A copy of the club rules are also available here.
The organisation shall be called “East Harpenden Gardening Club” (hereinafter called the Club).
The objects of the Club will be:
a) To promote the interests of allotment holders and to take joint action for the benefit of members.
b) To co-operate with any other bodies to further the interests of allotment holders.
c) To lease from Harpenden Town Council or its successors allotment lands: To sublet this land to suitable tenants.
d) To manage, administer and improve leased allotment land to the mutual benefit of members.
e) To act in members interests with regard to damage, trespass and theft.
f) To arrange for the benefit of members, bulk purchase of fertilisers, seeds and garden supplies, etc.
g) To advance the knowledge of good husbandry and horticultural techniques.
The Club shall consist of:
a) Those persons renting allotment plots managed by the Club. Such persons shall have full voting rights and be entitled to all facilities offered by the Club.
b) Those other persons interested in gardening who shall be known as associate members may only vote on matters not directly concerned with allotment management and at the direction of the Chair. Associate members may be elected to the committee and hold office.
Each member shall read, accept and abide by the Club rules as published on the website (a paper copy can be provided).
a) The annual subscription to the Club will be of such amount as shall be decided at a committee meeting and shall be payable by the first of April each year.
b) For plot holders subscriptions to the Club are payable in addition to the rent of the plot.
The plot rents shall be decided by a simple majority at a committee meeting and shall include an additional charge for water if provided on the site, and shall be payable by the first of April each year.
The termination of a tenancy of an allotment shall take effect on the 31st of March unless otherwise agreed in writing. A vacating tenant may remove crops and plants until the 25th of March but nevertheless the succeeding tenant may enter upon any part of the allotment that is uncropped at the time of notice of leaving.
The tenant of an allotment shall comply with the following conditions:
a) He/she shall keep his/her allotment clean and in a good state of cultivation and fertility to the satisfaction of the committee and shall not deposit refuse on the paths.
b) He/she shall not cause any annoyance or nuisance to the occupier of any other allotment or obstruct any path or ditch set out by the committee.
c) He/she shall not take any dog into the allotment except on a lead.
d) He/she shall not underlet, assign or part with the possession of his/her allotment or any part thereof without the written consent of the committee.
e) He/she shall not, without the consent of the committee, cut or prune any timber or other trees (other than those grown by the tenant on his/her plot for the purpose of crops) or take, or sell, or carry away any soil, mineral, gravel, sand or clay.
f) He/she shall keep paths that form part of the allotment at a reasonable width to be decided by the committee, cut and trimmed and not abuse or damage any fences, hedges or gates on the allotment.
g) He/she shall not, without the written consent of the committee, erect any building on his/her allotment.
h) He/she shall not use any barbed wire for a fence adjoining any path set out by the committee for the use of the occupiers of the allotments.
i) He/she shall, as regards the allotments, observe and perform all conditions and covenants contained in the lease (if any) under which the committee holds the land.
j) He/she shall perform any special conditions which the committee considers necessary to preserve the allotments from deterioration and shall respond where a combined effort for maintenance or improvement is required by meeting reasonable requests for help.
k) He/she shall not bring carpet or other floor covering material on to the allotments for use as a weed suppressant.
l) He/she shall not, without the consent of the committee, use the allotment other than for the purposes of growing edible crops of vegetables and fruit and/or flowers.
m) Hoses may be used responsibly, but must always be removed from the tap after use and stored on his/her plot.
n) No fences or hedges are to be erected or grown on or on the boundaries of his/her plot.
Following any termination of tenancy, the member shall remain responsible for:
i. Clearing his/her plot of all personal property.
ii. Returning Gate and Machine store keys.
If by the end of March rents have not been paid, it will be assumed that the plot is vacant for re-letting. Similarly with subscriptions not paid by the end of March the membership will be assumed to have lapsed. Both rental and subscriptions are payable in March at the clubhouse during normal opening hours on the Sunday’s stated in the renewals letter or via bank transfer.
