The Constitution


1. NAME

Ashfield Allotment Association

2. AIM OF ASSOCIATION

To assist all members in the pursuit of gardening as a recreation and to promote health, education and community fellowship

3. OBJECTIVES

a. To promote the interests of allotment holders and to take joint action for the benefit of members

b. To actively co-operate with groups and organisations with a view to increasing the provision of allotments and improving standards and facilities

c. To establish a working relationship with Liverpool City Council as landlords maintaining a waiting list and early consultation on allotment matters of the landlord and the tenant(s)

d. To protect members from damage, trespass and theft where possible

e. To approve the appointment of trustees for Ashfield Allotments, as provided for by any lease between the Association and Liverpool City Council or its successors

f. To administer communal maintenance machinery and equipment for members

g. To help new gardeners on the site in whatever way is appropriate including providing where possible introduction to a nearby experienced gardener with a view to special help during the early months of tenancy.

4. POWERS

The Association shall have full power to do all things necessary or expedient for the accomplishment of its objectives. No sectarian or party political questions shall be introduced into any meeting and no action of the Association shall be directed towards the propagation of political or religious doctrines, racial or gender discrimination or take part in any political party or religious denominational activities

5. USE OF NAME

The name shall be mentioned in all business letters of the Association, notices, advertisements and other official publications of the Association and payments, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Association and in all bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the Association

6. MEMBERS

The Association shall consist of such persons whose applications for membership are approved by the committee, and who agree to accept and abide by the Constitution and the rules of the Association and the rules of the City Council.

7. SUBSCRIPTIONS

Members will be required to pay such annual subscription as may be determined by the Annual General Meeting as part of the Treasurers report and will be included in the agenda convening the meeting.

8. CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP

A member shall cease to be a member in the following eventualities:

a) The members death

b) The members resignation

c) The non payment of the annual subscription thereof for a period of 1 month after it has become due

d) The expulsion of a member(s) under rule 9

9. EXPULSION OF MEMBER(S)

Any member facing possible expulsion will be given one calendar months notice, and a letter specifying the conduct for which it is intended to expel the member shall be sent to him/her at the address entered in the register of members. They will be asked to appear before the committee at a date and time set out in the letter, and may bring with them to this meeting any other member. Appeals can be brought by any other member on behalf of the said member, provided they obtain the correct number of signatures to call an Extraordinary General Meeting (E.G.M.) and deliver the document outlining their case.

10. LIST OF MEMBERS

The committee of management shall allocate the keeping of an up to date membership list to one of its members in which shall be entered the following:

a) Name, address, contact telephone number and where possible an email address of the member

b) Date of joining and leaving

c) Date of receipt of joining subscription and renewal subscriptions

Any member may see the entry in respect of themselves recorded in the official list of members and in their own interest must notify any changes of address to the Secretary or Chair

GOVERNANCE OF DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT

11. Governance of the Association shall be vested in the General Meetings

12. The committee of Management shall have full power to supervise and manage the day-to-day work of the Association according to the rules for the purpose of accomplishing its objectives

COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT AND OFFICERS

13. Committee of Management

The Committee of Management must be members or associates of the association and shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and six Committee Members or such as may be determined at a General meeting. The Annual General Meeting may co-opt any members to the committee to assist in its work. Such co-opted members will be non-voting and not count towards a quorum

14. Election

The committee of management will be elected from members of the association at the Annual General Meeting and will take office at the end of the Annual General Meeting at which they will be elected until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. Retiring officers shall be eligible for re-election. They shall be ex-officio members of the committee

15. Mid – Term Vacancies

The Committee of Management may fill any vacancy arising during the year. Members appointed will be full voting members of the committee and count towards a quorum

16. Presidents

The Annual General Meeting may elect a President as may be required. This officer will be honorary and non-voting unless the office holder is a member with normal voting rights

17. Attendances

Any committee of Management member, who has failed to attend three meetings in any year for any reasons unacceptable to the committee, will cease to be a committee member

18. Removal from the Committee

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, which includes the individual members opportunity to put his/her point of view. If required the vote may be secret vote but the voting numbers will be recorded in the minutes

MEETING OF COMMITTEE MANAGEMENT

19. Frequency of Meetings

The committee will meet, as a minimum bi monthly or more frequently if required by the decision of the committee

20. Quorum at Committee Meetings

A quorum for meetings of Committee Management shall be five or such other number as may be agreed at a General meeting

21. Emergency Actions

The Chairperson and/or the Secretary or Treasurer may take any executive emergency actions required where it is not practical for the matter to be decided upon at a regular or special committee meeting. Details of the action will be reported and recorded at the next meeting of the Committee of Management

22. Conduct of Meetings

At all meetings of the Committee every question shall be decided by a majority vote and if the votes are equal the Chairperson shall have a casting vote in addition to his/her vote as a member, the chairs decision is final. In the absence of the Chair, an acting chair elected at the committee meeting shall preside for that meeting.

