Introduction

This constitution document sets out the organisational structure of East Ward Allotment Association (“EWAA” or “Association“).
The primary objectives of the Association are to:

  • Manage the allotment site in a responsible and sustainable manner, in compliance with and adhering to the terms of the Lease with Oxford City Council (‘the Lease’).
  • Cooperate with Oxford City Council and the Oxford & District Federation of Allotment Associations (“ODFAA“) along with other organisations (Children’s Allotment, OUWG) to manage the site effectively.
  • Promote the interests of all the Plot-holders (“Plot-holders” or “Members“) with regard to good cultivation, site management, and enjoyment of the allotments.
  1. East Ward Allotment Association (EWAA)
    1.1. The EWAA Trustees will enter in the Lease on behalf of the Association.
    1.2. The rules set out in appendix 1 as amended from time to time shall apply to the Association (“Rules“).
    1.3. Through the Management Committee, the Association will grant licences to Plot-holders to occupy plots in accordance with the Constitution, the Rules and the licence set out in appendix 2 (“Licence“).
    1.4. The site may be used and occupied as allotment gardens (as defined in the Allotments Acts 1908 to 1950) and for no other purpose.
    1.5. Through ODFAA, the EWAA will arrange adequate Public Liability Insurance (PLI) to cover the Association, its Trustees, Management Committee and Plot-holders for any injury for which they may be held liable. (Certificate of Insurance is displayed on the website and in the Shop.)
    1.6. The EWAA will not be responsible for any injuries to Plot-holders, their family, helpers, or friends whilst on the allotment site or for any damage to or loss of personal property.
    1.7. The Committee will make every effort to ensure that its Plot-holders observe all conditions of the Lease, this Constitution, the Rules and the Licences.

  2. Trustees
    2.1. The Association will have a minimum of two and a maximum of three Trustees.
    2.2. The Association does not have legal personality and therefore the Trustees are appointed to sign the Lease on behalf of the Association.
    2.3. Trustees may also be elected as members or officers on the Committee.
    2.4. The Trustees will be elected by the Association at an Annual General Meeting of the Association (“AGM”) for a period of three years, renewable by re-election for further three-year periods.
    2.5. One Trustee will be one of the three signatories for the Association’s banking facility.

  3. The Committee
    3.1. The Association will appoint a committee of management of not less than 3 persons (including a Secretary) to be responsible to the Council for the conduct and affairs of the Association (“Committee“).
    3.2. The Committee will consist of five Officers, and between 5-7 ordinary members (together “Committee Members“).
    3.3. Officers are responsible for one specific role as follows:
    • Chair
    • Deputy Chair
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Membership Secretary
    3.4. Committee Members will hold office for one year and are eligible for re-election but no Committee Member may serve for longer than six years in the same role.
    3.5. Any Committee Member who does not attend 3 consecutive Committee meetings will be assumed to have resigned, and the Committee may co-opt another member to replace them.
    3.6. If insufficient Committee Members are appointed at the AGM, or if a Committee Member role becomes vacant, the Committee will be empowered to co-opt new Committee Member(s), whose appointment shall be confirmed at the next AGM.
    3.7. No Committee Member may be paid a fee by the Association but they may be reimbursed, on provision of a receipt, for any reasonable expenditure incurred in carrying out their duties or any other task authorised by the Committee.

  4. Committee Responsibilities
    4.1 Granting Licences to individual plots and keeping up-to-date records of Plot-holders (via the Membership Secretary).
    4.2 Keeping accounts and management of funds and bank accounts (via the Treasurer).
    4.3 Keeping minutes of Committee Meetings and General Meetings (via the Secretary).
    4.4 Agreeing with the Council any rent revisions on the review dates in accordance with the Lease and recommending a rent under the Licence to Members for the ensuing financial year ending on the date of the next AGM.
    4.5 Meeting every two months to discuss proposals and make decisions about the day-to-day running of the Association and the site including without limitation maintenance, site matters, work parties, hiring of plant and equipment, dispute resolution, improvement of facilities.
    4.6 A quorum will consist of four Committee Members, one of whom must be an Officer. If necessary, an extraordinary committee meeting may be called to deal with urgent business e.g. fire or flooding.
    4.7 The Committee shall communicate with Members through the Association’s website, email and noticeboards; the minutes of Committee meetings and AGMs and EGMs shall be published on the Association’s website.
    4.8 Inspecting the state of cultivation of individual plots and the overall condition of the site, at least twice and up to 4 times a year.
    4.9 Deciding on the delegation of tasks to the Committee Members.
    4.10 Members may notify the Committee of any matters which they wish the Committee to consider.

