required by their job descriptions.

3.2. Banking

3.2.1. Accounts will be maintained with a bank nominated by the Core Members Group.

3.2.2. The treasurer/finance manager will be responsible, as agreed by the Core Members Group for arrangements made with the Company’’s bankers.

3.2.3. All bank accounts will be reconciled at the end of each month.

3.2.4. All chequebooks shall be kept under the overall control of the treasurer/finance manager and shall be kept in the locked safe at the Cooperative’s registered address when not in use.

3.3. Financial Accounting

3.3.1. The Cooperatives’s financial year will be from 1st April to 31st March. Financial accounts will be submitted to the Annual General Meeting within six months of the financial year-end and copies will be filed with the Registrar of Companies, Company’s House.

3.3.2. The accounts will be kept in such a manner that:-

3.3.3. Statutory requirements are met;

3.3.4. Appropriate information is produced for the financial control of the Cooperative in accordance with the requirements of the Core Members Group.

3.3.5. Designated projects can be easily identified and monitored.

3.3.6. The treasurer/finance manager will be responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the accounts and accounting systems to the best professional standards. The treasurer will have access to all documents and records necessary to oversee proper financial control of the Company.

3.4. Budgets and Management Accounts

3.4.1. The treasurer/finance manager will prepare annual budgets and will present the budget to the Core Members Group for approval, in advance of the financial year.

3.4.2. Details of capital expenditure and cyclical maintenance will be included in the budget. Outline proposals for the following two years will also be prepared.

3.4.3. Management accounts will be prepared monthly and will be presented to the Core Members Group in advance of each Core Members Group meeting.

3.4.4. The accounts shall include as a minimum, an income and expenditure account, a balance sheet, and cash forecast.

3.4.5. The Core Members Group can approve transfers between different budget categories to the limit of £2000 per annum.

3.4.6. The Core Members Group in advance of expenditure must approve transfers in excess of this amount.

3.5. Cash Flow

3.5.1. The management accounts shall include a detailed cash flow showing past monthly cash transactions and forward monthly cash forecast for a period of at least 6 months.

3.6. Income

3.6.1. All cheques and cash received should be banked promptly.

3.6.2. Receipts shall be given for all cash income and also for other remittances when requested.

3.6.3. Outstanding rent arrears and other debts can only be written off on the full authority of the Core Members Group. Amounts over £250 must be reported to the Core Members Group.

3.6.4. Changes to accommodation charges are to be approved by the Core Members Group.

3.7. Petty Cash

3.7.1. Petty cash floats will be held by treasurer/finance manager and will be kept in a secure place.

3.7.2. The treasurer/finance manager will be responsible for recording any petty cash expenditure.

3.7.3. All other cash will be kept locked in the safe, with keys being held by the finance manager or a nominated assistant during their absence, as decided by the Core members Group.

3.7.4. The balance of petty cash will be restored on an imprest basis to an amount recommended by treasurer/finance manager and will be reviewed monthly by the Core Members Group. For practical reasons petty cash may be restored from cash receipts when authorised by treasurer/finance manager.

3.7.5. Each petty cash voucher must be signed by the recipient and countersigned by the line manager.

3.7.6. No advances shall be made nor shall IOU’s be accepted and no personal cheques shall be cashed from petty cash.

3.7.7. The petty cash records and float shall be balanced on a weekly basis and checked by the treasurer/finance manager and presented to the Core Members Group.

3.8. Payments

3.8.1. Generally, payments to creditors should be made at the end of the month following the month of invoice.

3.8.2. Invoices can only be entered onto the supplier accounting system when 2 members of the Core Members Group have approved them. In the case of tangible goods there must be a signed delivery note attached to the invoice.

3.8.3. Payments up to £500 can be made using the BACS system. Payments by BACS over £500 are approved by the Core Members Group.

3.8.4. The treasurer/finance manager must sign their approval of the computer BACS payment list.

3.8.5. Payments over £500 must be by cheque, except for payroll and tax related payments.

3.8.6. Payments to other suppliers of goods or services will only be made on the presentation of a Cheque Request Form. This form must be supported by a VAT invoice and signed by two members of the Core Members Group.

3.8.7. Two authorised Core Members can sign cheques up to £1000. Cheques over £1000 require written approval by the Core Members Group.

3.8.8. Cheque signatories are authorised by the Core Members Group. The treasurer will hold an up-to-date list.

3.8.9. The finance manager or treasurer cannot be cheque signatories.

3.9. Insurances

3.9.1. All assets and potential liabilities must be fully covered and this will be reviewed annually.

3.9.2. The Core Members Group will be responsible for arranging all insurance cover and negotiating all claims. They may in some cases delegate the latter function to a finance manager.

