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Rules of the Ashford Allotment Society (The Society)

(Incorporating the Ashford Allotment Forum)


1.

OBJECTIVES:

1.1

To enable allotment sites within the Borough of Ashford (the Borough) to co-operate
with each other and with Ashford Borough Council (ABC) on matters of mutual
interest.

1.2

To advise ABC on improvements and enhancements that may be made to allotments


in their ownership.

1.3

To obtain supplies of seeds, fertilisers, tools and other horticultural equipment


needed by allotment tenants (Bulk Buying).

1.4

To arrange lectures, demonstrations, competitions, film shows and other social


events.

1.5

To co-operate with other Gardening Societies in matters of mutual interest.

1.6

To promote allotment gardening in the Ashford Borough Area.

2.

MEMBERSHIP:

2.1

All allotment tenants within the Borough (including private, parish and town council
tenants) are eligible to be members of the Society.

2.2

The Secretary of the Society shall keep a register of Members, including the
following:

their name and address


their date of joining
payments (or non payment) of fees for the Bulk Buying Scheme

Note: This information may be stored on a computer. It will not be disclosed to third
parties without the Members consent.
2.3

Membership of the Society shall cease if:

the Member ceases to be an allotment tenant


the Member notifies the Secretary in writing of their resignation from the
Society.

3.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

3.1

No subscription is required for membership of the Society.

3.2

A subscription is required for membership of the Bulk-Buying Scheme (see 7.5)

4.

OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY:

4.1

The Society shall be following officers:

4.2

Chairman

Secretary

The Societys Committee elects the above officers. Officers need not be elected Site
Representatives. Officers will be elected at the Committees AGM (see 6.2), and
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serve for two years. With the exception of the secretary who will be elected at the
autumn meeting.
4.3

Except for the Chairmans casting vote, Officers of the Society will not vote at the
Societys Committee Meetings.

4.4

The Show Secretary will be responsible for arranging horticultural shows, lectures,
demonstrations and outings that the Committee shall decide upon from time to time.
The Show Secretary will be responsible for submitting accounts to the Treasurer, for
all activities he arranges. All activities should be run to make a profit unless the
Committee agrees, prior to the event, to subsidise the event.

5.

THE SOCIETYS COMMITTEE

5.1

The Societys Committee will consist of its Officers and one Member elected from
each allotment site within the Borough. This Member will be know as the Site
Representative.

5.2

Each site will be asked to propose and second an individual tenant as their Site
Representative. Should more than one individual be nominated, there will be a
postal ballot of all tenants to determine which individual is elected. The position of
Site Representative will be held for two years.

5.3

If a Site Representative is elected to one of the Societys officer posts, the Sites
Members may elect another individual to the Committee as its Site Representative.

5.4

Site Representatives are eligible to vote at the Societys Committee meetings.

5.5

If a Site Representative is not able to attend a Meeting, she/he will give their
apologies to the Chairman or the Secretary and will inform them of another Member
from their site will attend in their place.

5.6

Responsibilities of Site Representatives (for ABC Sites):


On behalf of their Members, Site Representatives will raise the following matters with
ABC as necessary:

Water
Site security
Site tidiness
Integrity of paths, plot layouts and external boundaries

they should also:

5.7

5.8

Attend site inspections with ABC representatives at a time to be mutually


arranged.

Promote site occupancy.

Communicate from time to time as necessary to Site Members information


from ABC and The Ashford Allotment Society.

The Committee may, from time to time, nominate sub-committee/s of three or more
Members of the Society to advise the Committee on various matters. Unless
otherwise eligible as Members of the Societys Committee, members of a subcommittee do not have voting powers.
Ashford Borough Council and Parish Councils will nominate such officers, as they
consider necessary to work with the Society.
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5.9

A Steering Committee of at least three Members of the Society, one of whom will
normally be the Secretary, will be responsible for implementing committee policy
between meetings and drawing up the agendas for future meetings.

6.

MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY:

6.1

Four Committee meetings will be held each year, usually in January, April and
September the fourth meeting usually in October will be an Open Forum.

6.2

Members of the Society who are not Committee members are welcome to attend the
meetings as observers. They may not vote and may not take part in discussions,
unless agreed by prior arrangement with the steering Committee.

6.3

The Societys AGM will take place during the April Committee Meeting, Officers with
the exception of the Secretary will be elected every other year at this meeting.

6.4

An Open Forum meeting will be held each year. The Open Forum will enable a
dialogue to take place between Members of the Society and Committee Members
and Officers. Prizes and awards will normally be made at the Open Forum.

6.5

Agenda Items for the Committee Meetings and the AGM should be forwarded to the
Secretary, for consideration by the steering committee, at least four weeks before the
meeting. Society Members should submit items to their Site Representative, for
consideration as above.

