Constitution of Guildford Allotments Society
Originally Drafted in 2004 and incorporating Amendments approved at the Society’s Annual General Meetings in 2008 and 2009
1 Name 2
2 Official Communications 2
3 Aim of Society 2
4 Objects 2
5 Powers 2
6 Use of Name 2
7 Membership 3
8 List of Members 3
9 Governance and Day-to-Day Management 3
10 Committee of Management 3
11 Meetings of the Committee of Management 4
12 Finance 4
13 General Meetings 6
14 Site Wardens 6
15 Meetings of Site Wardens 7
16 Miscellaneous 7
The name of the Society shall be “Guildford Allotments Society”.
- OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS.
Official Communications shall normally be received and signed on behalf of the Society by the Secretary, or in the absence of the Secretary, by the Chairman or Treasurer.
- AIM OF SOCIETY.
To manage and promote the Allotment Areas set out at Schedule 1 of the Agreement and Lease dated 21st April 2004 made between the Society and Guildford Borough Council (“The Council”). (“The Agreement and Lease”)
- a) To cooperate actively with The Council in promotion and management of the Allotment Areas with a view to improving standards, facilities, and quality of provision.
- b) To establish a good working relationship with The Council as owner of the Allotment Areas with the object of improving facilities, carrying out of essential maintenance and agreeing levels of funding for both capital expenditure and operating expenses for the Society in accordance with a business plan mutually agreed with The Council.
- c) To manage the Allotment Areas in accordance with The Agreement and Lease of the Allotment Areas.
- d) In co-operation with The Council to investigate opportunities and secure where possible funding, sponsorship or grant aid available to the Society from external sources and to apply the same in accordance with the aims of the Society.
- e) To co-operate with other gardening associations in matters of mutual interest.
The Society shall have full powers to do all things necessary or expedient for the accomplishment of its objects.
- USE OF NAME.
The name of the Society shall be referred to in all business letters of the society, and all other official publications of the Society, all payments, cheques, and orders for money or goods, purporting to be signed on behalf of the Society, and in all bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the Society.
- a) Membership shall be accorded to any persons who have entered into a tenancy agreement for the letting of an allotment garden within the Allotment Areas or such other persons as the committee may in its absolute discretion decide to admit to membership.
- b) A Member shall cease to be a Member in the following circumstances:
- the Member’s death
- the Member’s resignation
iii. the expulsion of a Member under Rule 7 (c)
- c) A General meeting may, by a simple majority of the Members present and entitled to vote, expel any Member for conduct detrimental to the Society, provided that a notice specifying the conduct for which it is intended to expel, is sent to the Member at the address entered into the register of Members at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting.
- LIST OF MEMBERS.
The Committee of Management shall allocate the keeping of an alphabetical list of each Member’s, name, address and telephone number (if applicable). Any Member may see the entry in respect of themselves and in their own interests must notify any changes in respect of such entry to the Secretary.
- GOVERNANCE AND DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT.
- a) Governance of the Society shall be vested in the General Meetings.
- b) Day to Day management shall be delegated to the Committee of Management.
- COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT.
- a) The Committee of Management must be members of the Society and shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and 12 Committee members, or any such number as may be determined at a General Meeting.
- b) The Committee of Management shall be elected from members of the Society at the Annual General Meeting and shall serve for a period of three years. Members may stand for re-election as they choose.
- c) The Committee of Management may fill any vacancy arising mid term; such appointment shall be interim until the following Annual General Meeting. Members so appointed shall be full voting Members of the Committee and count towards a quorum.
- d) The Annual General Meeting may elect a President and/or Honorary Life Presidents as may be required to fill such a post. These officers shall be honorary and non voting unless the office holder is a Member with normal voting rights.
- e) The Committee of Management may co-opt any Member to the committee to assist with its work. Such co-opted Members shall be non voting and not count towards a quorum for the Committee of Management.
