Brandon Garden Association Rules (2021)

These rules are designed in order to protect the gardening site, maintain standards, and define the powers and duties of the Committee, which shall consist of the Chair, the Secretary, the TRA Treasurer, and at least two other members.

1. Duties and powers of the Committee
1.1. The Committee shall convene an annual general meeting (AGM) in the Spring of each year and shall give at least 2114 days’ notice to members of the date, time and place of the meeting. Notice shall be posted in the ‘Brandon Gardeners’ WhatsApp group and shall be sent to each member by email to the last email address notified to the Committee.
1.2. The quorum for the AGM shall be any four members, including at least two members of the Committee.
1.3. At the AGM, in addition to any other business to be discussed, the Committee members shall be elected. The current members of the Committee shall resign and, if they so wish, stand for re-election. An appointment shall be made by a simple majority vote of the members present. The Committee and members will communicate primarily through the ‘Brandon Gardeners’ WhatsApp group.
1.4. Holders of plots that are left unworked for a period of six consecutive weeks in the growing season (April to October) may be issued with a letter enquiring if they wish to remain a member. Guidance on proper usage is set out in Section 3 below. Any member may request the Committee to serve such a letter on any plot holder provided that they have the support of at least two other members and that the Committee regards the request as reasonable. If there is no satisfactory reply and the plot remains unworked for a further 21 days from the date of the letter, the Committee may issue an immediate notice to quit.
1.5. The Committee will use all reasonable endeavors to find volunteers to assist plot holders whose plots are left unworked due to illness.
1.6. In the case of a serious or persistent breach of any of these rules by a member, where such breach has not been rectified within 21 days of a written warning from the Committee, the Committee may terminate his or her membership by issuing a 14-day notice in writing.
1.7. The Committee may expel with immediate effect any member found guilty of theft from another member.
1.8. The quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be three. Meetings of the Committee will take place by Zoom.
1.9. These Rules may be amended by the Committee by giving notice of the changes to members in accordance with the notice procedure set out in paragraph 1.5 and convening a meeting of members to discuss and vote upon the changes if any written objections to the changes are received within the 21 day notice period. The changes will be deemed to have been approved if a majority of members present at the meeting vote in favour of them.

2. Members’ responsibilities
2.1. Plot Allocation: Plots will be allocated to members, who will be expected to actively manage & maintain it. If a plot is allocated, but left untended, despite a reminder letter having been sent, it may be taken to mean that the person concerned no longer wishes to be a member and his or her plot shall be offered for re-allocation to the waiting list.
2.2. Change of circumstances: it is each member’s responsibility to notify changes of address or other contact details (including telephone and email address) to the Secretary. The Committee shall communicate with members using the last address and/or e-mail address provided by that member. If the contact details are out of date but the member concerned has not notified the Secretary of the new details, the communication shall nonetheless be deemed to have been properly served. Members who are unable to work their plot as a result of illness or other reasons must keep the Committee informed. Failure to do so may result in the plot appearing to have been neglected and therefore being re-let in accordance with the provisions set out in paragraph 1.6 above.
2.3. Spending Protocols: Members are expected to adhere to agreed spending protocols, set out in Section 4. Persistent breaches of spending protocols may result in the revoking of membership.
2.4. Plot boundaries: plots are not a uniform size and members must therefore accept the boundaries of their plots as defined at the time of allocation.
2.5. Care of pathways: members must co-operate to ensure that adjoining pathways giving access to plots are kept tended and clear.
2.6. Bonfires: members should not light fires other than communal fires lit on Members’ Working Days or fires for the purpose of clearing dry waste.
2.7. Rubbish: no rubbish may be dumped on any part of the allotment site. Members must not leave on the site any equipment or other items which are not required for the cultivation of plots. Unwanted plant and vegetable matter must be composted or burned or otherwise removed. All other rubbish must be removed.
2.8. Plot inspections: plots will be inspected routinely by the Committee to monitor general cultivation levels and maintenance as well as to note any breach of these rules. The Committee shall notify a member if his or her plot falls below an acceptable standard and shall request that the plot is brought up to standard, or the breach rectified, as the case may be, within the time limits specified in paragraphs 1.6 and 1.8 above.
2.9. Children: Please be aware that the allotment site contains many hazards in the form of sharp objects, water, uneven surfaces etc., and children must therefore be carefully supervised by a plot holder at all times when on the site.
2.10. Dogs: all dogs must be kept under control at all times when on the site. Plot holders are entitled to request that a dog owner puts his or her dog on a lead if the dog strays on to their plots.
2.11. Consideration of other members: members must not cause any nuisance to other members, whether from obstruction of paths, encouragement of vermin, use of bad language, loud noise or any other misuse of land.
2.12. Locking the gate: members must ensure that the gate is locked behind them on entering and on leaving the site.
2.13. Sub-letting: members must not sub-let their plots or any part of them.

3. Guidance on plot usage
3.1. Plot usage: plot holders are expected as an absolute minimum to cultivate an area equivalent to at least 50% of the total area of their plot throughout the growing period (April to October). For the purposes of these rules, “cultivate” means to grow and tend to crops and/or to keep the plot in active preparation for sowing or planting. The extent to which it is reasonable for an individual plot holder to cultivate his or her plot depends on climatic factors influencing the start and end of the growing season in any year. Plot holders should appreciate that our allotments are a scarce resource in the area and that there is a long waiting list for plots. Any plot holder who is no longer interested in keeping his or her plot should therefore inform the committee in order that the plot may be re-let as soon as possible.
3.2. What can be grown: plot-holders may grow any kind of vegetables, flowers, fruit or herbs. No new large trees or large shrubs are allowed on any plot.
3.3. Organic cultivation: We aim to maintain the site as an organic, wildlife-friendly area and members are therefore requested to cultivate their plots as far as possible in accordance with organic guidelines, avoiding all use of pesticides and herbicides, other than as specified in the paragraph below.
3.4. Weeds: plot-holders must take care to eradicate pernicious weeds, such as bindweed, thistles, ground elder, and nettles, and to ensure that they do not spread to other plots.
4. Funding & Spending Protocols
4.1. CGS Grant Applications: The committee will convene to discuss CGS grant applications each August and decide what funding to apply for in the coming year. Other funding applications can be considered and discussed as they become available.
4.2. CGS Grant Accounting: The CGS grants are paid into the TRA bank account, so the TRA treasurer manages all funds & submits all receipts to draw down on the monies awarded. Approved spending by members can be reclaimed if full receipts are submitted and approved.
4.3. Incidental Spending & Petty Cash: Incidental expenses of no more than £30 can be submitted to be paid without prior committee approval. Any spending above this amount may not be reimbursed. All planned spending must be shared in the WhatsApp group in advance, to avoid any duplication of items.