On Sunday 10th January 2021 the constitution was adopted at the AGM.
A Constitution describes the function of a club, association or organisation, and what it sets out to achieve through its objectives; it describes the types of memberships, who is able to vote at the AGM, the Committee structure, the roles and how the finances and income are managed.
Constitution of Watnall Allotments and Gardens Association.
1.1 The name of the Association is Watnall Allotments and Gardens Association, hereinafter referred to as the Association.
The Association is a non-profit making body, the objectives of which are:
2.1 to manage the allotment site situated on Main Road, Watnall, Nottingham.
2.2 to promote allotment gardening for members and prospective members. Our catchment area for applicants will normally be within a 3-mile distance in the Watnall, Kimberley, Nuthall and Greasley areas, depending on the length of our waiting list.
2.3 to maintain and improve the condition of the whole allotment site to enhance the enjoyment of the gardening experience for all members.
2.4 to foster good relations with neighbouring residents, businesses, and other local bodies.
3.1 The Association shall have full powers to do anything necessary to further its objectives.
There are the following categories of membership of the Association:
4.1 Full members. These are the named holders of an allotment plot and are responsible for payment of the annual rent in addition to an individual annual membership fee. Allotments may be held in joint tenancy. Full members have the right to vote in General Meetings (see section 5 for details).
4.2 Helper members. Allotment holders may nominate one or more named Helper members, who are liable for payment of an individual annual membership fee.
4.3 Honorary Life members. The Association can confer Honorary Life Membership on individuals it considers deserving. No fees are payable by such Honorary Life Members.
4.4 The Association shall keep a register of all members. Personal information about members is held and managed securely in accordance with applicable data protection legislation.
4.5 The Association may, by a vote at a General Meeting, appoint a President and/or Vice President as required. These roles are honorary and non-voting unless the office holder is a member with normal voting rights.
4.6 Membership may be terminated, and the allotment forfeited for reasons of non-cultivation after following the agreed procedure of inspection, warning letter and after consideration of any extenuating circumstances. Membership may also be terminated for any behaviour deemed to bring the Association into disrepute. Notice of termination shall be delivered in writing from the Secretary.
5. General meetings
5.1 The association shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM), normally during January each year, to which all members are invited.
5.2 Notice of the AGM and the agenda shall be sent to each member in advance by the Secretary on behalf of the Committee. This shall be normally be as soon as practicable after the December committee meeting.
5.3 Any proposal for discussion at the AGM affecting the terms of tenancy or Rules of the Association must be submitted to the Secretary in writing, duly seconded, by 31st December for the January AGM. The proposal will then be displayed at the allotments seven days before the AGM.
5.4 For any decision to be valid at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting there should be a minimum of 15% of members present.
5.5 Extraordinary General Meetings may be called by the Committee if deemed necessary. Members may request an Extraordinary General Meeting be held. Such request must be made in writing and be signed by a minimum of 15% of the members. The reason for the meeting should be stated. 14 days’ notice of any EGM should normally be given to members, together with an agenda stating the business to be discussed.
5.6 Voting at General Meetings is normally by a show of hands. Each plot (full or half size) is entitled to a single vote on any issue. The plot holder will normally make this vote in person, but the vote can be delegated to a helper member for that plot. If a member holds more than one allotment, they may not have more than one vote.
5.7 If 6 or more members request a recorded vote on a proposition considered to be a major issue for the Association, the Secretary will arrange for such a vote. The proposition should be worded such that the members can vote Yes/No/abstain. The Secretary will announce the result as soon as possible after the closing date.
The affairs of the Association are managed by a Committee which arranges activities, resolves problems, and represents the Association.
6.1 The committee represents the membership in negotiations with the landowner(s) and their land agents in matters relating to the site and payment of rent etc. as necessary.
6.3 A minimum of six members of the Committee is needed.
6.4 The following roles are undertaken by members of the Committee:
6.4.1 Chair – acts as the “face” of the Association, chairs all meetings of the committee and the General Meetings of the Association.
6.4.2 Vice Chair – acts as deputy for the Chair in their absence.
6.4.3 Secretary – responsible for the day to day running of the Association, receives and sends all official correspondence, maintains records of all meetings. The Secretary is the principal contact with members and undertakes actions required by and on behalf of the committee.
6.4.4 Treasurer – responsible for managing all the financial transactions on behalf of the Association. (For further details, refer to section 7)
6.4.5 Allocations Officer – maintains the membership list and a waiting list. Allocates vacant plots as they arise and issues new members with a Welcome pack, a gate key and other relevant information. Collects monies from new tenants for forwarding to the treasurer.
6.4.6 Trading Officer – responsible for the allotment trading hut; purchases and sells to the members such supplies as compost, fertilizers etc. (for further details, refer to section 7)
Additional roles may be appointed if the Committee so decides.
6.5 The Committee shall hold meetings at such times as they agree, normally once per month. Any member of the Association is welcome to attend and observe the meeting.
6.6 The Secretary shall maintain written records of the proceedings of Committee meetings. Such records shall be made available to the members by display on notice boards or other appropriate means.
6.7 Honoraria may be paid to the Officers of the Association by agreement of the membership in recognition of the time and effort spent on Association business.
6.8 When voting on a decision, to be quorate, a minimum of two-thirds of the committee should be present. In the case of a tied vote, the Chair shall have the casting vote.
7.1 The Treasurer shall maintain one or more bank accounts in the name of the Association into which all monies received will be paid.
7.2 All withdrawals from such bank account(s) are subject to at least two approved signatories, drawn from members of the Committee.
7.3 The Treasurer shall maintain a set of accounts for the Association and shall present a summary of the accounts at the AGM.
7.4 The Committee shall propose appropriate annual rents for a full-sized allotment, and pro rata for smaller plots, taking into consideration the site rental set by the landlord, and other anticipated expenditure. Approval for such rents and any changes shall be sought from the Association at a General Meeting, usually the AGM.
7.5 Payment of the annual rent for each plot and the individual membership fees shall become due on 1st January each year and should be made to the Treasurer who will issue a receipt.
7.6 If allotment rents are not paid by the January AGM in the month they are due, it will be assumed that the member does not want to continue with the allotment and it therefore becomes available to be re-let.
7.7 The Treasurer will make payment of the annual rent for the allotment site to the land agent or landowner at the appropriate time.
7.8 The Trading Officer shall on behalf of the Association buy such supplies as appropriate for onward selling to the members. They may also coordinate purchases by members from suppliers offering discounts to our Association. A separate bank account may be operated for the trading activities.
7.9 The Trading Officer will prepare a summary of expenditure and sales for the Treasurer to present at the AGM.
7.10 Legitimate expenses occurred on behalf of the Association may be reimbursed by the Treasurer. Valid receipts should normally be provided where possible.
7.11 The Association’s financial year is 1st January to 31st December.
On cessation of the Association, for whatever reason, any monies remaining after payment of all debts and expenses shall be transferred to one or more bodies having similar objectives to the Association, or to another charitable body. Members will be asked to suggest possible recipients for any such remaining funds. The Secretary will then draw up a short list approved by the Committee which will be put to the members for a vote.
9. Amendments to the Constitution
The Constitution and any subsequent amendments to it must be approved by the vote of members at a General Meeting, usually the AGM. Any proposal to amend the Constitution must be submitted in writing, duly seconded, to the Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting at which it is to be considered.
Approved at the Annual General Meeting of Watnall Allotments and Gardens Association
Signed……A Gillaspy……………… (Chair of the Association)
Date………10 January 2021