CONSTITUTION & RULES OF SUTTON LANE ALLOTMENT SOCIETY, SHREWSBURY
1. NAME AND OBJECTS
1.1. The Society shall be called the Sutton Lane Allotment Society.
1.2. The name of the Society shall be used in any correspondence.
1.3. The object of the Society is to encourage and promote sustainable allotment cultivation and to support gardeners on the site whenever possible.
1.4. Society shall liaise with the Shrewsbury Town Council in matters associated with the tenancy of the site.
2. GOVERNANCE AND DAY TO DAY MANAGEMENT
2.1. Governance of the Society shall be vested in the General Meetings.
2.2. Day to day management shall be delegated to the Management Committee.
3. MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS
3.1. The Committee will consist of a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, together with a maximum of seven further Society members. The Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees for any special purposes. All officers and Committee members shall be elected from members of the Society at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nominations for the posts of Officers must be made in writing, signed by a proposer, seconder and by the person nominated and delivered to the Secretary no later than fourteen days prior to the advertised date for the AGM. Members may not nominate or second themselves. Nominations can be accepted from the floor in the event that a Nominee withdraws at the AGM or if there have been no nominations for a post. Nominations for committee members can be made either in advance or at the AGM. The Committee may co-opt members to assist in its work. Such members will be non-voting and will not count towards a quorum.
3.2. The Committee may fill any vacancy arising during the year. Members so appointed will be full voting members of the committee and count towards a quorum.
3.3. The Treasurer and Secretary may receive an annual Honorarium for their services. This amount will be agreed by the membership at the AGM.
3.4. Any officer or Committee member may be removed by a simple majority following an open discussion which gives the member an opportunity to put their point of view. Votes may be secret, but the voting numbers and result will be noted in the minutes.
3.5. Any Committee member who fails to attend two meetings in any year for any reason unacceptable to the Committee will cease to be a Committee member.
4. MEETINGS OF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
4.1. The Committee will meet at least quarterly.
4.2. A quorum for such meetings will be 50% of the current committee.
4.3. At all meetings of the Committee, every question shall be decided by a simple majority. In the case of an equal number of votes being cast both for and against, the Chairman shall have the casting vote. If the chairman is absent from the meeting, an acting Chairman will be voted in and shall preside at that meeting.
4.4. The Chairman and Treasurer and or Secretary may take any emergency actions required where it is not practicable to present the action to a normal meeting. Such actions will be reported at the next meeting.
5. LIST OF MEMBERS
5.1. The Committee of Management shall cause to be kept a list of members update annually. This list shall contain the relevant contact details of members.
6.1. Honorary, Social and Members shall be as defined in the current Management Policy Document (MPD)01 Membership Categories
6.2. Members will elect a Management Committee at the AGM who shall have the power to elect honorary members.
6.3. Members will be required to pay such annual subscriptions as are agreed at the Annual General Meeting.
6.4. Members are required to pay rent as determined by the Committee when STC notifies it of annual charges.
6.5. All resignations from the Society should be made in writing to the Secretary.
6.6. Members are required to comply with the Society’s Constitution and Rules.
7.1. The Treasurer shall take care of all money and goods belonging to the Society. The Society’s funds will be deposited with a bank agreed by the Committee and disbursed on instruction from the Committee. Any two signatures are required on cheques from the following officers: Chairman; Treasurer; Secretary.
7.2. The treasurer will keep an up to date record of all income and expenditure related to the Society’s financial transactions. Where practical these will be supported by invoices, receipts or vouchers which show the date, total amount paid and the purpose of the expenditure. Such records will be subject to independent examination.
7.3. The Treasurer shall give a report to the meetings of the Committee, and this will be noted in the minutes.
7.4. The Treasurer will present a written report to the AGM. Any receipts or expenditure related to any grants will be recorded separately.
7.5. The Treasurer shall close the accounts on 31st December each year and prepare income and expenditure statements and balance sheet for presentation to an independent examiner.
7.6. The independent examiner will be appointed at the AGM
7.7. The accounts shall be circulated at the AGM.
8. GENERAL MEETINGS
8.1. The Annual General meeting shall be held in March of each year. Members shall receive at least 21 days’ notice of the date, time and place of the meeting, and of any special business.
8.2. Additional agenda items for the AGM must be sent in writing to the Secretary 14 days before the AGM.
8.3. The Constitution and Rules will not be amended, without sanction by the majority of the members present at an AGM or Special General Meeting (SGM).
8.4. Any amendment to the constitution will be recorded in writing and signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Society.
8.5. At the written request of at least 6 members the Chairman will call an Extraordinary General meeting for a specific purpose. All members shall receive 7 days' notice of such a meeting with details of the agenda.
8.6. Annual membership rent and subscriptions will be agreed by the membership at the AGM.
8.7. Any member present at the AGM and not disqualified shall have one vote. Where the votes cast are equal, the Chairman shall have a deciding vote in addition to his/her normal vote.
8.8. The Chairman of the Management Committee shall preside at the AGM or SGM.
8.9. The quorum for an AGM or SGM will consist of 8 members to include the three residing Officers, namely Chair; Secretary and Treasurer, or their nominated representative.
8.10. No political or sectarian issue shall be raised or discussed at either an AGM or SGM.
9.1. The Society shall affiliate itself to any organisation that promotes the recreational activity of allotment and garden cultivation as deemed appropriate by the committee.
10. DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY
10.1. The Society may be dissolved at any time by the consent of 75% of the members, testified by their signatures to an instrument of dissolution. This should set out clearly what is to happen to any assets and residual cash after payment of expenses.
11. COPIES OF RULES AND CONSTITUTION
11.1 A copy shall be given to every new member on joining, and further copies may be provided at cost.
12. RULES: DUTIES OF MEMBERS
12.1. To observe all rules relating to the allotment gardens as set out by the Committee.
12.2. Rents and subscriptions will be due by 1st February.
12.3. Any member one month in arrears with either the subscription or rent will be removed from the list of members and lose any benefit from such membership. A person so dismissed may be reinstated at the Committee’s discretion.
12.4. No member may sub-let a plot.
12.5. A member is responsible for notifying the Committee of any change of contact details.
12.6. Members must maintain the pathways around their allotment.
12.7. The use of weed killer on pathways is not permitted.
12.8. No member may encroach on any path or roadway. All paths roadways and fences must be kept clear of rubbish.
12.9. The dumping of stones, rubble or rubbish anywhere on the allotment site, as well as the approaching footpaths, is not permitted.
12.10. No barbed wire may be used on an allotment.
12.11. Member wishing to erect a hut, shed, greenhouse or other translucent cultivation structure on their plot(s), must comply with the current M.P.D.07.Temporary Structures.
12.12. An allotment holder will not cause any nuisance to any other plot holder. No livestock will be kept anywhere on the site.
12.13. Bonfires will be permitted on plots subject to the current M.P.D. 02 – Bonfires
12.14. No member may remove or cause to be removed any soil from the site, without obtaining permission from the Committee.
12.15. Any refuse container provided by the Society must be used in accordance with the rules.
12.16. Dogs are prohibited from the site.
12.17. Members bringing children onto the site are responsible for their safety and good behaviour.
12.18. If a member wishes to plant a tree(s), fruit or ornamental, on their plot(s), they must seek the approval of the Committee before proceeding. Permission to plant fruit trees and/or bushes, will normally be denied on quarter plots.
12.19. Sprinklers and hosepipes must not be left unattended. All hose pipes must be disconnected from the standpipe after use.
12.20. Gates and doors must be locked properly at all times.
12.21. In the event of a dispute or complaint between allotment occupiers this should be submitted in writing to the Committee in accordance with the current M.P.D. 03 - Complaints Procedure
12.22. A 5 mph speed limit exists throughout the site
12.23. The sale of produce for personal profit is prohibited.
12.24 If a plot remains unattended and neglected for a period of six months and no communication has been received by the member, the Committee will reserve the right to cancel the membership only when all reasonable endeavours have been made to contact the member, have been exhausted.
12.25 New members will be subject to a twelve month probationary period.
13. NON-COMPLIANCE – M.P.D. 04
13.1. If, in the opinion of a two thirds majority of the Committee, the conduct of any member be injurious to the character and interests of the Society, that member shall be subject to a non compliance review of their actions by the committee to consider what measures should be taken to maintain the good governance, reputation and compliance with the Rules of the Society.
13.2. This review may result in the imposition of sanctions on the member appropriate to the nature of the non-compliance event including expulsion from the Society.
13.3. The Committee will prepare guidelines on the procedures to be adopted in pursuance of maintaining compliance with its Rules, including the identification of appeals procedures, to enable a member to seek redress should they consider the committee’s sanction decisions unreasonable. A copy of the non-compliance guidelines will be made available on request.
14. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY – M.P.D. 05
14.1. The Society will adhere to an equal opportunities policy. The management committee will develop, maintain and administer this policy on behalf of the membership. A copy of the MPD will be made available to members on request and on the website.
15. HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY – M.P.D. 06
15.1. The Society will adhere to a health and safety policy. The management committee will develop, maintain and administer this policy on behalf of the membership. A copy of the MPD 06 will be made available to members on request and on the website.
THIS CONSTITUTION was adopted as the constitution of the Sutton Lane Allotment Society at a meeting of allotment holders held on 9th July 2005. but subject to revisions as follows;
Revised and approved at the 2014, 2017 and 2018 AGM’s
Revised Clause 6 a+g) membership amended in principle at AGM 2016, Honorary and Social Membership definitions Incorporated as Management Policy Document 01 in 2018
Revised Clause 11.11 Erection of Temporary Structures; Temporary Structures clause 12.11. Alteration proposed under MPD 07 at 2018 AGM
Revised Clause 12.13 Bonfires; incorporation of Bonfire Policy Document. approved in principle at AGM 2016, text MPD 02 tabled at the 2018 AGM
Amendment to Clause 12.16: Pertaining to permanent ban of dogs on site. Amended at AGM 2018
Revised 12.18 : Quarter Plots; Amended in principle at AGM 2022; restrictions to planting on quarter plot. Approved 2022 AGM
Addition to Constitution & Rules 12.24 : Pertaining to unattended plots. Approved 2022 AGM.
Revised MPD 03 : Complaints Process. Approved 2022 AGM
Amendment to MPD 07: Temporary Structures. Sheds on quarter plots not permitted, greenhouses allowed.
Addition to Constitution & Rules: 12.25 : Pertaining to twelve month probationary period for new members. Approved 2023 AGM.
Amendment to Clause 12.9: Pertaining to extending the dumping of stones to include approaching footpaths. Approved 2023 AGM.