All persons using equipment, facilities or machinery are to ensure prior to operating that such equipment, facilities or machinery are in a fit condition to be operated without:
a) Causing personal injury to themselves or others.
b) Causing damage to property, equipment, facilities or machinery.
c) Having read and understood the operating instructions for the equipment.
It is also a condition that members may not sub-loan or sub-hire any equipment, facility or machinery entrusted to them by the Club without the prior authority of either the committee or a committee member given in writing. Machinery must be cleaned after use and before return to the Club. Any faults in the machinery must be reported to a committee member at once.
All equipment, facilities and machinery either on loan or hire are used by members and others entirely at their own risk. The Club will not be responsible for any injury to persons, or damage to property no matter how it may be caused.
The Officers shall be a Chair, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Letting Secretary and Hon. Trading Secretary who shall be ex-officio members of the committee. The Chair shall serve a maximum term of 5 years.
A committee of management of not more than sixteen members shall conduct the affairs of the Club, three members shall form a quorum. Not more than three Associate Members shall be serving on the committee at any one time, but they may hold office.
The Annual General Meeting at which the independently inspected accounts and secretary’s report shall be submitted and the officers for the ensuing year elected, and other general meetings, shall be held at such times as the committee or a general meeting shall determine. Ten members shall form a quorum and a two-thirds majority needed to pass any resolutions. Each and every member shall be informed, in writing, giving not less than seven days notice of any Annual General Meeting, Special Meeting or General Meeting, such notice to include an agenda of the business in hand. Special General Meetings shall be called on the requisition in writing of at least fifteen members.
No party political or sectarian discussion shall be raised or resolutions proposed either at any committee or General Meeting.
The committee shall open a banking account in the name of the Club with such bank as the committee may select, and all monies received from any source by the Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Letting Secretary or Hon. Trading Secretary on behalf of the Club shall be paid into such account. Any two of the three signatories (Chair, Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Trading Secretary or Trustees) shall sign cheques. The Hon. Trading Secretary will have use of a debit card, with a limit set by the committee. To cover small cash payments, petty cash cheques not exceeding £100 shall be drawn.
The annual accounts will be independently inspected by a non-member of the club.
Any member may inspect the Club’s books after giving 14 days notice in writing to the secretary.
Membership, and therefore allotment tenancy, may be terminated at the committee’s discretion if, after due warning, a member continues to break any of the Club rules. An appeal against the committee’s decision in this matter may be made to a panel consisting of a representative of the following bodies:
a) Harpenden Town Council or its successors
b) East Harpenden Gardening Club
The decision of the above shall be final.
The Clubhouse will be open for trading at times decided by the committee. Anyone requiring to make a purchase at the Club must produce his/her membership card or the sale will be refused.
The Club may be converted into a registered society, or may be dissolved, or these rules may be amended by a simple majority of full members (not associate members) voting at a General Meeting, of which 14 days notice shall be given, or replying to a circular ballot. The objects for which the meeting is called shall be stated on the notice convening the meeting.
20. NEGLECTED PLOTS
The Neglected Plots procedure is as follows:
a) If a plot is persistently uncultivated, the site rep contacts the plot holder to discuss. A timescale for improvements is discussed and agreed.
b) If the plot continues not to be cultivated, a Warning letter is sent, 21 days are given to respond. An action plan is put in to place with an agreed set date to work towards.
c) If there is no response to the warning letter, or the agreed work plan is not actioned within the agreed timeframe, a Termination letter is sent, 14 days are given to remove all personal property from the plot.
21. MEMBER CONTACT DETAILS
a) The member must inform the Hon. Letting Secretary within one month of any change of address or other details.
b) The committee, and appointed allotment site representatives, reserve the right to contact members by email, telephone or any other contact method which has been provided, unless other arrangements have been made with the member.
Abusive, aggressive or threatening behaviour towards the Club's representatives, club members or any neighbouring residents will not be tolerated.
23. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
The Club 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.
24. MATTERS NOT PROVIDED FOR
The committee, at its discretion, shall deal with any matters not provided for in these rules.