Name, object and powers
- Adoption of this constitution
The Society and its property will be administered and managed in accordance with the provisions in this constitution.
The name of the Society is Levenshulme and District Allotment Society (being the combined name of Barlow Road, Highfield and Hallsville Road allotments) referred to as LADAS throughout this Document
- Official Communications
Official communications will normally be received and signed on behalf of the society by the Secretary, or in the absence of the Secretary by the Chair or Treasurer.
- Aim and objectives
- Aim – To promote, protect and preserve a thriving allotment community at LADAS Allotments and to support and encourage the pursuit of gardening as a healthy recreation for the social welfare of members and the wider community.
- To manage and maintain the site, communal buildings and equipment at LADAS and seek on-going improvements in their standards and facilities.
- To work with Manchester City Council, the landlords
- Administer a waiting list and let plots on a first come first served basis.
- Promote allotments and good gardening practice to members and in the community.
- Promote community fellowship and education on site including the provision of reasonable support to new gardeners on the site.
- To actively cooperate with groups and organisations in support of our aims and objectives.
The society shall have full powers to do all lawful 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 society shall be directed toward the propagation or political or religious doctrines, or take part in any party political or religious denominational activities.
- Income and property
- The income and property of the society can only be used in pursuit of its objectives.
- A member can be reimbursed for expenses incurred when acting for the society on approval of the committee.
- Committee members will be covered by indemnity insurance purchased on their behalf.
- All expenditure must be approved, normally in advance, by the Committee.
- Equal Opportunities Policy
Levenshulme and District allotments Society operates an equal opportunities policy for all existing members, and for those wishing to become members and will avoid discrimination on the grounds of Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Race, Religion and belief, Sex and Sexual orientation in accordance with the Equality Act of 2010.
Use of name
- The name shall be mentioned in all business letters of the society, notices, advertisements and other official publications of the Society, and payments, cheques, orders for money or goods that are signed on behalf of the Society and in all bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the Society. The name of the Society may only be used with the consent of the Committee
- The Society shall consist of plot holders at LADAS Allotments site and individuals over eighteen or those who support our objectives and who the Committee admit to membership.
- Membership cannot be transferred to anyone else.
- Members are required to pay full membership, unless within 2 months of the next renewal date. The appropriate subscription fee will be set by the AGM.
- Termination of membership
A member shall cease to be a member if:
- The member dies
- The member resigns by written notice to the society.
- The annual subscription is not paid within 40 days of it falling due.
- The member is removed by a resolution of committee members and the member has been given 21 days written notice of the meeting and the member or the member’s representative has had the chance to make representations to the meeting.
List of members
- The secretary will keep a register of members names and contact details. Members may see their entry. Members must inform the secretary of changes to their contact details..
Governance and Day to Day Management
- Governance shall be vested in the General Meeting.
- Day to day management is delegated to the Committee.
Committee and Officers
- The Committee
- The Committee must be members of the society.
- The Committee will consist of a Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-chair together with a maximum of 7 committee members or such number as may be determined at General Meeting.
- Election of Committee Members
- The Committee shall be elected from members of the society at the Annual General Meeting by secret ballot. (The nominated Auditor will count the votes) There will be a separate proposal for each nominee.
- Each of the committee members shall retire with effect at the end of the next Annual General Meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election. Officers should normally retire for a minimum of one year after three years in office.
- Nominees must give the society a notice in writing 28 days before the meeting that:
- State the name of the nominee
- State the name of a proposer and seconder
- Provide a brief statement on the nominees experience and suitability for the role.
- In the event of no one being elected to one of the officer roles, nominations will be made from the elected members at the first committee meeting
- There will be four trustees with powers of administration over property held in trust for LADAS. Trustees may only exercise their powers under the direction of the standing committee and are to comply with decisions made by majority vote of the standing committee. The appointment of trustees will be proposed by the standing committee and confirmed by a majority vote at the AGM. The officers of LADAS are eligible while they are in office and for five years following their resignation. Trustees are appointed for a term of 5 years. Trustees may be removed by a majority vote at a General Meeting. Trustees may resign by written notice to the society. If there are fewer than four trustees the current trustees may co-opt a member to act as trustee until the next AGM.