6.6

The following will be standing items at the Committee Meetings:

Chairmans opening remarks


Minutes of the last meeting
Site Reports from the Site Representative
Bulk Buying Managers report
Treasurers Report

6.7

Special Meetings of the Committee will be held, if a request is made in writing to the
Steering Committee, supported by at least five Committee Members.

7.

BULK BUYING:

7.1

The Bulk Buying Scheme has been set up by the Ashford Allotment Society to
provide Members with a competitively priced supply of seeds, fertilisers, composts,
tools and other horticultural items.

7.2

The Bulk Buying Manager will be elected by the Societys Committee and with two or
more members of the Society, will form the Bulk Buying Committee. The Manager is
responsible for the day-to-day running of the scheme.

7.3

The Manager will hold a separate bank account t the Society. Payments from this
account must be authorised by the manager and one other member of the Bulk
Buying Committee. The account should not contain more than xxxx. Surpluses
over this amount should be transferred to the Societys main bank account. The bulk
buying account is only to be used for the purchase of stock. All other expenses
incurred under the bulk buying scheme eg insurance, electricity, fixtures and fittings
and water, will be paid for by the Treasurer from the Societys main account.

7.4

The Bulk Buying Manager will maintain records of sales and purchases. These are
to be audited annually by two members of the Societys Committee who are not
involved with the Bulk Buying Sub-Committee.
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7.5

Membership of the Bulk Buying Scheme is open to all members of the Society and
other gardeners upon payment of an annual fee of 2.50. A membership card will be
issued and must be used to support all purchases.

7.6

Members joining the Scheme after the inaugural year will be required to pay an
additional joining fee of 2.50. Non allotment holders 5 per annum and 5 joining
fee.

7.7

Members of the Scheme may apply in writing to the Secretary to have their
membership suspended for one year giving reasons, where appropriate. Otherwise,
Membership will lapse if the annual fee is not paid.

7.8

The annual fee should be paid by the end of October each year, membership will be
considered to have lapsed if not paid by January and a joining fee will be required to
rejoin.

8.

THE MAIN ACCOUNT:

8.1

This account will be maintained by the Treasurer who will keep a record of all income
and expenditure, except that relating to the Bulk Buying Scheme (see 7.3).

8.2

The Treasurer may make payments of expenses for the running of the Bulk Buying
Scheme and expenses for running the Society incurred by the Secretary eg
stationery, postage. All other payments by the Treasurer shall have prior approval of
the full Committee of the Society.

8.3

The Accounts should be audited annually by two independent members of the


Committee prior to the AGM. If the annual income of the Society exceeds XXX,
external auditors should be appointed. The Treasurer should present the annual
accounts at the September meeting.

8.4

On presenting the financial statements (accounts) to the September meeting, the


Treasurer should make a recommendation to the Committee as to the amount of
funds in the forthcoming year at the Committees disposal. Where available, a
proportion of any surplus should be allocated to a reserve fund.

8.5

The Treasurer should maintain a cash float of 25 for day-to-day use. All amounts
above 25 should be kept in the Societys main account. The Treasurer and one
other Member of the Committee should sign cheques drawn against the societys
bank account. There may be three signatories. Funds surplus to day-to-day needs
will be kept in a deposit account.

8.6

Committee members may ask to inspect the accounts of both the Bulk Buying
Scheme and the main account. Other members of the Society may apply in writing
to the Committee to appoint an actuary or accountant to inspect the accounts at their
expense.

8.7

Additional rules governing the management and day-to-day running of the bulk
buying seed shed will be added prior to the completion of the shed.

9.

AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES:

9.1

The rules may be amended by resolution at the AGM (or special Committee Meeting)
subject to a two-thirds majority voting in favour of the change.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF ALLOTMENT AND LEISURE
GARDENERS:

10.

10.1

The Ashford Allotment Society will be a Member of the above Society.

11.

ARBITRATION

11.1

In case any dispute arises between the Society or any of its offices and any Members
or persons claiming on account of a Member or under the Rules, or in case of any
complaint against any Member, application may be made to the Committee for
redress, and should the Committee not bring the parties to agreement, the matter in
dispute shall be submitted to arbitration. One arbitrator shall be appointed by each of
the parties concerned, and one by the Management Committee of the National
Society. The award of the arbitrators shall be final, and the costs of such arbitration
shall be borne by the disputing parties in such proportion as the arbitrators may
determine. In this rule the word Member includes any person aggrieved who has for
not more than six months ceased to be a Member.

12.

DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY:

12.1

The Society may, at any time, be dissolved by the consent of three-fourths of the
Members, testified by their signatures to an instrument of dissolution.

CS:ES:JT - Rules of The Ashford Allotment Society/AEH