  5. Membership of the Association
    5.1 Plot-holders who have entered into a Licence shall be the members of the Association. If people share plots, then each person shall be a Member and shall be recorded in the Membership record. A register of Members shall be maintained by the Committee.
    5.2 All Members shall comply with the terms of the Lease, this Constitution, the Rules and the Licence (together the “Conditions“), copies of which shall be provided to Plot-holders when they join and sign the Licence. They shall also be made available on the Association’s website.
    5.3 Members shall report to the Committee any contravention of the Conditions, instances of theft, vandalism or other disturbances, and any disputes relating to the affairs of the Association.
    5.4 Plots are licensed for a period of twelve months and are renewable from year to year.
    5.5 Rent invoices are sent annually, after the rent for the year is agreed by Members at the AGM.
    5.6 Plot-holders shall pay the annual rent for their plot(s) within 30 days of receipt of the invoice. In the event that the Plot-holder fails to pay, the Committee may at its discretion issue a notice of default and failure to pay within 30 days following receipt of a notice of default shall give the Committee the right to issue a notice of termination of the Plot-holder’s Licence.
    5.7 Each Member has the rights to one vote at General Meetings (AGM or EGM). Plots may only be licensed by the Membership Secretary on behalf of the Association. Plot-holders are forbidden from sub-licensing or transferring the Licence of their plot (or any part of) to any other person either temporarily or permanently.

  6. Dispute Resolution
    6.1. The Committee is empowered to terminate a Plot-holder’s Licence and evict a Plot-holder for any serious or persistent contravention of the Conditions (“Breach“).
    6.2. A Plot-holder will be informed of the Breach and the steps required to remedy the Breach; if the Plot-holder fails to remedy the Breach after one oral communication from a Committee Member and one written communication from the Committee; the Committee may terminate the plot holder’s Licence and evict the Plot-holder from the site.
    6.3. Any dispute between two or more Members or between a Member and a member of the Committee will be decided by the Committee whose decision will be final.

  7. Annual General Meeting (AGM)
    7.1. The purpose of the AGM is to consult with the full membership in order to elect Trustees and Committee Members, to consider any issues relating to the Lease or to amendments to the Rules or Constitution, to approve the annual accounts, to approve the rent and to discuss any issues of importance to the site.
    7.2. The AGM shall be held no later than two months after the end of the Financial Year of the Association (August) – i.e. no later than the end of October.
    7.3. Nominations from Members for Trustees, Officers and Members of the Committee must be sent in writing (including by email) to the Secretary of the Association no later than seven days before the date of the AGM.
    7.4. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by two Members in writing (including by email).
    7.5. Notice of the AGM shall be given on at least twenty-one days before the date of the meeting together with requests for nominations for election of members of the Committee.
    7.6. The agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and the list of nominations for the Committee shall be circulated to Members on at least seven days’ notice prior to the date of the meeting.
    7.7. Changes to the Constitution and Rules may only be agreed at an AGM or EGM.

  8. Annual General Meeting Procedures
    8.1. Agreement of the Minutes of the previous AGM.
    8.2. Receipt of a statement of the accounts of the Association for the previous financial year.
    8.3. Setting of the rent for the coming year following the recommendation of the Committee, and recognising any changes in rent imposed by the Oxford City Council under the terms of the Lease.
    8.4. Receipt of a report from the Secretary on the activities of the Committee and any other matters affecting the administration of the Association.
    8.5. Receipt of a report from the Chair on any constitutional or policy issues affecting the Association or any other points of interest they wish to raise.
    8.6. Transaction of any major constitutional business or issues of policy previously notified in writing by the Secretary.
    8.7. Election of Trustees to fill vacancies in case of retirements or resignations.
    8.8. Election of the Committee for the coming year.
    8.9. Transaction of any other business raised by Members present in person.
    8.10. Any business left outstand standing may we considered at a subsequent EGM.

  9. Extraordinary General Meeting
    9.1. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any time by:
    • The Committee, if there is an item of urgent and important business on which Members must be consulted and which cannot wait until the next AGM including any business left outstanding from the AGM.
    • Members, on request signed by no fewer than 20 Members; clearly describing the business to be discussed; and written notice reaches the Secretary at least fifteen days before the proposed date.>
    9.2. Notification of an EGM and its agenda must be circulated to all Members on at least seven days’ notice prior to the date of the meeting and prominently displayed on the Association’s allotment site and its website for a period of not less than seven days prior to the date of the meeting.

  10. AGM and EGM Quorum and Voting
    10.1. The Quorum for an AGM or EGM will be 12% of the Members present in person or by proxy.
    10.2. Members unable to attend the AGM or an EGM may vote by proxy by appointing the Chair as their proxy sending a proxy form setting out how they wish to vote to be received by the Chair not less than 48 hours before the date and time of the meeting.
    10.3. Votes will be taken on a show of hands of those present in person or proxy at the meeting, and a simple majority will decide the issue. The Chair shall cast any proxy votes in accordance with proxy forms received.
    10.4. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair or in their absence the Deputy Chair will have a casting vote.

  11. Winding-up and Transfer
    11.1. The Association may be dissolved at any time by a vote carried by a majority of the Members present and voting in person or by proxy at an AGM or EGM. Upon dissolution, any liabilities of the Association may be paid and the assets (and any remaining liabilities) will be transferred to such organisation(s) having similar objectives to the Association as the Members decide on. In no circumstances shall the Members receive any share of the remaining assets.
    11.2. The Committee is authorised to transfer (the “Transfer“) all current assets (and any liabilities) of the Association to a successor entity determined by the Committee (“New Entity“).
    11.3. As part of the Transfer the Trustees shall assign or novate the Lease to the New Entity.

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