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You are here > Home > Members > Regional & Local Websites > North East Region > Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Dated: August 2007


Guiding Principles

1.    Area of Region

The Region consists of an unspecified number of Intergroups who have decided to affiliate.  Geographically its area consists of the counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Cleveland, (North) Humberside, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire and adjacent areas where Intergroups extend beyond these boundaries.

2.    General Aims and Purposes

These are laid out in the Service Handbook for Great Britain (page 17).  To be included: in addition

2a. Region should select six Conference Delegates to attend the General Service Conference for three years.  Their duties and responsibilities are outlined in paragraph 6e.

2b. Ideally nominate at least three members of its assemby to the General Service Board for consideration and selection by the Board, to serve for the North East Region on the General Service Board.

2c. Act as a two way channel of all information between Groups, Intergroups and Conference.  Whilst each Intergroup is autonomous, Region exists to serve Intergroups in fulfilling their basic purpose particularly by doing things which, because of scale, Intergroups cannot do for themselves.

3.    Composition of Region

3a. Each Intergroup should elect three of its number to serve as Regional Representatives (RRs).  Each RR will have the right to vote and the authority to make decisions on behalf of his/her Intergroup.  When choosing a RR, Intergroups should refer to paragraph 5 'Terms and Briefs of Officers' in addition to AA Guideline No 3 (Service Reps).  Where possible the RRs should possess the qualities stated in both.  However the final decision on selection may be left to the judgement of the Intergroup.  A RR through the nature of the appointment is accountable to his/her Intergroup only.

3b. The principle officers or Trusted Servants are Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.

3c. Region may elect other Trusted Servants for particular responsibilities, eg Prisons, Hospitals etc, only after these posts have been notified to all contactable Intergroups, with sufficient time to offer nominations to the Secretary (four weeks prior to the next Regional Assembly) in order that names of nominees may be circulated to RRs along with the agenda.  A Regional Trusted Servant is accountable to the Region.  If a Trusted Servant fails to report on three consecutive occasions without reasonable explanation, he or she should understand that the position will be assumed vacant, and nominations sought.  Nominating Intergroups should ensure that:

1.     Their nominees clearly understand the duties and responsibilities of the particular position of trust.  These details should be set out on paper.

2.     Nominees for Regional Trusted Servants roles should possess a reasonable working knowledge of AA principles as set out in the 'Big Book', 12 x 12, AA Comes of Age, AA Service Manual, The AA Service Handbook and the pamphlet The AA Group.  (The three latter publications may at some time be revised into one publication.)

3.     Prospective nominees should preferably not hold any other office at Region, the exception being Trusted Servant plus Conference Delegate.

4.     Prospective nominees should be familiar with the 12 Traditions and the 12 Concepts of World Service and their application.

5.     Have regular attendance at Group, Intergroup and Regional Assembly.

6.     Prospective nominees should be willing to offer a commitment of three years service and preferably have at least three years continuous sobriety and experience as a Trusted Servant at Group and Intergroup.

3d.    Regional Trusted Servants (Liaison Officers)

They would be expected to:

1.     Contact Intergroup Trusted Servants in their field of service, collate reports, and submit a written report to Region.

2.     Stimulate interest and support by suggesting ways of improving communications.

3.     Organise workshops, at Regional Assembly and Intergroups.

4.     Visit constituent Intergroups.

5.     Maintain regular contact with the General Service Board Sub Committees responsible in their service area.

6.     Attend national meetings for Regional Liaison Officers.  Regional Liaision Officers should be ready and willing to help Intergroup Liaison Officers.  They should lead by example and take initiatives but should always bear in mind that Intergroup Liaison Officers derive their authority (delegated) from their respective Intergroups and are accountable to that Intergroup and not to Region or any of its Trusted Servants.

3e.    Venue

Until a decision to the contrary, Region should meet at one central location.  All members of the Assembly (not observers) are at liberty to claim travelling expenses to such a location.

3f. Region should ideally meet five times a year, on a Sunday starting at 10.30am.

The calendar of Assembly meetings should be:

  • January    -  devoted in total to Conference committee questions
  • February   -  Regional business plus Conference questions report back
  • April/May  -  Regional business plus Conference report back
  • July         -  Regional business plus Workshops (to be assigned)
  • October   -  Regional business plus Workshops (to be assigned)

1.     A committee consisting of Conference Delegates and GSB member will find it constructive and individually beneficial to meet at other times to pursue Conference matters, eg December/January and April/May, and to help structure their discussion in the Assembly.

2.     Prior to each Regional Assembly, the principle officers of Region should ideally meet to formulate the Assembly‚Äôs agenda.

3.     Close liaison should be established by Conference Delegates with the Regional Board member, and with him/her be seen as the first point of reference for enquiries within the Region.

3g. A quorum for a Regional Assembly shall be 1/3rd or 15 of the 45 eligible votes.

