On a sunny morning on the 3rd of November 2019, we met to discuss a few critical issues for the future of our group. After greetings, we keenly set about signing the constitution we had approved at the previous general meeting in October.
Very early on at SL CASH we recognised the magnitude of what we are trying to achieve. We resolved it would be helpful to set up a bank account, but how would we do it? Fortunately there was no need to incorporate yet, we just had to be a constituted community group. Hence, the governance group set off to examine existing community groups' constitutions, and take them apart to see what they could learn. Primarily, we removed the steering committee body from the articles to continue facilitating the horizontal participation that had naturally unfolded at amongst us. We agreed on equal member votes and at least monthly general meetings to ensure consistent progress.
The constitution was also the first opportunity to inscribe our objectives. Below an excerpt from the constitution.
The purpose of CASH is to boost South London’s cohesion, resources, and resilience by promoting sustainable housing and co-operative living and working.
The overarching objectives of CASH are:
• To shape the future of Community Assets for Society and Housing in South London;
• To promote genuinely affordable social housing and worker-owned productive space;
• To develop proposals for mixed use developments based on co-operative principles;
• To pursue mixed-use development schemes in collaboration with local authorities and other community groups; and
• To collaboratively deliver inclusive projects.
We knew that CASH's aims will become ever clearer but we needed to capture them in that moment. In fact, at the same meeting we signed the adopted constitution and elected our officers, we proceeded to collectively rewrite our mission statement!
Ready to set up a bank account and to function in a more formal capacity, we immediately dove into discussing development opportunities. We also debated two leading legal structures we were considering to adopt next, finally introduced everyone to our new open-source cloud infrastructure Nextcloud, hosted by a Media Blaze Host co-operative from Manchester.
The moods were alight, we planned potential community engagement events and for the first time spoke of holding a meeting at The Field in New Cross. Not that we were unsatisfied by outdoor meetings in Sanford Housing Co-op and other co-ops. We all agreed that it would be preferable to situate ourselves operate within the wider community.
Ahead of us lots of work, but it's so much joy being in it together!
For the minutes from the #7 SL CASH General Meeting, please visit our public minute repository.