- Mid-term Vacancies
The Committee may appoint members to fill any vacancy arising during the year. Members appointed will be full voting members and count towards a quorum.
- Co-opted Committee Members
The Committee may co-opt any member of the committee to assist in its work. Such co-opted members are non-voting and do not count toward a quorum.
- Powers of the Committee
The Committee shall have the full power to supervise and manage the day to day work of society according to the rules for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives.
Any member who has failed to attend two meetings in any year for any reasons unacceptable to the Committee will cease to be a Committee member.
- Removal from Committee
1 The Management Committee 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 her/his point of view. The vote may be by secret ballot and the number of votes will be recorded in the minutes. There will be a right of appeal to the Association of Manchester Allotment Societies
2 Resignation in writing to the Chair / Secretary
- Frequency of Meetings
The Committee will meet monthly. A regular meeting day and time will be decided at the first committee meeting. Each meeting will agree the date of the next meeting.
- Quorum for Committee Meetings
The quorum for Committee meetings is 4 or 40% of the Committee plus one, whichever is greater.
- Emergency Actions
The Chair and either the Secretary or Treasurer may take any emergency actions required where it is not practicable for the business to be decided upon at a regular or special committee meeting. Details of the action will be reported and recorded in the minutes of the next committee meeting.
- Conduct of Meetings
- At all committee meetings every question shall be decided by a majority vote. If the vote is tied the Chair will have an extra, deciding vote.
- If the Chair is absent the Vice-chair will chair that meeting. If the Vice-chair is absent the meeting shall elect a chair.
- Society members’ attendance at committee meetings
Plot holders and society members can attend committee meetings as observers without invitation or having to give notice. The committee may invite members to participate in discussion but not vote on a proposal where the member has expertise or an interest.
- Repair and Insurance
The committee must keep in repair communal buildings belonging to the society and insure them to their full value against fire and other usual risks. They must also ensure that suitable public liability insurance is held. Providing this is not more than double the current premium.
- The Committee may from time to time make rules for the conduct of their business including but not limited to:
- The admission of members.
- The conduct of members.
- Keeping and authenticating records.
- Procedure at meetings, where it is not already regulated by this constitution.
- The Society has the power to repeal, alter or add to the rules by a vote at a General Meeting.
- The rules shall be binding on all members. No rule shall be inconsistent with or affect anything included in this constitution.
- The committee can delegate any of their powers or functions to a sub-committee. The terms of the delegation must be recorded in the minutes. The committee may revoke or alter a delegation. The committee may impose additional conditions when delegating.
- Sub-committees must keep a record of all their meetings and actions and present these to the Committee promptly and fully.
- The sub-committee must submit a proposal with a budget, and risk assessment to the committee for approval before proceeding. All spending must be in accordance with the budget agreed by the Committee in advance.
- Financial Records
The treasurer shall keep an up to date and accurate record of all income and expenditure related to the Society’s financial transactions. All expenditure must be supported by a receipt or voucher showing: the date of expenditure, the total amount, the purpose for which payment was made. Receipts for membership fee income will be given, recording the date paid, the duration of membership fee and the name of the member. The receipt will be proof of membership.
The treasurer shall open a cheque book account with a bank or building society in the name of the Society. i Payments by cheque require two of four authorised signatories – the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary or Shop Manager
- Annual Accounts Format
If no other activity is envisaged then a simple Income and Expenditure account and a balance sheet is sufficient. In the event of other activities (e.g trading, shows) that need recording separately then a separate simple sub account will be introduced with the agreement to the Committee.
- Loans & Borrowing
Loans, borrowing and other credit arrangements need a specific decision at an Annual General Meeting before a contract is entered into.
- Reports to Committee
The Treasurer will make a verbal report to each committee meeting on income, expenditure and liabilities up to the Friday before the meeting, and make available at the meeting the most recent bank statement. If the treasurer is not available he/she will submit a written report. The Treasurer’s report will be recorded in the minutes.
- Special Expenditure
When special projects are considered they will be costed as far as possible and the Treasurer will advise on possible ways of funding.
