Constitution

Framfield Allotments Association (London Borough of Ealing) Constitution

1. NAME
1.1. The name of the association will be Framfield Allotments Association (hereafter referred to as ‘the Association’).

2. OBJECTIVES
2.1 To promote the interests of all members in their gardening activities, within the framework of the various Allotment Acts.
2.2 To help generate allotment community involvement in the management and promotion of Framfield Allotments. The Association will be responsible for the organisation of supporting activities for the benefit of all plotholders, including manure collection,; improvements to site conditions and facilities, fundraising, social events, support of new and less able plot holders.
2.3 To take action to protect members and their plots against damage, trespass and theft and to secure the site from vandals and other anti-social activities.
2.4 To work with Ealing Council to maintain and develop Framfield Allotments.
2.5 To co-operate with other local gardening associations in matters of mutual interest.
2.6 To develop and strengthen links with the local community.

3. MEMBERS
3.1. Membership of the Association will consist of all persons who are named, current, legal and paid-up holders of allotment gardens on Framfield Allotments.
3.2. Every member shall have one vote at meetings, irrespective of the number of plots they cultivate. In the case of plots held in joint names, only one plotholder may vote.
3.3. Each member shall pay an annual subscription. This will be used for administrative expenses of the Association, including insurance, subscriptions, postage, posters, newsletters and the website, and for site maintenance costs such as fuel, servicing and spare parts for equipment.
3.4. The subscription is payable at the same time as rental for the plots cultivated by that member. Arrears – any member who is two months in arrears with their subscriptions shall forfeit all rights and benefits until arrears are paid in full.
3.5. The Association shall have a duty to ensure that the income from subscription fees is sufficient to cover the costs outlined in Clause 3.3. Changes to the subscription fee will be subject to a vote at the Annual General Meeting.

4. RENTAL AND TENANCY ARRANGEMENTS
4.1. Management (including tenancies) and maintenance of the infrastructure (fences, gates, water supply) are the responsibility of Ealing Council. The Association will work with the Council’s site manager in the pursuit of the Objectives.

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 General Meeting of the Association. A quorum at Management Group meetings shall not be fewer than four members.
5.2.   The Management Group shall consist of the Officers elected under Clause 5.3 and a number of additional Association members appointed by the Officers to assist with the running of specific functions of the Association, including work days, events, membership, group visits, communications and the website.
5.3. The Annual General Meeting shall elect the following Officers of the Association:  Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. The Officers shall serve in their respective capacities as Officers of the Management Group until the following Annual General Meeting.
5.4. Officers will be nominated by a member of the Association and seconded by two other Association members.
5.5. Officers shall serve for a period of one year and shall hold office until the conclusion of the following Annual General Meeting. Retiring Officers are eligible for re-election.
5.6. 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.
5.7. The Council-appointed Site Manager will be co-opted onto the Management Group.

6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
6.1. A minimum of seven days’ notice shall be given of the Annual General Meeting at which the audited accounts and Secretary’s report will be given.
6.2. The Officers 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 equal voting the Chair will have the casting vote.
6.4. If a Special General Meeting is necessary, the request needs to be submitted in writing to the Chair by a minimum of ten members. The Special General Meeting must be called within 21 days of receipt of the request, with seven days’ notice given.
6.5.  Members will be notified in advance of any proposed changes to the constitution, which will be discussed and voted on at a General Meeting.

7. RULES
7.1. Rules of tenancy of Framfield Allotments are to remain distinct from the constitution.
7.2. Anyone who deliberately flouts the Objectives or any of the Policies laid down in the constitution will be ejected from the Association.

8. FINANCE
8.1. All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objects 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 If, for any reason, the Association should dissolve, any monies held by the Association will be distributed to other local Associations for the benefit of allotments.

9. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL POLICY
9.1. 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.
9.2 In order to minimise the impact upon the local environment the Association will promote the following:
– waste management, recycling and composting, encourage and explore new ways to reduce waste and encourage re-use and recycling on allotments;
– efficient use of water on allotments 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/wildlife-friendly practices on allotment plots through the provision of information and support to plot holders.
9.3 The Association will promote a policy of good neighbours with the local community, and will establish and develop links with the surrounding community.

10. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
10.1. The Association recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to our society, and a right to equal treatment. We aim 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.
10.2. The Association shall be non-party political and non-partisan.
10.3 The Association will follow a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy, detailed in Appendix 1 to this constitution.

11. ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
This constitution was adopted at an Annual General Meeting held on 19 April 2015.

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 legal 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 practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies 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 able 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. 

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for 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 organisation. 

Monitoring 

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. 

Definitions

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.