Framfield Allotments Association (London Borough of Ealing) Constitution
1.1. The name of the association will be the Framfield Allotments Association (hereafter referred ‘the Association’).
2.1 To ensure good management of the Framfield Allotment site (hereafter ‘Framfield Allotments’).
2.2 To promote the interests of all plot holders in their gardening and cultivation activities, within the framework of the various Allotment Acts.
2.3 To promote and foster a safe, enthusiastic, attractive and inclusive allotment site that benefits plot holders, visitors and the local community.
2.4 To encourage plot holder involvement in the management and promotion of Framfield Allotments.
2.5 To safeguard the interests of plot holders and the allotment site itself, including guarding against damage, trespass, theft and other anti-social activities.
2.6 To work with the London Borough of Ealing (LBE) to maintain and develop Framfield Allotments.
2.7 To provide a framework for local management and maintenance of Framfield Allotments on behalf of LBE; and in accordance with the Local Management Agreement (hereafter ‘LMA’).
2.8 To co-operate with other local allotment and gardening associations in matters of mutual interest.
2.9 To promote cultivation and horticultural knowledge, encouraging the conservation of wildlife and the natural environment.
2.10 To organise activities for the benefit of all plot holders, including improvements to site conditions and facilities; fundraising; social events; support of new and less able plot holders.
2.11 To develop and strengthen links with the local community.
2.12 For the avoidance of doubt the Objectives of the Association and any obligations arising out of membership of the Association are to be distinct from the operation of the rules of tenancy of Framfield Allotments as determined by the London Borough of Ealing.
3.1 Membership of the Association shall be open to all current paid up plot holders (ie Tenants) of Framfield Allotments and their family members who share in the cultivation of their plots.
3.2 Membership shall be subject to payment of the Membership subscription; all plot holders and their family members as defined in 3.1 who have paid the Membership subscription shall become Members of the Association.
3.3 Members are eligible to attend the Annual General Meeting, any Extraordinary General Meetings and to be involved in the collective management of Framfield Allotments through participation in the Committee.
3.4 Only one person per Tenancy who is a Member of the Association will be eligible to vote at meetings. Where a member has more than one Tenancy s/he will have only one vote in any meeting in which s/he is eligible to vote.
3.5 Any Member who is unable to attend a meeting in person can appoint another Member to vote on their behalf. This has to be notified to a member of the Management Group using a signed paper copy of the proxy voting form, up to the start of the meeting.
3.6 Each Member shall pay an annual subscription to be set by the Management Group from time to time. Any proposed change to the subscription amount is to be voted on by the members at the Annual General Meeting.
3.7 The annual subscription will be used for administrative expenses of the Association, including insurance, subscriptions/memberships, postage, posters, newsletters and the website, and for site maintenance costs such as fuel, servicing and spare parts for equipment.
3.8 The subscription shall be payable at the same time as rental for the plots is collected or as otherwise determined by the Management Group. Any Member who is 2 months or more in arrears with their subscriptions shall forfeit all rights and benefits of membership until the arrears are paid in full.
3.9 The Association shall have a duty to ensure that the income from subscription fees is sufficient to cover the costs outlined in Clause 3.7 and other business of the Association.
3.10 A Member shall cease to be a Member of the Association in any of the following eventualities:
• If the Member voluntarily terminates their tenancy at Framfield Allotments
• If the Member’s tenancy is terminated for any reason
• If the Management Group agrees by a majority that the Member no longer conforms to the rules and decisions of the Association as set out in this constitution (Members must be given 28 days’ notice, in writing, of this decision). A Member who wishes to appeal such a decision may do so via the next Annual General Meeting, at which the decision will be final.
4. SITE MAINTENANCE ARRANGEMENTS
4.1 Responsibility for major repairs of the infrastructure (fences, gates, water supply) lies with Ealing Council. Under the terms of the LMA, the Association is responsible for small-scale repairs.
4.2 The Association will be responsible for arranging site inspections to ensure a safe site for plot holders and visitors alike.
4.3 The Association will work with the Council and other external bodies, eg utility companies, to identify and ensure that any site works are carried out in a timely and safe manner and in the pursuit of the Objectives.
4.4 The Association will take such action as is required to ensure that plots are cultivated and maintained consistent with the aims and objectives, and meet LBE cultivation guidelines. The Association will act in accordance with current procedures issued by LBE regarding notices to improve and eviction processes.