3.9.3. Members will notify the Core Members Group of any loss, liability or damage or any event likely to lead to a claim.

3.9.4. All insurance claims and other potential losses or liabilities to be reported to the Core Members Group.

3.10. Suppliers

3.10.1 The person requesting a new supplier will complete the New Supplier Set Up form.

3.10.2 The treasurer/finance manager or at least two Core Group members will independently check the suppliers details before setting up the required payment details on the system.

3.10.3 Amendments to supplier details must be similarly checked when their details are altered by the treasurer/finance manager.

3.10.4 Documentary evidence such as a letter head from the supplier must be kept on file by the finance department.

3.11. Orders

3.11.1. All goods and services must be ordered on an official order. Two members of the Core Members Group shall sign the order.

3.11.2. Individual orders which are estimated to commit the Company to amounts between £500 and £1000 must be authorised by 3 members of the Board. Except in the cases where there is only one supplier, three written quotations shall be requested for such orders.

3.11.3. Individual orders which are estimated to commit the Company to a cost in excess of £10000 shall be approved by Core Members Group. The quotation shall apply as in 3.10.1.

4. DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE

4.1. Development

4.1.1. The Cooperative will produce annually a development strategy and business plan for three years, which will be reviewed by Core Members Group.

4.2. Land and Building Transactions

4.2.1. The Core Members Group must approve details of any potential purchases or sales before any negotiations with any other parties begin.

4.2.2. The Cooperatives’s solicitors must be employed to advise on any property purchase or sale.

4.3. Tenders and Tendering

4.3.1. At the opening of tenders those present must sign that they verify the accuracy of the tender on the tender submission.

4.3.2. Tenders for advertised bids shall be opened in the presence of a least two members of Core Members Group. Other Core Members Group members and their advisors to the Cooperative may be present. Details of the tenders opened shall be entered immediately into the tender register and the signatures of three of those present shall vouch for the accuracy of the entry.

4.3.3. A report of the tenders received shall be submitted to the next meeting of the Core Members Group.

4.3.4. The lowest tender received which meets the conditions and specifications associated with the invitation to tender shall be acceptable unless the Cooperative has become aware of a change in the financial situation or organisational capacity of the bidder or has received information suggesting that the bidder is likely to prove incapable of executing the contract to the reasonable satisfaction of the Core Members Group.

4.3.5. While the lowest tender received ( as above) may usually be considered acceptable this needs to be balanced against the ethical advantages of a higher bid with regards the reputation of the Cooperative.

4.3.6. At least three tenders from contractors named on the approved list shall be invited for each contracts of over £10,000 and 3 for those under £10,000. All contractors invited to tender must meet the Earth Moves Cooperative’s approved standards and ethical position.

4.3.7. In the event of less than three tenders actually being returned by the appointed date, the Cooperative shall go out to tender again.

4.3.8. An investigation will be carried out on the two lowest tenders before the contract is signed.

4.4. Development Finance Applications

4.4.1. The Core Members Group must discuss all applications for development finance before any negotiations begin.

4.5. Approved Contractors

4.5.1. Only contractors and professional advisors approved by the Core Members Group shall be allowed to work for the Cooperative.

4.6. Legal requirements

4.6.1. The solicitor appointed by the Core Members Group shall be instructed to act in each individual transaction.

4.7. Repairs and Maintenance

4.7.1. The Cooperative will maintain a list of approved contractors. Only contractors from the list shall be allowed to work for the Association. Where there is no contractor with the required skills or ethical values, any new contractor must be approved by the Core Members Group.

4.7.2. The Cooperative will select contractors on the basis of specific skills. It is the Cooperatives’s Policy to carry out as many repairs as possible in house. Some repairs will require specialist contractors.

4.7.3. Whenever possible, all contractors should comply with the Company’s policies.

4.7.4. All contractors will provide a valid certificate of 3rd party liability insurance to the value of £5,000,000 to get on and remain on the list of approved contractors.

4.7.5. All contractors must complete a contractors questionnaire supplied by the Cooperative as part of their bid.

4.7.6. The Core Members Group will review the approved list from time-to-time.

Date: 10th March 2017

c/o Earth Moves Cooperative Limited,20, Prescot Street, New Brighton, Wallasey, Merseyside CH45 9JW

Telephone: 0151 638 3768 Email: [email protected] Web: www.earthmoves.org

Company Number 10651808

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