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Expulsion from Community Group.

Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:23 am

Last month I attended an "appeal hearing" for a local community group (perhaps consider it a residents association). One of the committee members had had a bee in his bonnet about various issues and had been writing letters and putting the association's name to them, and in doing so had upset various people and caused a deal of trouble.
Apparently an "EGM" was called and the committee voted unanimously that he should be expelled from the association.
The association rules allow an appeal and that was what the "hearing" was about. It was not well orchestrated IMO: the accused quite reasonably felt that it was a bit of a stitch up, and I could not properly describe it as fair.
The decision was made that he should not serve on the committee, nor to write in the name of the association. The decision, I think was fair enough, even if the hearing was not.
Today I received a letter saying that following a unanimous decision by the committee, the chap had been removed from the association.
As far as I am aware, the committee comprises three people.

Points that concern me are that I think that as a general principle all members ought to be invited to attend an EGM and as far as I am aware, it was only the committee and I don't think that three people should have that kind of power over people unless they are properly qualified and appointed people.

Obviously, an association should be governed by its constitution and I don't appear to have a copy of that. For the most part, we can assume that it is a fairly standard one downloaded off the internet. I do have a copy of their "code of conduct", which looks to me like something cobbled together with intent to get rid of this chap.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm posting this here except that I think it stinks and I want some other opinions, and I won't be at all surprised if he is thinking about legal action of some sort: he does not strike me as the type to let it lie...
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby dls » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:47 am

You are right that this is a question resolved first by looking at the constitution. That is the bit which everyone has signed up for.

At the same time, a sense of proportion is better held onto on everybody's part. He may very well be better setting up his own 'comunity group' where he is welcome.
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:09 pm

dls wrote:You are right that this is a question resolved first by looking at the constitution. That is the bit which everyone has signed up for.

At least in theory. I'm not clear that the group really knows what it is or what it is for. Where mention has been made of "the constitution" in minutes that I have looked at, it appears to refer to a list of the territory that the association covers. :?

At the same time, a sense of proportion is better held onto on everybody's part. He may very well be better setting up his own 'comunity group' where he is welcome.

Except that an association for the community of a stated area ought to be for all members of that community: they cannot exclude the freaks and the weirdos just because they do not like them.
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby dls » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:19 pm

There has to be a constitution. If none has been written down, heaven help you all.

There are some people living within communities who will never do anything but leave a mess. Yes, a group should try to be open, but the possibility should be accepted that you are better off without some people. On the other hand, such people are often the ones who 'sink to the top' of a group.
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:38 pm

Hairyloon wrote:Except that an association for the community of a stated area ought to be for all members of that community: they cannot exclude the freaks and the weirdos just because they do not like them.


But what would 'freaks and weirdos' be able to usefully contribute to any such group? This assumes that 'freaks and weirdos' are not defined just as people who's opinions differ from the majority of the community. For instance, a person attempts to join a community group. He is a self confessed supporter of paedophilia, sodomy with beasts of the field, cannibalism, and a supporter of Tony Blair. Would you welcome him with open arms?
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:42 pm

shootist wrote:But what would 'freaks and weirdos' be able to usefully contribute to any such group? This assumes that 'freaks and weirdos' are not defined just as people who's opinions differ from the majority of the community.

In the context, they are defined as people who have pissed off the committee. Consider for comparison, how often people here have been pissed off with me... ;)
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:52 pm

dls wrote:There has to be a constitution. If none has been written down, heaven help you all.

There is one: a copy was sent to the chap in question along with his letter of expulsion. That is the first and last that I have seen of it though.

There are some people living within communities who will never do anything but leave a mess. Yes, a group should try to be open, but the possibility should be accepted that you are better off without some people.

The chap has a bee in his bonnet about something. He may be right to have such a bee and he ought not have the difficulty he appears to have been having in getting proper answers about it. He is alleged to have been harassing the local MP and councillors about it. I have seen a big pile of emails to support the allegation (note, I've seen the pile, I have not read the emails). It seemed to me obsessive behaviour, possibly indicative of some kind of mental condition.

On the other hand, such people are often the ones who 'sink to the top' of a group.

I couldn't possibly comment...
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:46 pm

Clearly there has to be a rule book of one sort or another. The organisation should act in accordance with its own rules.

Equally clearly, the rule book needs to contain a mechanism for dealing with those who bring the organisation into serious disrepute, or, as may have been the case here, repeatedly purport to speak for the organisation when in fact thay do not have that authority.
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Re: Expulsion from Community Group.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:41 pm

And that is approximately what had happened: the committee threw him out, he appealed and his appeal was upheld, all more or less in accordance with the rules.
But there it goes a bit runny...
It seems to me that the committee has not accepted the judgment of the appeal hearing, they have reported of a "final warning", which I do not recall and said that his continued conduct has caused them to vote unanimously for his removal. The letter gives the impression that "unanimous" is more than the three that it actually is.

As far as that goes, that may be all fine and dandy, but I think it depends upon what he has done and whether or not he gets another appeal.
If he has continued to write in the name of the organisation, then I think it quite right that he is out and there are no grounds for appeal, but the description is that he has "continued to cause problems", which could mean anything...
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