5. MANAGEMENT GROUP AND OFFICERS
5.1 The policy and general management of the affairs of the Association shall be conducted by a Management Group, which shall be responsible to the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
5.2 A quorum at Management Group meetings shall not be less than 3 members.
5.3 The Management Group shall consist of the Officers elected under clause 5.6 and a number of additional Association members appointed by the Officers to assist with the running of specific functions of the Association. These functions include the Local Management processes determined by LBE as laid out in the LMA, including rent collection, maintenance of waiting lists, plot letting and plot inspections. The Management Group may discharge some or all of the functions of the Association by delegating as appropriate the functions to Members, plot holders and/ or a Site Co-ordinator who will be co-opted to the Association; the Site Co-ordinator will be drawn from the Membership and appointed in accordance with the procedures laid down in 5.6.
5.4 The Management Group, together with appointed Association Members, shall be responsible for organising and managing additional activities to support the Association such as work days, social events, membership, group visits and communications (including the website).
5.5 The Management Group will meet from time to time to discuss and co-ordinate Association business. Where appropriate and practicable, meetings of the Management Group will be made open to general members of the Association. Minutes of Management Group meetings shall be taken and will be made available to the Management Group as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
5.6 The Annual General Meeting shall elect the following Officers of the Association: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. The Annual General Meeting shall additionally elect the Site Co-ordinator. The Officers and Site Co-ordinator shall serve in their respective capacities as Officers of the Management Group and Site Coordinator until the following Annual General Meeting which is to be held within 12 months of the last Annual General Meeting or as soon as practicable thereafter. Retiring Officers and the Site Co-ordinator are eligible for re-election.
5.7 Officers will be nominated by a member of the Association, and seconded by two other Association members. Nominations for the elected Officer posts must be received on signed paper copies of the nomination form no later than 7 days prior to the Annual General Meeting, or if only 7 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting is given, no later than 3 days.
5.8 In the event of a vacancy occurring among the Officers, the Management Group shall have the power to fill such a vacancy from its own members or those of the Association until the next Annual General Meeting. In the event of the Site Co-ordinator role becoming vacant before the next Annual General Meeting, the Management Group shall have the power to fill such a vacancy from its own members or those of the Association until the next Annual General Meeting.
5.9 The Officers, Site Co-ordinator and members of the Management Group will discharge their duties without favour and always in the interests of the wider Association.
5.10 All members of the Management Group, including the Officers and Site Co-ordinator, will be unpaid volunteers.
6. ANNUAL AND EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
6.1 The Secretary will present his/her report of the activities of the Association for the year at the Annual General Meeting, and the Treasurer will present the accounts for approval. A minimum of 7 days’ notice shall be given of the Annual General Meeting.
6.2 The Officers and Site Co-ordinator for the ensuing year will be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
6.3 Ten members shall form a quorum and in the event of a tied vote the Chair will have the casting vote.
6.4 If an Extraordinary General Meeting is necessary the request needs to be submitted in writing to the Chair by a minimum of 10 members. The Extraordinary General Meeting must be called within 21 days of receipt of the request or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, with 7 days’ notice given. The quorum of the Extraordinary General Meeting shall be the same as the Annual General Meeting.
6.5 Matters relating to the Annual General Meeting must be received in writing by the Secretary no later than 7 days prior to the Annual General Meeting, or, where only 7 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting has been given, no less than 3 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
6.6 Members will be notified at least 2 weeks in advance of any proposed changes to the constitution, which will be discussed and voted on at a General Meeting.
6.7 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting shall be taken and distributed to the Association as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
7.1 Anyone who deliberately flouts the Objectives or any of the policies laid down in the Constitution will be ejected from the Association.
8.1 All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objectives of the Association and for no other purpose.
8.2 The Treasurer shall keep proper account of the finances of the Association and shall maintain a bank account in the name of the Association.
8.3 The accounts shall be audited or independently examined at least once a year by auditors/independent examiners.
8.4 The Association will be responsible for ensuring that Public and Employers’ Liability and Equipment insurance policies are in place and renewed annually in a timely manner; and will ensure that any legal requirements that may come into force in the future are met.
9.1 The dissolution of the Association shall be determined by a recommendation of the Management Group made to all Members of the Association and agreed by a simple majority. This decision must be formally recorded by the Secretary.
