Although we are a self managed allotment site, we have to follow both the Allotment regulations and local council bye-laws that concern allotments.
In order to ensure this is done fairly and in a clear way, we have a detailed constitution and a tenancy agreement, these documents when read together create a framework for the committee to follow.
Anyone who takes on an allotment plot will find the terms in these documents reasonable.
Although they are the framework for committee to follow, they were initially agreed at an allotment AGM and subsequent amendments have also been agreed at AGMs.
[Note from Hon Secretary: Do not let these documents put you off applying, formal agreements are required and have to be written in the style below. We believe in being open in terms of the conditions of the allotment, unlike some organisations.]
The documents concerned are reproduced below:
The name of the Society shall be the Abbey Road Allotment Association.
2. Aim of the Association
The aim of the Association shall be to ensure the efficient and economic running of the Allotment site and to safeguard the interests of its members.
Membership shall be open to all Abbey Road Allotment Holders.
(a) There shall be no entry fee payable by any member.
(b) The annual subscription and rent shall be agreed at the Annual General Meeting.
5. Cessation of Membership
Any person shall cease to be a member of the Association:
(a) by failing to pay his/her annual subscription and rent;
(b) by resigning his/her membership.
(c) by expulsion. The Association shall have the power to expel any member who has infringed any rule, or regulation, or whose conduct renders him/her, in the opinion of the Association, unfit for membership. No member shall be expelled without first being given an opportunity of appearing before the Association to explain his/her conduct, nor unless at least 2 /3rd of the members then present shall vote for his /her expulsion. Any decision shall be notified to the member in writing.
(d) By ceasing to be an allotment holder on Abbey Road.
(e) Any breach of the regulations in terms of watering or fires by members will result in a formal verbal warning in the first instance, which will be confirmed in writing. If it happens again then the member will be issued with a notice to quit.
(f) Failure to cultivate the plot will result in membership of the allotment being terminated, for probationary members this will be a verbal warning from either the chairman or the secretary and the full membership will not be granted at the end of the probationary period. For full members they will receive a warning either verbally or electronically (email/text message), this will then be followed by a formal letter of termination if the situation has not improved within two weeks.
For this purpose the definition of cultivation will mean a minimum of 60% of the plot area will be in use for growing crops, or the ground prepared for growing crops. On the whole of the plot area weeds must be kept in check so that they are not causing a problem to neighbouring plot holders.
The Management Committee shall be elected at the A.G.M. and comprise :—
(b) Hon. Secretary
(c) Hon. Treasurer
(d) plus a minimum of three ordinary members
The Management Committee shall have powers to co-opt.
The Management Committee shall have the power to take Executive decisions between General Meetings.
7. Meetings of the Association
There shall be an A.G.M. and any other Meetings as deemed necessary by the Association.
8. Quorum of the Association
(a) The quorum for the Association shall be 10 members.
(b) The quorum for a Management Meeting shall be 3.
9. Other Committees
The Association may appoint any sub-committees as may be deemed necessary or expedient at any time.
10. Annual General Meeting
The A.G.M. must be held not later than the last day of February in each year. The date of such meeting shall be communicated to each member not less than 28 days prior to the Meeting. The Hon. Secretary shall send to each member details of the business to be conducted thereof prior to the meeting. Any member wishing to propose a motion at the A.G.M. shall give written notice of the motion to the Hon. Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of such meeting.
11. Special General Meeting
A special general meeting shall be called by the Hon. Secretary
(a) upon the instructions of the Management Committee.
(b) upon receipt of a requisition in writing signed by at least 10 of the members of the Association.
Any such meeting shall be held within 60 days of receipt. All members shall be notified of such meeting and its reason.
12. Chairperson’s Vote
At any meeting, the Chairperson of the meeting shall, in the event of votes being equal, have a second or casting vote should he/she decide to use it.
Only members of the Association shall be entitled to vote at Association meetings.
14. Alteration of the Constitution
This constitution may be added to, repealed, or amended, by resolution in accordance with the provision of Rule 10, provided that no such resolution shall be deemed to have passed unless it be carried at least 2 /3rd of the full members present and voting thereon.
Audited accounts MUST be presented at the A.G.M. The financial year of the Association shall end on 31st December each year. An auditor shall be appointed at the A.G.M.
If at any General Meeting a resolution for the dissolution of the Association shall be passed by a majority of the members present, and voting and such resolution shall at a special meeting of the Association held not less than one month thereafter, be confirmed by a resolution passed by a majority of 2/3rd of the members present and voting thereon.
The officers shall thereupon, or at such future dates as shall be specified in such resolution, proceed to realise the property of the Association and after the discharge of all liabilities, shall dispose of any balance as instructed by the General Meeting.
All plot holders that take on an allotment are required to sign a tenancy agreement, this as the name suggests is an agreement between the plot holder and the Allotment Association. It lays out quite clearly the responsibilities of both parties. A copy of the agreement is shown below:
AGREEMENT FOR THE TENANCY OF AN ALLOTMENT PLOT
This agreement is made on the (DAY, MONTH, YEAR IN WORDS) between the Abbey Road Allotment Association (hereafter called "the Association”) acting by (NAME) their secretary, duly authorized in this Association on behalf of the one part, and (NAME & ADDRESS OF NEW TENANT) (hereafter called "the Tenant”) of the other part.