- f) The Committee of Management shall have full powers to supervise and manage the day to day work of the Society according to the rules for the purpose of accomplishing its objectives.
- g) Any Committee of Management member who has failed to attend at least 50% of the meetings called in any 12 month period for reasons unacceptable to the Committee shall cease to be a Committee Member.
- h) The Committee of Management may remove any Officer or Committee Member from the Committee by a simple majority following an open discussion of the issues by the Committee, such discussions shall include the individual Member in question who shall have the opportunity to put his/her point of view. If required, the vote may be a secret vote but the voting numbers shall be recorded in the Minutes.
- i) The Committee of Management may claim from the Society any expenses properly and reasonable incurred in undertaking their duties as members of the Committee of Management.
- j) The Committee of Management reserve the right to grant honoraria to any Members of the Committee of Management and other Members according to their contribution to the Society. Such honoraria shall in accordance with the Agreement and Lease, be approved by The Council and shall be notified annually at the AGM.
- MEETINGS OF THE COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT.
- a) The Committee of Management shall meet quarterly, or more frequently if required by a decision of the Committee.
- b) A quorum for meetings of the Committee of Management shall be 4, or such other number as agreed at a General Meeting.
- c) The Chairman and either the Secretary or Treasurer may take any executive emergency actions required where it is not practicable for the business to be decided upon at a Regular or Special Committee Meeting. Details of the action shall be reported and recorded at the next meeting of the Committee of Management.
- d) At all meetings of the Committee of Management, every question shall be decided by a simple majority of votes and if the votes are equal, the Chairman shall have the casting vote in addition to his/her vote as a Member. In the absence of the Chairman, an acting Chairman elected at the Committee meeting shall preside for that meeting.
- a) The Treasurer shall keep up to date all records of income and expenditure related to the Society’s financial transactions and all expenditure must be supported by a Supplier’s receipt or appropriate record which shows the date of expenditure, the total amount and, if appropriate, the purpose for which the payment was made.
- b) The Treasurer shall open a cheque book account with a reputable bank or building society in the name of the Society. Payments by cheque shall require any 2 authorised signatories of four nominated signatories, unless such amount is less than £100.00 or such amount as the Committee of Management may determine from time to time. The authorised signatories shall be decided by the Committee of Management or in the event of a default shall be Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
- c) The annual accounts of the Society shall be a simple income and expenditure account and balance sheet, unless otherwise decided by the Committee of Management.
- d) Loans, borrowing or other credit arrangements exceeding normal business credit shall require a decision at the Committee of Management meeting before any transaction is entered into.
- e) The Treasurer shall make a verbal report to each Committee of Management meeting on income, expenditure and current balance. The Treasurer’s verbal financial report shall be recorded in the Minutes.
- f) Any special projects or substantial funding requirements shall be decided upon by the Committee of Management who shall decide upon the possible ways of funding.
- g) The Treasurer shall close the annual accounts on 31st March each year and prepare an income and expenditure statement and balance sheet for presentation in a timely manner to the Auditor. The audited accounts (signed by both the auditor and Treasurer) shall be presented at the Annual General meeting and shall be available for at least 1 month before the Annual General meeting such that any Member may view the same.
- h) The Treasurer shall advise the Annual General Meeting of any changes required in annual subscription for the following financial year and the Annual General Meeting shall consider and decide on the annual subscription
- i) The auditor shall be appointed at each Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the close of the following Annual General Meeting. The auditor must not be an officer of the Society or a Member of the Committee of Management.
- j) Where for any reason the auditor ceases to hold office, the Committee of Management shall appoint a replacement auditor as soon as practicable and record the action in the Minutes.
- k) The Annual General Meeting shall consider the annual records presented by the Treasurer and/or auditor. Adoptions of the audited accounts shall be proposed by a Member other than the Treasurer or the Auditor.
- l) The audited accounts shall be available for inspection by any Member upon request to either Secretary or Treasurer.
