Our Structure

Guisra does have a heirarchy. The aim is
to improve the town for all residents

Guisra is a truly democratic association but with a carefully defined organisational structure to ensure the smooth running and power hungry individuals cannot corrupt our aims. Roles within Guisra are short term to avoid an entrenched power base. The important vision that we will always keep at the forefront is that we are doing this to improve Guisborough for all its residents regardless of their beliefs. We are an apolitical organisation and as such will not endorse political candidates unless our membership votes otherwise.


As a registered member of Guisra you decide how involved you get, although we want as many residents as possible to be involved in the process. There are rules pertaining to meetings and how votes will be carried out but as a whole we keep bureaucracy as light as possible .

Registered members are eligible to:

Prospective candidates for the project office put their names forward for selection. The first stage is for a simple yes/no vote on whether the prospective candidate can go forward. For a prospective candidate to go forward to the next stage they must achieve a simple majority. At the next stage the candidate names are placed in a virtual hat (or a real hat depending on practicalties) and chosen by drawing lots. If six project office members are being sought and only six candidates are standing then they are automatically selected for a one year term.

Note: The reason prospective candidates must first be voted on by membership is to ensure we do not have a grouping join Guisra in order to undermine it.

This can be proposals on how we select members of the project office for example. Once an enhancement to procedure is suggested it will be detailed with the help of the project office and then must gain 10 sponsors in order to be carried forward to a full vote of the membership. Voting will be electronic.

There is a form on the website to raise portfolio requests here (note: You must be registered to access the form). The membership will vote on whether a portfolio item is carried forward, what prioirty it will receive and when the policy paper should be completed by. Should you wish to raise a portfolio request and do not have access to the website then you can approach another member to raise your request on your behalf.

All Portfolio items will be available to vote on by the full membership. Voting is carried out via the website. You need to be logged in to vote.

There will be a group per approved portfolio item to convert it into a policy. As a registered member you can join more than one group and help formulate the solution. Often multiple portifolio items will be grouped together and form a single policy.

Prospective project office members must first be cleared by the membership to stand and then will be chosen by sortition. See a project office member’s role here

The membership will vote on the prospective project office members prior to them being accepted for inclusion in sortition. The membership can vote for all prospective project office members to go forward to sortition.

Under some circumstances it may be necessary for a project office member to be removed from the role. This should be very rare. If a project office member cannot find time to fulfill a role they may be asked to stand down to create a vacancy for somebody with more time. See the constitution for full criteria on a member being removed from the project office.

All members can submit articles for the website and newsletter. It is expected that articles will in the majoirty of cases be accepted without editoral intervention, even where the article is critical of the assembly.

It is the intention that all meetings will have an option to join online. This ensures that those with disabilities, transport issues or other commitments are able to attend.

There are areas on the website that are only available once you are registered with Guisra such as voting, online meetings etc.

To be a registered member of Guisra you must:

  • Be a resident of Guisra and be able to provide evidence of your address if required
  • Agree to the rule book at registration
  • Agree to constitution at registration

Project Office

The project office (PO) acts as facilitators for Guisborough residents to ensure the smooth running of policy creation and enactment. All PO roles are voluntary and are up for frequent election.

Election MethodSortitionSortition is the action of selecting or determining something by the drawing of lots. Sortition dates back to ancient Athens and aims to reduce factionalism and avoid the creation of a power base within Guisra.   
Term1 yearAs the PO’s main role is to facilitate projects and suggest strategic direction it will greatly advantage the assembly to have a turnover of members.
RoleFacilitationEach PO member will lead projects, working with members to deliver policy papers. Once a paper is complete it will be put to the membership for deliberation.   The PO members will also suggest strategic direction or work with the membership to understand and facilitate their portfolio requests.   See a fuller board role description here

PO members will be involved in selection of the administration team.
Number of PO members6The number of members will vary as it becomes more apparent what the ideal number is. If for example there was 1 place available and 4 people stood then the names would go into a hat (or the equivalent) and the name that was drawn would be the new member of the board.   Guisra members can vote for the number of PO members to be changed. Also the membership can vote to have a PO member removed. If a PO member is removed by vote and wishes to stand again they must usually wait 2 years.   See a description of the voting procedure here


Members of administration will take on specific responsibilities to ensure the smooth running of Guisra. Roles in administration will be a mix of voluntary and paid. While establishing Guisra it may be that the majority of roles are voluntary, but over time it would be expected to pay roles where it impacts markedly on people’s time. Pay will never be enough to replace a typical paid job.

Roles within administration will be such things as:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Personnel
  • General Admin
  • IT
  • Legal
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