4.    Procedures

The normal and traditional way for AA to conduct its business is to try and reach consensus by discussion and persuasion, but obviously voting cannot be excluded from all our business affairs.  All Regional Representatives, Trusted Servants and Conference Delegates present are entitled to one vote each.  If a RR is unable to attend an Assembly, the Intergroup in question may be represented by an alternative representative who holds that Intergroup's vote.

5.    If Voting is Necessary

eg in the selection of a candidate for a position of trust.

5a. If unopposed selection - vote by show of hands.

5b. If two or more candidates are involved the vote will be by secret ballot.

1.     With two candidates, a simple majority is sufficient.

2.     Where more than two candidates, an overall majority by one candidate will suffice, eg one candidate polls more than the others put together.

If there is no overall majority then a re-vote should be taken from which the candidate(s) with the least number of votes is excluded.  This process to be repeated until a straight majority (if only two left) or a 2/3rd majority if still more than two.

6.    Terms and Brief of Principle Officers

These people are the leaders of Region, and should be familiar with, and able to display, the qualities and attributes that Bill W wrote about in his essay on Leadership in AA in the 12 Concepts for World Service.  They should be able to perform as an AA leader both collectively and individually.

Any member holding a Regional office(s) as a Conference Delegate shall be entitled to one vote.

In an ideal application of rotation of office, all Principle Officers of Region having served a term of office are ineligible for re-election to any position of trust for a period of three years.

All Officers should bear in mind that the papers, records etc that they receive from their respective predecessors and any that they may create or produce are not their personal property but belong to the Fellowship and as such should be passed to the Regional Archivist for safekeeping and preservation.

6a.    Chairman - To hold office for three years.  Responsibilities include: calling meetings; approving agenda; conducting orderly meetings with due regard to Traditions and Concepts, ie in the spirit of unity and prudence; approval of minutes before publication and signing on behalf of Region when minutes are approved.  With the approval of Region, the Chairman shall have the power to co-opt members for specific tasks, but this will not confer voting rights on these members.  Matters arising between Regional Assemblies which require immediate attention can be authorised by the Chairman who must notify Region at the next Assembly.  The Chairman should co-ordinate the work of Region with and through the other officers.

6b.    Vice Chairman - Term of office - three years.  The Vice Chairman shall substitute for the Chairman if/when necessary and help/advise and consult as and when required.  The Vice Chairman will also be responsible for convening a group to organise all aspects of any Regional Forum.  The Vice Chairman will report regularly to Region on behalf of that group.

6c.    Secretary - Term of office - three years.  Responsibilities include: preparation and distribution of agenda along with written reports from Trusted Servants, if possible at least fourteen days before an assembly; despatch of minutes of previous assembly within five weeks of said assembly to the following: RRs, Trusted Servants, apologists, observers, Intergroup Secretaries, Regional Secretaries, General Service Office; collect minutes from constituent Intergroups and circulate them to the principle officers of Region.

The Secretary in particular should maintain a close liaison with the Regional Chairman, GSB member, GSO and other Regional Secretaries.

The Secretary is to handle all correspondence and ensure the earliest possible distribution to all Intergroups of all important information from GSB, GSO and vice versa.  Ideally the Regional Secretary should compile and maintain an index of Regional decisions and agreements as stated in the minutes.  Any attempt to change a decision must be forwarded to the Secretary in writing four weeks prior to the meeting.  The Secretary is also responsible for collating all nominations for Trusted Servants positions from Intergroups and Groups in writing four weeks prior to the Assembly.

6d.    Treasurer -Term of office - three years.  Responsibilities are outlined in Guideline 12 on Finance.  In attempting to fulfil these responsibilities the Treasurer should try and emphasise openness, simplicity, realism and prudence, with a clear appreciation that Regional Treasurers are the vital link between Finance Committee/Hon Treasurer and Intergroup (and through them the Fellowship in general).

Attend the annual Regional Treasurer meeting at York and Finance workshops at Intergroups.  Working at these to dispel doubts and fears and achieve open discussion of the financial needs of the Fellowship and how best to meet them.

6e.    Conference Delegates

In addition to 3c above nominees for Conference Delegates should be prepared to:

1.     Meet as a group to discuss Conference questions and recommendations.  In doing this they should be mindful that collectively they are the voice and final authority (mortal) of the Fellowship.  It is impossible to participate effectively in an informed Group Conscience without serious and thorough preparation.

2.     Chair and inform workshops at Region relevant to their Conference committee.

3.     Attend Conference at stated time and place.  An alternate Conference Delegate (the person last eliminated from the vote) should be appointed to cover any absence and at other times as of need.

4.     Participate fully in all aspects of Conference and report all aspects of Conference to Region.

5.     Be prepared to visit constituent Intergroups to share Conference experience.

6.     Be prepared to serve on subcommittees of the General Service Board if invited.