- Financial Advice
Where the society needs financial advice the Treasurer shall seek financial advice required and advise the Committee.
- Presentation of accounts for audit
The Treasurer shall close the account on the 31st December each year and prepare income and expenditure statements and a balance sheet for presentation to the Honorary Auditor at the earliest opportunity in the following month.
- Mid-term vacancy
Where for any reason the Treasurer ceases to hold office the Committee will appoint an Acting Treasurer and ask the Honorary Auditor to carry out an interim audit in preparation for the new Treasurer taking up office.
- Membership Fee
The Treasurer shall advice the Annual General Meeting of any changes required in the membership fee for the current financial year and the Annual General Meeting will consider and decide on the membership fee.
- Appointment of Auditor
The Honorary Auditor shall be appointed at each Annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the close of the following Annual General Meeting.
The auditor must not be an officer of the Society or a member of the Committee but any other person, member or not, who has agreed to carry out the duty may be nominated and appointed at the Annual General Meeting.
- Mid-term vacancy
Where for any reason the auditor ceases to hold office the Committee will appoint a replacement auditor as soon as practical and record this in the minutes.
Audit of Accounts
- Audit Procedure
The auditor shall receive the draft accounts, payments, receipts files, bank statements and bank books from the Treasurer at the earliest opportunity in January each year. The Auditor will examine them and report on final accounts as to their accuracy based on the documents of the Society’s financial transactions for the year.
- Approval of Audit Accounts
The Annual General Meeting will consider the annual accounts presented by the Treasurer and/or the Auditor. Adoption of the accounts will be proposed by someone other than the Auditor or Treasurer. At the Annual General Meeting the Auditor may raise any financial matters which require the attention of the Society.
- Availability of Audited Accounts
Any member has the right to request a copy of the adopted audited accounts from the Secretary who will provide them within two weeks of the request.
- Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting shall be held in February each year.
- Special General Meeting
A Special General Meeting can be called by the Committee at any time, or when it is requested in writing by 25 members to the Secretary. The request must state the general nature of the business to be discussed. The Committee must hold the meeting within 28 days of receiving the request. If the Committee fail to hold the meeting within 28 days the members who signed the request can call the meeting themselves, but they must comply with this constitution.
- Notice of General Meeting
A minimum of 14 days’ notice must be given for general meetings. The notice must specify the date, time and place of the meeting and the general nature of the business to be conducted. No other business than that stated in the notice shall be carried out at that meeting. The notice must be given in writing to all members and committee members using the primary method of communication recorded on the list of members. (ie email and Notice boards)
- Agenda Items
Agenda items must be received by the secretary in writing 28 days prior to the meeting.
- Proposals for motions and changes of rules
Proposals must be received in writing 28 days before the meeting. Proposals and nominations must be signed by the proposer and a seconder.
- Voting at General Meetings
Each full member shall have one vote. If the vote is tied then the person chairing the meeting shall have an extra deciding vote.
- Presiding Officer
General Meetings shall be chaired by the Society Chair. If the Chair is not present within 15 minutes of the start time of the meeting the vice-chair shall chair the meeting. If the vice-chair is not present or willing to chair the meeting then a committee member nominated by the Committee shall chair the meeting. If no committee member is present or willing to chair the meeting within 15 minutes of the start time then the members present and entitled to vote must choose one of themselves to chair the meeting.
No business shall be conducted at a general meeting unless a quorum is present. A quorum at a General Meeting is 20 members entitled to vote at the meeting; or one third of the membership at the time, whichever is greater.
Dissolution of the Society
- The society may be dissolved by an instrument of dissolution signed by 75% of the membership. The resolution may set out what is to happen to any assets and residual cash after payment of expenses in accordance with sub-clause (2).
- The committee members will remain in office and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the society. The committee members must collect all the assets and pay any debts.
- Remaining property and funds must be spent in one or more of the following ways:
- Directly for the objectives of the society
- To be transferred to an organisation with the same or similar objectives
- To be lodged with the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners H/Q office and held against any reformation of a successor society.
- The society can amend the rules by a resolution passed by 75% of the vote at a General Meeting.