Hackney Allotment Society Constitution

approved 6 November 2013

(1) Name of Society

The name of the society shall be Hackney Allotment Society.

(2) Object of the Society

The object of the Society shall be the promotion of horticulture in the London Borough of Hackney. In furtherance of this object but not further or otherwise, the Society shall have the power to:-

  • Advise the local authority on the suitability of sites to be used as allotments
  • Hold meetings for lectures and discussions
  • Establish a lending library of horticultural literature
  • Assist in the provision of allotments for the poor, disabled and other inhabitants of the London Borough of Hackney.

(3) Membership

  • Membership is open to individuals over the age of 18 years who are resident in the London Borough of Hackney (but see item e below).
  • Membership is not transferable.
  • The Secretary is required to keep a list of names and addresses of all members, to share this list with other Executive Officers and to make this available to the Managing Committee upon request.
  • No person shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Society or any other privilege of membership until their subscription for the current year has been paid. Joint members have one vote only between them.
  • Membership is terminated by resignation, failure to pay the annual membership fee by the end of the calendar year, Notice to Quit under Neglected Plot Policy, moving out of the borough of Hackney or death. Former members of Stoke Newington Gardeners Guild are permitted to retain their allotment plot should they move out of the borough.
  • A member who acts against the Constitution or the Bylaws or in any way which brings the reputation of the Society into disrepute will have membership withdrawn by a simple majority vote of the Managing Committee. Notice will be given to the member of the intention of the Managing Committee and the member will be invited to attend, with a person of their choice if wished. The vote of the Managing Committee is final and there is no appeal.

(4) Annual General Meeting

  • An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in October in every year for the purpose of:-
    1. Receiving the Managing Committee’s report on the work of the Society during the preceding year.
    2. Receiving a finance report and summary of accounts signed by auditors.
    3. Electing Executive Officers and members of the Managing Committee,
    4. Any other business of which not less than 7 days prior written notice has been given to all members or of which the person presiding at the meeting shall rule is in order.
    5. Determining the annual subscription, plot rental (including concessionary) and late payment fees for the following year.
  • Written notice of the Annual General Meeting must be given by 14 clear days from the date of the notice to the date of the meeting.
  • The Chairperson, or in their absence the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside at any Annual General Meeting
  • The quorum of the Annual General Meeting shall consist of no less than 15% of members. In the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding at any meeting shall have a second or casting vote but not to make up a quorum.
  • Voting shall be by show of hands unless the person presiding at the meeting shall direct that a ballot be taken.

(5) Extraordinary General Meeting

  • The Managing Committee may convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society at any time and shall do so within four weeks upon the receipt of a written request signed by ten Members of the Society.
  • Written notice must be sent to all members not less than 7 days before such a meeting, setting forth the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting.
  • No business other than that mentioned in the Notice shall be transacted.
  • The procedures for quorum and voting used at Annual General Meetings shall apply at Extraordinary General Meetings.

(6) Election of Officers

  • The officers of the Society shall be the following Executive Officers: chairperson, vice-chairperson, treasurer and secretary.
  • The Executive Officers shall be the Trustees of the Society and signatories to the Society’s banking account.
  • No person may hold more than one office at a time.
  • The Honorary President shall not be replaced when he retires. He shall hold office until removed by a simple majority vote of the Society in an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.
  • Nominations for the election of Executive Officers and Site Representatives may be made in writing to the Secretary in advance of the Annual General Meeting or at the meeting itself. All nominations must be proposed and seconded. Members may also volunteer for any of these posts.
  • The Executive Officers shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the Society and shall hold office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting when they shall retire but be eligible for re-election.
  • Should there be more nominations than posts available, an election by voting will be held at the meeting. Otherwise, those nominated will be accepted as elected without a vote.
  • If one of the Executive Officers or any member of the Managing Committee leaves or dies before the expiration of his or her term of office, the Managing Committee may fill the vacancy through co-option from the membership. The person so appointed shall retire at the time when their predecessor would have retired, but shall be eligible for election.
  • Should an ordinary member of the Managing Committee become an Executive Officer, the vacancy on the Committee so caused shall be filled in the same way as if the member had resigned from the Managing Committee.

(7) Managing Committee

  • The affairs of the Society shall be conducted by a Managing Committee (sixteen in total) consisting of the Executive Officers, and up to twelve members of the Society.
  • The Managing Committee must abide by the agreed terms of reference. The Managing Committee may alter the terms of reference and report this to members at the next AGM.
  • The Managing Committee shall have the power to co-opt any members as the Managing Committee deems fit, subject to the condition that the Managing Committee shall be limited to 16 members.
  • The Chairperson, or in their absence the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside at any Managing Committee meetings during the ensuring year. If neither is present at a Committee meeting, the Managing Committee shall elect a Chairperson to preside at that meeting.

(8) Society's Funds

  • Subscriptions and plot rental fees must be paid by the AGM.
  • All members who do not pay their annual membership fee and/or plot rental fee by the date of the AGM shall have until the end of the calendar year to pay but with a late fee determined by the AGM.
  • All subscriptions and other moneys shall be passed to the treasurer who shall be responsible for all funds of the Society and for keeping accounts.
  • All cheques drawn on that account shall be signed (or electronic payments authorised) by two of the Executive Officers.
  • The funds of the Society shall be used solely for furthering the Society's objectives and only in ways sanctioned by the Managing Committee or by an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.
  • Two auditors for the ensuing year shall be elected at every Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election.
  • No officer or member of the Managing Committee shall be eligible to be Auditor.

(9) Alteration of the Society's Constitution and Bylaws

  • This Constitution and the Society's Bylaws may be amended only at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society if notice of the proposed amendment(s) has been sent to all members not less than fourteen (14) days before the meeting and PROVIDED that no amendment(s) shall be made that will cause the Society to cease to be a charity in law or would have the effect of making the Society undermine or work against the previous objectives of the Society.
  • An amendment to the Constitution or to the Bylaws must be passed by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at the meeting.

(10) Dissolution of the Society

  • The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose of which twenty one (21) days notice shall have been given to the members.
  • Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Society, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among members of the Society but all be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Society, as the Society may win the approval of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction determine.
  • Members of the Managing Committee remain in office until all the affairs of the Society have been resolved and are responsible for the winding up of the affairs of the Society.