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ATCO - Rules of Association

Aim and objectives

ATCO exists to facilitate the sharing of information and views between individuals involved in commissioning, securing, providing and promoting passenger transport services within local authorities, organisations associated with local authorities, other public sector bodies (including within the NHS), and independent organisations such as universities and colleges. It does this with the aim of helping staff within these organisations to effectively meet the transport needs of their populations or communities of interest.

ATCO’s main objectives are to:

  • Share knowledge and experience, and promote best practice.

  • Shape and influence policy and practices.

  • Develop skills and knowledge.

  • Be an advocate for the role of shared public passenger transport in society.

ATCO’s areas of interest

ATCO’s interests extend to the work of professionals who are involved in:

  • Developing policies under which passenger transport services are provided

  • Securing and developing local bus services

  • Planning and providing education transport services

  • Planning and providing social care transport services

  • Planning and providing health care transport services

  • Developing, funding and arranging community transport

  • Developing and operating passenger fleets within the public sector

  • Managing and administering fares, ticketing and concessionary travel schemes

  • Regulating taxi and private hire car provision

  • Development and provision of infrastructure to support the provision of passenger transport

  • Development and provision of information and marketing materials to promote passenger transport


Members will be drawn from various types of organisations:

  • Local transport authorities, combined authorities, district councils with responsibilities for education and social care transport and other public-sector transport bodies

  • Organisations that work with, have an interest in, or support the work of ATCO

  • Consultancies and suppliers that work with, and support, the above organisations

In addition, individual membership will be available to those who are working within, or have retired from, the types of organisations listed above.

The Board may grant membership to any other person it considers would be in the interests of ATCO.

Each named member (either individual, or registered individual from an organisation with corporate membership) will be entitled to:

  • Receive communications directly from ATCO

  • Participate in ATCO activities, information exchange and meetings, including any EGM or AGM

  • Discounted attendance at ATCO events

  • Participate in making responses to consultations on behalf of ATCO

  • Represent ATCO at events

In addition, only members working in local authority public sector organisations involved in planning, procuring and providing passenger transport services will have:

  • One vote at an EGM or AGM

Membership of ATCO, and the benefits of that membership, will only be in place for the period that a subscription has been paid.

The Board will have the power to withdraw membership at any time from anyone whose membership, in the Board’s opinion, no longer serves the interests of the Association.

Membership will run from April to March each year. Subscriptions (i.e. actual payment) must be received by ATCO by the end of April, otherwise membership will be withdrawn.

No refunds will be made to members who leave the Association during the year.

Members who fail to pay their subscription and therefore have their membership withdrawn, and who subsequently wish to rejoin, will be charged the current membership fee plus an administration fee of 30% of their subscription.

The Board will have the power to withdraw membership from anyone who is not serving the interests of ATCO.


The Board will consist of:

  • Chair

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • 9 other individuals (5 of whom will be nominations and 4 will be co-opted by the Board); one of these will be the Vice Chair

Of the 9 ordinary Board members, at least 2 of the positions will be drawn from Regional or Country leads (or their nominated representatives) and 1 from Theme Group leads (or their nominated representative). No more than 3 members of the Board will be from organisations that are outside of local government or the public sector. One Board place may be taken by an individual member who is retired.


Only local government or other public-sector members will be able to undertake the roles of Chair and Vice Chair. To be eligible to take these roles they should have been members of ATCO for at least 3 full consecutive years.

The Chair will be appointed by the Board and will serve for up to 3 years. One of the 9 ordinary Board members will be selected by the Board as Vice Chair.

Terms of office on the Board will be for up to 3 years, with an option to continue for up to a further 3 years. Any individual who has served for the maximum 6 year period, must then stand down for at least 1 year before being eligible to apply for a Board position again.

A Board member will be expected to be committed to serving the needs of ATCO and to attend as many Board meetings as possible. Failure to attend 3 consecutive meetings without good reason will lead to that member’s board position being terminated.

The Board will meet (in person or via teleconference or video link) at least 4 times per year.

A Board meeting will require a quorum of 6 (or at least 50% of the Board membership if the Board has fewer than 12 members in total) in order to make decisions on behalf the Association.

Each member of the Board will have one vote for decisions at Board meetings. The Chair will have the casting vote.

Two of the Board members will have particular responsibility for ‘events’ and ‘communications’ respectively.

The Board may co-opt up to 2 individuals onto the Board in specific advisory roles. These individuals will have no voting rights on Board decisions. The maximum length of these appointments will be 3 years, with no option to extend.

The Board may appoint an Honorary President at any time for a period for up to 3 years, when the position will be reviewed. This will be a figurehead position to represent ATCO and will not be a Board position or have any decision-making responsibilities.

Board appointments

The Chair will be appointed by the Board. Eligible members will be invited to make an application for the position. A Board sub-committee will assess applications and hold interviews as required, recommending an appointment to the Board.

The Vice Chair will be appointed by the Board from amongst the 9 ordinary Board members.

The Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed by the Board. Eligible members will be invited to make an application for the position. A Board sub-committee will assess applications and hold interviews as required, recommending appointments to the Board.

The Treasurer will have responsibility for reporting on the finances of ATCO. However, day-to-day financial transactions and book-keeping may be delegated to another responsible person or organisation approved by the Board.

The Board will also have up to a further 9 positions. 5 of these will be via nomination and application from eligible members, with interviews as required. The remaining 4 will be selected by the Board and co-opted.

For positions where applications or nominations are required, individuals coming forward will require the support of at least one other ATCO member and someone else who is willing to provide a reference.

The 2 co-options for advisory roles may be ATCO members or non-members.


Regional and Theme Groups

ATCO will operate regional or country groupings that provide complete geographical coverage of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The exact make-up and areas covered by these groups may vary over time to suit needs and requirements.

ATCO will establish and run theme groups for the purpose of developing and promoting particular areas of interest. These may cover subject areas such as buses, rail, education travel, health transport, fleet, community transport, service performance, fares and ticketing, information and marketing. They may run continuously or for a defined period to meet specific needs. 

Each of these groups will meet at least twice per year. Meetings will be documented and open to any ATCO member to attend. Dates must be advertised on the website, and agendas and notes of meetings made available.

The operation and conduct of these groups will be managed locally by those involved or attending. A nominated person will be notified to the Board as being responsible for each Group, and will be the contact point for details of the Group’s activities.

Groups meeting under the ATCO banner must be approved by the Board.  

Only current ATCO members will be permitted to attend the above groups. By agreement, guests may be permitted to attend once. Apart from in exceptional cases agreed by the Board, any guests will be required to become a member to attend further meetings. 

General meetings

An annual general meeting will be held once each year, usually in the autumn. Notice of the meeting will be given to members at least 28 days beforehand. Items for the agenda, including any motions put forward by a proposer and seconder, should be notified to the secretary by 21 days before the meeting. The agenda will be made available 14 days before the meeting.

An EGM can be called by 18 or more members providing written notice to the Secretary. A meeting must then be called within 28 days from receipt of that notice.

Only the Board, or members from local government or public-sector organisations, will be permitted to propose motions. Also, only those members working in public sector organisations will be entitled to vote on the motions. The Chair will have a casting vote.

A quorum for any General Meeting will be 20 members present, either in person or via tele- or video-conference facilities. If a meeting does not have a quorum, a subsequent General Meeting can be called with at least 14 days’ notice and this will be able to proceed provided that 15 members are present.

Those members who are entitled to vote, but unable to attend, may appoint a proxy to cast their vote on a motion on their behalf.

Minutes of General Meetings will be recorded and will be open to inspection by any members of the Association.


Notice to members

Any requirement to give notice to members of meetings, or to dispatch documents associated with these meetings, will be satisfied by being sent by email to the email address recorded on the membership database, or alternatively through the post to the postal address recorded.



The accounting year will be April to the following March.

Accounts will be maintained by the Treasurer and subject to independent audit. The audited accounts for the year ended in March will be reported to the AGM in the autumn of that year.

In the event of the Association being wound up, any remaining monies held will be distributed to other organisations as decided by a majority at a General Meeting. No member of ATCO should benefit from such a distribution.

Paid assistance

The activities of ATCO’s Groups will generally be undertaken by members on a voluntary basis.

The Board may identify aspects of activity where paid assistance may be required, which may be sought from individuals or organisations. Only the Board will have the power to make such appointments.

Amendments to the rules

Any amendments to these rules should be agreed at a General Meeting. A two thirds majority of those present or voting via proxy will be required to approve a change.

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