FINANCE

23. Financial Records

The Treasurer will keep in date order a record of all income and expenditure related to the Association’s financial transactions and all expenditure must be supported by a suppliers receipt or appropriate voucher which shows the date of expenditure, the total amount and the purpose for which the payment was made. Receipts for membership fee income will be given, recording the date paid, the duration of the membership fee, the name of the member. This receipt will be proof of membership

24. Banking

The committee shall open a bank account in the name of the Association and all money received from any source on behalf of the Association shall be paid into such account. Cheques shall be signed by two of the three signatories – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Association funds will not be spent by the committee other than to pay rent to Liverpool City Council or its successors, or unless it directly benefits allotment holders on site. Spend approval is to be obtained from the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer prior to purchasing any items

25. Annual Accounts Format

If no other activity is envisaged then a simple Income and Expenditure account and a balance sheet will suffice. In the event of other activities needing to be presented separately e.g. shows, trading, then a separate simple sub account will be introduced with agreement form the Committee of Management

26. Reports to Committee

The treasurer shall make a verbal report at each meeting on income and expenditure and liabilities up to the Friday before the meeting and make available at the meeting the most recent bank statement. The Treasurer’s verbal financial report shall be recorded in the minutes

27. Special Expenditure

When special projects are considered they will be costed as far as possible and the Treasurer will advise the committee on possible ways of funding

28. Financial Advice

Where the Association requires financial advice outside the normal experience, the treasurer shall seek what professional advice is required and advise the Committee

29. Presentation of Accounts for Audit

The Treasurer shall close the annual account at a suitable point each year to prepare income, expenditure statements and a balance sheet for presentation to the Honorary Auditor by the 2nd Monday of the month prior to the AGM (e.g The 2nd Monday on the month of September when the AGM falls in October).

The audited accounts shall be circulated as part of the agenda for the Association’s Annual General Meeting signed by the Honorary Auditor and Treasurer

30. Mid Term Vacancy

Where for any reason the Treasurer ceases to hold office the Committee of Management will appoint an Acting Treasurer and ask the honorary Auditor to conduct an interim audit in preparation for the new Treasurer taking up office.

AUDITOR

31. Qualifications

The Auditor must not be a member of the Committee of Management but otherwise any person, member or not who has agreed to carry out the duty may be nominated and appointed year by year at the Annual general meeting

32. Mid Term Vacancy

Where for any reason the auditor(s) cease to hold office the Committee of Management will appoint a replacement auditor as soon as is practical and record the action in the minutes

33. Audit Procedure

The Auditor shall receive the draft accounts, payments, receipt files, bank statements and bank book from the Treasurer by the 2nd Monday in September each year, examine them and agree final accounts as an accurate and fair record based on the documents of the Association’s financial transactions for the year

34. Tax Liability

The Association is liable for tax on investment interest accruing during the year and the Treasurer and Auditor must address this with HMRC

35. Approval of Audit Accounts

The Annual General meeting will consider the annual accounts presented by the Treasurer and /or the Auditor. A member, other than the Treasurer and Auditor, will propose adoptions of the audited accounts. The Auditor may raise at the Annual General meeting financial matters which require the attention of the Association

36. Availability of Audited Accounts

Any member has the right to request a copy of the adopted audited accounts from the Secretary who will provide a copy within two weeks of the request

GENERAL MEETINGS

37. Annual General Meetings

The Annual General Meetings 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 as is convenient.

38. Special General Meeting

A Special General Meeting shall be held whenever the Committee of Management thinks expedient or whenever a written requisition for such a meeting by ten members is delivered to the Secretary. A Special General Meeting shall be convened by Committee of Management, within four weeks of receipt of request. Should the Secretary fail to convene the meeting, the members signing the requisition may convene such meeting by giving such notice themselves

39. Notice of General meeting

At least fourteen days notice in writing is to 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 in the list of members or delivered by hand and no other business than that stated in the notice shall be transacted at such meeting.

40. Agenda Items

Agenda items must be notified in writing to the Secretary twenty-one days prior to the meeting signed by the proposer and seconder

41. Changes in Rules

Suggested changes in Rules must be notified in writing to the Secretary twenty-one days prior to the meeting signed by the proposer and seconder

42. Voting at General meetings

Every member present at a General Meeting and not otherwise disqualified shall have a vote and where the votes cast in any matter are equal then the Chairperson shall have the casting vote in addition to his/her vote as member. Members who are not allotment tenants shall not have the right to vote on questions affecting allotment tenant members only

43. Quorum at General Meetings

A quorum at a general meeting shall consist of five members or 25% of members, whichever if the greater.

44. Discussion at Meetings

No Political or sectarian issue shall be raised or discussed at General Meetings

MEMBERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF ALLOTMENT & LEISURE GARDENERS LTD AND LOCAL FEDERATION OR COUNTY GROUP COUNCIL

45. Membership of NSALG and/or Local Federation County Group

Membership of The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners shall be applied for on payment of an annually agreed affiliation fee and it shall be a condition of membership to agree to pay such affiliation contributions as may from time to time to be prescribed (per each membership)

46. Arbitration

In case any dispute arises between the NSALG and any of its officers and any member or persons claiming on behalf of a member or under the Rules, or in case of any complaint against any member, application may be made to the Committee of Management for redress and should the Committee not bring the parties to agreement, the matter in dispute may be submitted to arbitration.

One arbitrator shall be appointed by each of the parties concerned and one, by the Committee of Management.

The decision of the arbitrators shall be final and the costs of such arbitration shall be shared between the parties as determined by the arbitrator. In this rule the word ‘member’ includes the person aggrieved who has not more than 6 months ceased to be a member

DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION

47. Dissolution

Any decision on allocation of assets will be decided at an EGM, called in the event of any dissolution, to deal specifically with the question of surplus monies.

RULES

48. Copies of Rules

A copy of the rules of the Association shall be provided free by the Secretary to every member on joining and via the Association web site as standard.

49. Mode of Amending Rules

The rules may be amended by resolution of a three-fourths majority of actual plot holders attending a General meeting called for that purpose.

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