Articles of the Constitution and Rules of Over Allotments and Leisure Gardeners' Association, Winsford (2006, amended 2012)
The name of the Association is the Over Allotments and Leisure Gardeners' Association referred to in the Constitution as the Association.
The objectives of the Association are to:
- Promote and encourage the cultivation and enjoyment of the allotments;
- Provide good access, good security, well maintained pathways and freedom from neglected or misused plots;
- Provide effective allotment management;
- Provide fair, open and equitable tenure;
- Promote and develop gardening skills;
- Ensure fair rents and charges are implemented;
- Promote the use of allotments within the local community for people of all backgrounds and abilities;
- Promote and encourage the management of green waste and materials recycling;
- Promote and encourage the efficient use of water on allotments by storing water in tanks or water butts and non wasteful use of tap water;
- The Association shall at all times act within the rules and in support of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd;
- To provide equal opportunities to all Members without discrimination on any grounds.
The powers of the Association are to:
- 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;
- Negotiate with the local authority for the use of land and provision of amenities;
- Encourage the highest standards of cultivation, layout and landscaping;
- Represent or assist Members at Public Inquiries for the purpose of protecting and advancing their interest in the objectives of the Association;
- Co-operate with, or affiliate to, other local, national or international organisations having similar objectives;
- Actively assist Members in upgrading their plots, 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.
- There shall be two membership categories: Full Members and Affiliate Members;
- Membership of the Association is open to both Full Members and Affiliate Members;
- A Full Member is an individual who has paid the appropriate annual tenancy rent to Winsford Town Council, such person being the plot holder;
- An Affiliate Member is an individual who, by mutual agreement, jointly shares the use of the plot with the Full Member, such person being a plot sharer. A plot sharer must be agreed and approved by Winsford Town Council.
5 COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT
- The affairs of the Association will be carried out by a Committee of Management comprising the offices of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership and Seed Secretary;
- In addition up to five other Members can be elected to the Committee if considered appropriate;
- In addition one Affiliate Member can be elected to the Committee;
- The Committee should meet to discuss issues relating to the allotments at least four times each year;
- Officers of the Committee must keep accurate records of their dealings on behalf of the Association, which shall be available for inspection by Members;
- The term of office for officers of the Committee shall be one year from the date of the Annual General Meeting. Candidates to serve on the Committee should be nominated, seconded and accept the nomination at least 7 days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. If there are no contested officers then acceptance of those candidates will be decided at the meeting by a vote of Members, subject to a quorum of twenty votes. Where there is a contested office then this will be decided by a private ballot at the Annual General Meeting;
- In exceptional circumstances, an agenda item can be tabled to the effect that Officers may be dismissed by a vote of Members at a General Meeting, subject to a quorum of 15 votes.
6 MEETINGS AND VOTING
- There shall be two categories of meeting; an Annual General Meeting and a General Meeting;
- Full Members and Affiliate Members of the Association will be eligible to attend and vote at the meetings;
- The Chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote in the event of equal numbers of votes being cast both 'for' and 'against' the motion under consideration;
- An Annual General Meeting will be held at such time that the Committee decides. However, this will normally be on the last Thursday in October each year at a venue to be decided in advance;
- General meetings can be called if considered desirable either by the Committee or by a minimum of ten Members. The Chair, Secretary and/or Treasurer will then advertise the date, venue and agenda according to Article 6(f);
- Members must be given at least seven days advance notice of the date, venue and agenda of any General Meeting and Annual General Meeting, which shall be subject to a quorum of five Members;
- In the event that no quorum exists for a Committee, General or Annual General Meeting after a period of 30 minutes has elapsed from the advertised starting time of the meeting, the Members present may discharge the matters notified to the meeting in the Agenda but no business under the heading of 'Any Other Business' may be discussed;
- Items for the agenda of a General Meeting must be passed to the secretary in advance of the meeting and in sufficient time to allow preparation for the meeting. Any items to be raised under the heading of 'Any Other Business' must be notified to the Chair before the meeting commences;
- The Chair and Treasurer's reports will be presented to the Annual General Meeting;
- The Annual General Meeting shall be to receive the report of the Accounts for the year and to elect the Officers and Committee for the coming year. Any changes to the constitution should also be considered and voted on by Members at an Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting can consider additional items for inclusion at the meeting provided that the agenda items are notified to the Secretary at least 7 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.
- The Committee will maintain a bank account in the name of the Association and all monies received from any source on behalf of the Association will be paid into that account;
- All withdrawals are subject to two signatories who shall belong to the Committee of Management, one of whom is the Treasurer;
- No withdrawals or reimbursements are to be made without approval of the Committee of Management.
- Full Members and Affiliate Members of the Association shall make annually for the support of the Association, an annual subscription;
- The annual subscription shall become payable on 1st June annually;
- All subscriptions collected must be remitted to the Treasurer;
- Members failing to pay their subscriptions within 45 days from when they become payable will be excluded from the Association and will not be able to enjoy the benefits of membership. The Committee will take all reasonable steps to collect subscriptions before exclusion is enforced.
9 TERMINATION AND EXPULSION
- A Member shall cease to be a member of the Association in any of the following eventualities:
i. The expulsion of the Member
ii. The withdrawal of the Member from the Association
iii. Non payment of subscriptions as outlined in Article 8(d) above
- 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;
- A Member aggrieved of any action of the Committee may appeal to the next Annual General Meeting, whose decision shall be final.
Dissolution of the Association shall be determined upon the recommendation of the Committee of Management at a meeting of the membership of the Association specifically called for that purpose. Upon voting of two-thirds of the membership attending such meeting agreeing to accept the recommendation of the Committee of Management the Committee shall have the power to realise all assets held by or on behalf of the Association. After the satisfaction of all proper debts and liabilities any remaining assets shall be given or transferred to such other similar societies or bodies have the same or similar object as the Association as may be determined by the Association or failing that to some other charitable purpose. A copy of the determining resolution together with the Statement of Accounts for the final accounting period shall be produced and made available to any party as required under law or to any other party on request.
This Constitution was originally adopted at a General Meeting held on 7 July 2006. Subsequent amendments were made on 13th June 2007 (Annual General Meeting), 18th June 2010 (Annual General Meeting), and 2nd November 2012 (Annual General Meeting).