Whereby it is agreed as follows: -
1: The Association lets and the Tenant takes, as from the (DAY,MONTH,YEAR IN WORDS) all that allotment plot, containing ONE/TWO hundred square metres or thereabouts, situated on the Abbey Road Allotment site in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and being numbered PLOT NUMBER in the Association's register for allotments (hereafter called "the said allotment") at a rent per plot as shall be agreed at the Association's Annual General Meeting payable in advance on or before the first day of February in each year to the Association or to the person for the time being authorized by them to collect the rent of the said allotment , the first of such annual payments to be made on the signing thereof.
2: The Tenant agrees to observe the following stipulations: -
[a] To pay the Association the rent hereby reserved in the manner aforesaid plus any additional charges levied from time to time by the Association in respect of the water supply to the allotment.
[b] At all times to keep the said allotment and paths neat, tidy, clean and free from weeds and in a good state of cultivation and condition.
If the tenant is ill for a long period of time or has the responsibility to care for some close relative that prevents them from taking care of the plot, then they should inform a member of the management committee.
[c] Not to cause or permit any nuisance or annoyance to the occupier of any other allotment plot nor to obstruct or damage any path set out by the Association for the use of occupiers of adjoining allotment plots.
[d] To cultivate the said allotment and not to use it for any purpose other than for agriculture, horticulture, the growth of fruit, vegetables, flowers or the like or other purposes of husbandry.
[e] Not to underlet, assign or part with possession of the said allotment or any part thereof without the permission of the Association.
[f] Not at any time without the consent of the Association to cut or prune any timber or other trees on or take, sell or carry away any mineral, gravel, sand, soil or clay from the said allotment
[g] Not to use barbed wire for a fence adjoining any path set out by the Association for the use of the occupiers of the allotment plots.
[h] Not to erect any building on the said allotment except a greenhouse, shed or polytunnel, which shall be of a design and construction approved by the Association. This shall be erected on the said allotment in a position approved by the Management Committee.
[i] To observe and perform all conditions and covenants (if any) contained in the lease under which the Association holds the land so far as the same concern the said allotment.
[j] At all reasonable times to allow any officer or servant of the Association to enter upon the said allotment for the purpose of viewing the state and condition thereof or for any purpose whatsoever and to remedy forthwith any defect arising from non-observance or non-performance of any stipulations herein on his/her part contained of which written notice shall be given to him/her and to pay any costs incurred to the Association.
[k] At the termination of the tenancy peaceably to deliver up the said allotment in such a condition as shall be in strict accordance with the stipulations on his/her part herein contained.
[l] To observe and perform any other special conditions which the Association might consider necessary to preserve the said allotment from deterioration and of which written notice shall be given to him/her.
[m] To be held totally responsible for any actions of any third party who he/she brings, or allows, onto the site and may be subjected to disciplinary action by the committee. In such instance, the plot-holder may be expelled from the site, under the terms of paragraph 5(c) of our constitution.
[n] The use hosepipes is allowed, but they must be handheld and cannot be connected to any automatic sprinkler or leaky hose system.
[o] Before planting any fruit trees on the plot, they need to seek permission from the committee and need to supply the committee with the following details number of trees, location of the trees on the plot, and size of the trees.
[p] No burning of rubber or plastic materials on site or anything that is likely to cause the release of Dioxins or Cyanides in the smoke and fumes.
[q] No storage of non-essential allotment materials on the plot.
3: The tenancy hereby created shall continue until determined in any of the following manner: -
[a] By the Association giving to the Tenant twelve months notice in writing expiring on or before the thirty-first day of March or on or after the twenty-ninth day of September in any year or such shorter notice as may be authorized by any statutory enactment or by the Tenant giving to the Association one month notice in writing expiring at any time.
[b] By re-entry by the Association at any time after giving three calendar months notice in writing to the Tenant on account of the plot being required: -
(i) for any purpose for which it has been appropriated under any statutory provision
(ii) by the cancellation of any contract between the Association and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
[c] By re-entry by the Association at any time: -
(i) if rent or any part thereof is in arrears for twenty eight days (whether the same shall have been formally demanded or not)
(ii) if it appears to the Association that there has been any breach of the conditions, agreements or stipulations on the part of the Tenant herein contained.
(iii) if the tenant shall become bankrupt or compound with his/her creditors.
4: The tenancy is subject to the Allotments Acts 1908 and 1950 and any statutory modifications to the Allotment Rules made from time to time by the Association and to the provisions of this agreement.
5: Any notice given by the Association pursuant to clause 3 hereof may be signed by their Secretary for the time being and shall be sufficiently served to the Tenant by post at the before mentioned address or left for him/her on the said plot.
6: The Association shall pay all rates, taxes and other outgoings in respect of the said allotment.
Summary of the formal documents
If you take on an allotment it expected that you will cultivate the plot that you are given without causing any disruption to fellow plot holders or our neighbours and abide by the Government and Council regulations that govern allotments.