- m) The audited accounts shall be presented to The Council on an annual basis in accordance with the Agreement and lease.
- GENERAL MEETINGS.
- a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held at such times as the Committee of Management or a General Meeting shall determine, as soon after the audit of accounts is completed and is convenient.
- b) A Special General Meeting shall be held whenever the Committee of Management thinks expedient or whenever a written request for such a meeting by at least 10% of Members is delivered to the Secretary. A Special General Meeting shall be convened by the Committee of Management within 6 weeks of receipt of such a request.
- c) At least 7 days’ notice shall be given of every General Meeting stating the business to be transacted at such meeting. The notice shall be sent to every Member at the address entered into the list of Members and no other business than that stated in the notice shall be transacted at such meeting.
- d) Any agenda items must be notified to the Secretary in writing at least 21 days before the General Meeting.
- e) Any proposed changes in rules must be notified in writing to the Secretary 21 days prior to the General Meeting signed by the proposer and seconder. Any proposed change must be voted on at a General meeting and may be agreed by a resolution supported by at least 75% majority of those attending the meeting.
- f) Every member present at a General Meeting shall have one vote and where the votes cast in any matter are equal, the Chairman shall have the casting vote in addition to his/her vote as a Member.
- g) At all General Meetings a chairman elected at the meeting shall preside.
- h) A quorum at General Meetings shall consist of 5 members or such other number as shall be decided at an Annual General Meeting.
- SITE WARDENS.
- a) Site Wardens must be members of the Society.
- b) Site Wardens shall be elected from Members of the Society resident at their site via a postal election and shall serve for a period of 3 years. Site Wardens may stand for re-election as they choose.
- c) Postal votes shall be opened and counted by two members of Guildford Borough Council, and the results notified to the Society.
- d) Site wardens are required to provide the Committee of Management with 30 days’ notice should they wish to relinquish the position mid-term.
- e) The Committee of Management may fill any Site Warden vacancy arising mid-term. Such appointment shall be interim, until a postal election has been conducted and a new Site Warden elected.
- f) The Site Warden shall have full powers to supervise and manage the day to day workings of their site according to the rules for the purpose of accomplishing its objectives.
- g) Any Site Warden who has failed to attend at least 50% of the meetings called in any 12 month period for reasons unacceptable to the Committee shall cease to be a Site Warden.
- h) The Committee of Management may remove any Site Warden from the position by a simple majority following an open discussion of the issues by the Committee; such discussions shall include the individual Site Warden in question who shall have the opportunity to put his/her point of view. If required, the vote may be a secret vote but the voting numbers shall be recorded in the Minutes.
- i) The Site Wardens may claim from the Society any expenses properly and reasonably incurred in undertaking their duties as a Site Warden. All expenditure must be approved in advance by the Committee of Management and expenses must be supported by receipts and forwarded to the Treasurer for reimbursement.
- MEETINGS OF SITE WARDENS
- a) The Site Wardens shall meet with the Committee of Management quarterly, or more frequently if required by a decision of the Committee of Management.
- b) A quorum of such meetings shall be 12 or such other number as agreed at a General Meeting.
- a) In case any dispute arises between the Society and any of its officers or any Member relating to the Constitution and Rules of the Society, the matter shall be dealt with by the Committee of Management convened for this purpose. Both parties in dispute may make representations at such meeting and a decision of the Committee of Management is final.
- b) The Society may at any time be dissolved by consent of 75% majority vote of Members present at a Special general Meeting convened for this sole purpose. The meeting shall decide what is to happen to ant assets and residual cash after payment of any expenses due.
- c) A copy of the rules of the Society shall be provided to each Member upon joining the Society. Further copies may be obtained from the Secretary upon written request for the same and subject to payment of £1.00. The Committee of Management may amend such fee as it deems appropriate to reflect reasonable costs incurred in providing the same.