9.2 In the event of dissolution, arrangements must be made for the appropriate disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association. Any assets remaining after the settlement of any outstanding debts or other charges shall be applied towards charitable purposes as the Management Group may decide.
10. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL POLICY
10.1 Framfield Allotments has an important role to play in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles within the local community. 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 green spaces for individuals and wildlife in urban areas.
10.2 In order to minimise the impact upon the local environment the Association will promote the following:
– waste management, recycling and composting; encouraging and exploring new ways to reduce waste and encourage re-use and recycling on the site
– efficient use of water on the site by storing water in tanks or water butts, and non-wasteful use of tap water
– develop a programme of self-help projects aimed at upgrading the site and, where practical, bring vacant and overgrown areas back into sustainable use
– good management of any wooded areas, support the creation of wildlife havens and ponds, and provide a focal point for the local community interested in their local environment
– encourage biodiversity and wildlife-friendly practices across the site and on allotment plots through the provision of information and support to plot holders.
10.3 The Association will promote a policy of ‘good neighbours’ with the local community, and will establish and develop links with the surrounding community.
11. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
11.1 The Association recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to the Association, and a right to equal treatment; and in particular that it must discharge its duties in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010 and any successor legislation. In doing so, the Association aims 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 or for any other reasons prescribed by law.
11.2 The Association shall be non-party political and non-partisan.
11.3 The Association will follow a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy, detailed in Appendix 1 to this constitution.
12. DATA PROTECTION
12.1 Final responsibility for protection of personal data and compliance with relevant legislation lies with LBE. Framfield Allotments Association will follow the guidelines issued by LBE.
12.2 Only elected Officers and members of the Management Group will be authorised to access personal data provided by tenants; tenants shall be required to provide only such personal data as is necessary, eg name, contact address and telephone number.
12.3 Tenants’ personal data will only be collected and used for the purposes of managing the allotments, ie complying with LBE rules relating to rent collection and plot letting, and for communication purposes including notices of meetings, events and circulation of news and information.
12.4 In so far as is practicable the Association will ensure that personal data is up to date; Members of the Association agree to keep the Association informed of any change in relevant personal details, eg contact telephone number, address.
12.5 The Association shall retain personal data only for so long as is necessary.
12.6 The Association will not share members’ personal data with any third party organisations save the London Borough of Ealing or as otherwise required by law.
13. ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
13.1 This constitution was adopted at an Annual General Meeting held on 15 April 2018.
APPENDIX 1: FRAMFIELD ALLOTMENTS ASSOCIATION CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION POLICY
Framfield Allotments Association is involved in providing services for a wide range of people of all ages. These include families and friends of tenants and visitors from outside organisations such as schools and community groups. Some of these people are likely to be vulnerable adults (refer to Definitions, below).
Framfield Allotments Association acknowledges a duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. It is committed to ensuring safeguarding practices that reflect statutory responsibilities, government guidance and comply with best practice and regulatory requirements. It considers it the duty of volunteers to protect children and vulnerable adults with whom they come into contact from abuse.
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children and vulnerable adults
• have a positive and enjoyable experience at Framfield Allotments in a safe environment
• are protected from abuse whilst participating in activities at Framfield Allotments.
Framfield Allotments Association acknowledges that some children and adults, including less-abled individuals or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.
As part of our safeguarding policy, Framfield Allotments Association will:
• promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults
• encourage members to be aware and alert to signs that all is not well with a vulnerable person. However, members are not responsible for diagnosing, investigating or providing a therapeutic response to abuse. It is recognised that not all concerns relate to abuse; there may well be other explanations. It is important to keep an open mind and consider what is known about the child or vulnerable person and his or her circumstances. No action should be taken without discussion with a member of the management team.
• ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
• ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
• prevent the deployment of unsuitable individuals
• ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation. All visiting groups from schools and external organisations must be accompanied by their own recognised responsible adults, eg parents, teachers, carers.
This policy and related procedures will be widely promoted and must be followed by everyone involved in Framfield Allotments. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the Association or, in more serious cases, from the site.
The policy will be reviewed in the following circumstances:
• changes in legislation and/or government guidance
• as a result of any other significant change or event.
A vulnerable adult is defined as being a person (over 18) who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness.