Constitution

Allotments Stockport Constitution

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NAME

1. The Association shall be called  Allotments Stockport.

OBJECTIVES

2.1 The provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupations in the interests of social welfare for the benefit of the inhabitants of Stockport and its surrounding area.

2.2 To provide recreational facilities and advance the education and social welfare to persons including those suffering from any physical or learning disability, with the object of improving their quality of life.

POWERS

3.1 To make provision on all allotment sites where practical for disabled and older gardeners to be able to pursue their recreational therapy, and to provide access/toilet/storage/community facilities on all sites for both disabled and able-bodied gardeners.

3.2 Promote education and publicity with leaflets, newssheets, magazine, diary, books, films, lectures, shows and demonstrations, competition, lending library, etc.

3.3 Encourage co-operation with national and local government in all matters appertaining to environmental planning and development and representations on appropriate committees, which are concerned with the provision of gardens and allotments.

3.4 Negotiate with the local authority and private landlords for the use of land and provision of amenities.

3.5 Encourage the highest standards of cultivation, layout and landscaping.

3.6 Represent or assist members at Public Inquiries for the purpose of protecting and advancing their interest in the objects of the Association.

3.7 Co-operate with, or affiliate to, other national or international organisations having a similar objective.

3.8 Acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, and to hold, sell, exchange, mortgage, rent, lease, sublease, land or building of any tenure and to erect, pull down, repair, alter or otherwise deal with any building or facilities thereon.

3.9 Co-operate with any organisation supplying gardening requirements to unemployed persons, old age pensioners, windows and blind or disabled persons at reduced prices.

3.10 Undertake any other legal/lawful activity calculated to further the objects of the Association.

3.11 To actively assist member allotment sites in upgrading their sites, particularly areas unused and overgrown which are unsuitable for allotment use, having been spoiled due to industrial or other activities, but can practically be put back into use by encouraging the good management of any wooded areas, wildlife areas, ponds and wetland areas, green waste management/recycling, e.g. composting and leaf mould production.

3.12 Encourage the formation of local societies and assist with registration, model rule books, model tenancy agreements, administrative services, stationery, insurance, legal advice and to protect members’ interests by all lawful means.

MEMBERSHIP

4.1 The Association shall consist of such persons and the Committee of Management may admit bodies as from time to time. The following persons and bodies shall be eligible for admission to membership: –

a)  Affiliated allotment associations/societies and their members based in Stockport & surrounding area.

b)  Individual members and Life Members of The National Allotment Society (NAS)

4.2 All members shall undertake to pay the contribution laid down by the Rules and to be bound thereby. Full records of membership will be kept and each member will be entitled to one vote.

4.3 The Association may reserve to itself the right of admission or otherwise of the applicant.

4.4 A member shall cease to be a member in any of the following eventualities: –

a)  the expulsion of the member

b)  the withdrawal of the member from the Association

c)  the non-payment by the member of any subscription for a period of twelve months

WITHDRAWAL AND EXPULSION

5.1 The Committee may expel any member who does not in its opinion conform to the Rules and decisions of the Association provided that at least 28 clear days’ notice is given in writing to the member of the intention to expel and an opportunity offered for the member’s case to be stated.

5.2 A member aggrieved by any action of the Committee may appeal to the next Annual General Meeting, whose decision shall be final.

MEMBERSHIP RETURNS

6.1 Every member association/society shall, before 30th November in each year, send a return of the number of its plotholding and non-plotholding members as at 30th September in that year.

CONTRIBUTIONS

7.1 Every member of the Association shall make annually, for the support of the Association, contributions which in the case of annual contributions shall become payable on the first day of January in each year and shall be payable not later than the last day in September.

7.2 All contributions collected must be remitted to the Treasurer.

7.3 Notwithstanding the provisions of the rule, the Society shall have power to accept a larger or smaller contribution.

OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE

8.1 The Association shall have a President, Treasurer, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary.

8.2 The committee shall consist of between 5-7 members to include the above officers. They shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. Retiring Officers shall be eligible for re-election. Other Committee members can be co-opted as and when required, to be formally confirmed at the next AGM.

8.3 Representatives of Local Authority and other public bodies may be co-opted.

COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT

9.1 The Officers shall meet as may be agreed from time to time. One third shall form a quorum, and shall have full power to superintend and conduct the business of the Association according to the rules thereof, and shall in all things act for and in the name of the Association. Every question shall be decided by a majority of votes, and if the votes are equal, the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his vote as a member. Any of the Committee may call a special meeting thereof by giving fourteen clear days’ notice in writing to the Secretary, but at such special meeting no other business than that specified in the notice shall be taken into consideration.

9.2 The Committee may appoint and delegate any of its powers to sub-committees. Where a sub-committee has been mandated by the Committee of Management, the minutes of such sub-committee shall be as valid and effectual as if they had been passed at a meeting of such Committee of Management.

HONORARY LIFE VICE-PRESIDENTS

10.1 The position of Honorary Life Vice President shall carry with it no voting rights at annual or special general meetings.

FINANCE

11.1 The Committee of Management shall open a bank account in the name of the Association in which shall be lodged all monies received on behalf of the Association.

AUDIT

12.1 There shall be appointed in each year of account two auditors to audit the Association’s accounts and balance sheet for that year.

12.2 None of the following persons shall be appointed as an Auditor of the Association: –

(I)     an officer or servant of the Association;

(II)   a person who is a partner of or in the employment of or who employs an officer or servant of the Association;

(III)  a body corporate.

12.3 Save as provided in para.11.4, every appointment of an auditor shall be made by resolution of a general meeting of the Association.

12.4 The Committee may appoint an auditor to fill any casual vacancy occurring between general meetings of the Association.

12.5 An Auditor appointed to audit the accounts and balance sheet of the Association for the preceding year of account (whether by a general meeting or by the Committee) shall be re-appointed as Auditor of the Association for the current year of account (whether or not any resolution expressly re-appointing him has been passed) unless:

a)  a resolution has been passed at a general meeting of the Association appointing somebody instead of him or providing expressly that he shall not be re-appointed, or

b)  he has given the Association notice in writing of his unwillingness to be re-appointed, or

c)  he is not a qualified auditor or is a person in rule 12.2 above or

d)  he has ceased to act as Auditor of the Association by reason of incapacity

12.6 The Auditor shall make a report to the Association on the accounts examined by him and on the revenue account or accounts and the balance sheet of the Association for the year of account in respect of which he is appointed.

BALANCE SHEETS

13. The Association shall not publish any balance sheet, which has not been previously audited by the Associations Auditor, and any copy of a balance sheet published by the Association shall incorporate the report made thereon by the auditor.

INVESTMENT

14. Any money not wanted for immediate use, or to meet the usual accruing liabilities may, with the consent of the Committee of Management or of a majority of the members present and entitled to vote in general meeting be invested in or upon any of the securities specified in Sec 31 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965, but may not be invested otherwise.

APPLICATION OF PROFITS

15. All profits arising from the general business of the Association and all contributions received shall be used for the accomplishment of the objects of the Association.

MEETINGS

16.1 The annual general meeting and other ordinary general meetings shall be held at such times and places as the Committee or general meeting shall determine.

16.2 A special general meeting may be held at such time and place as the Committee or a general meeting shall determine and shall be held upon the requisition in writing to the Secretary of the Association of at least 10 members. Should the Secretary fail within 21 days to convene a special general meeting, when so requested, the requisitionists may convene it at their own expense by giving such notice. At such special general meeting discussions shall be limited to those subjects appearing on the Agenda of which notice has been given.

16.3 At least 14 days’ notice shall be given of every general meeting.

16.4 Unless otherwise determined by a previous general meeting, a quorum at any general meeting shall consist of one-third of the members’ representatives.

16.5 Any member of the Association may submit motions or amendments for the agenda.

16.6 The Annual General Meeting shall be under the direction and control of the President and be subject to the rules and standing orders. Standing orders for the conduct of all General Meetings shall be agreed by and varied by any Annual General Meeting as required.

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS

17. No sectarian or party-political question shall be introduced at any meeting of the Association,and no action of the Association shall be directed towards the propagation of any religious or party-political doctrines, or the advancement of the interests of any political party or religious body.

AMENDMENT OF RULES

18. No new rule shall be made, except at an AGM or SGM, nor shall any of the Rules herein contained or hereafter to be made to be amended or rescinded unless with the consent of a majority of the members present at a general meeting provided that at least 21 days notice has been given of the proposed new wording to amend or rescind any rule.

REPRESENTATIVES AND VOTING

19. All Associations/Societies may be represented by up to 3 delegates with full voting rights.

20. All Members may be represented by up to two persons with full voting rights.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

21. The Association recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to our society, and a right to equal treatment. We aim to ensure that no-one will be discriminated against by us on the grounds of: age, class, employment status, physical or mental disability or mental health, political belief, race, religion, sex, marital status or caring responsibilities, sexuality, unrelated criminal convictions.

DISSOLUTION OR TERMINATION

22. If the General Committee, by a simple majority, decides at any time that on the ground of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association it shall call a meeting of all members of the Association who have the power to vote, of which meeting not less than 21 days notice stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed thereat shall be posted to all local Association Secretaries and any national body to which the Association is affiliated. If such resolution shall be confirmed by a simple majority of those present and voting at such meeting of the General Committee shall have power to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of the Association. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be applied towards a registered charitable organisation of the Management Committee’s choice or in the case of funds that originated from the National Lottery then these shall be returned to the funding body.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

The Allotment Movement has an important role to play in promoting sustainable lifestyles. Access to healthy food produced locally using environmentally sensitive methods has implications for both the health of individuals and communities and the environment. Allotments also provide valuable pockets of greenspace for individuals and wildlife in urban areas.

In doing the above, the Allotment Movement is supporting a range of national and local initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life and the environment.

Allotments Stockport is committed to reducing the impact of its operations on the environment and promoting sustainable allotment practice by:

  • Encouraging members to undertake a programme of self-help projects aimed at upgrading of their sites and, where practicable, bring vacant and overgrown areas back into sustainable use.
  • To encourage good management of any wooded areas, support the creation of wildlife havens, ponds, wetland and bog areas and provide a focal point for the local community interested in their local environment. Encourage biodiversity/’wildlife-friendly’ practices on allotment plots through the provision of information and support to plotholders.
  • Green waste management, recycling, e.g. composting and leafmould production. Reducing the amount of waste generated by day-to-day running of plots, and encouraging and exploring new ways to reduce waste and encourage re-use and recycling on allotments.
  • Promoting the efficient use of water on allotments by storing water in tanks or water butts, and non-wasteful use of tap water.
  • To make provision on all allotment sites where practical for disabled and older gardeners to be able to pursue their recreational therapy. Work towards wider community access, widening participation for groups who may experience difficulty using conventional plots, e.g. wheelchair users, visually impaired.
  • To provide access/toilet/storage/community facilities on all sites for both disabled and able-bodied gardeners.
  • ‘Responsible’ purchasing – encouraging allotment trading huts to supply products that minimise environmental impact.

Allotments Stockport Executive Committee intends to continue promoting awareness of environmental issues to Allotments Stockport plot holding members.

ADOPTION OF THE UPDATED CONSTITUTION

This Constitution was adopted at an Annual General Meeting held on 12 March 2000, and amended at a Special General Meeting held on 10 September 2002 and an Annual General meeting held on 10th March 2015.

A Constitution Group is currently drafting a new constitution – April 2015

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