Constitution

RHSO (Rivers Heritage Site and Orchard)

The name of the group shall be RHSO (Rivers Heritage Site and Orchard). RHSO will seek to represent the interests of all supporters of the Site and Orchard and all the Working Group members to co-ordinate their activities towards a common goal.

  1. Objective
    • To protect, preserve and maintain the remainder of the Rivers site and to promote the site as a community asset; and to protect, preserve and maintain the history and archives of the Rivers Nursery and subsequent volunteer groups and to promote history of this site to the community.
  2. Membership of the group
    1. Membership shall be open to any members of the community interested in furthering the objective, who are prepared to contribute their help and their time in kind.
    2. Individuals who believe they can offer a contribution under the objective can be co-opted on the agreement of the group and can take part in the Working Group activities.
    3. Every member of the RHSO present at a meeting shall have one vote; in the event of equal voting, the Chair shall have the casting vote.
    4. The Chairman shall be elected annually from the members of RHSO.
    5. The Quorum for a valid meeting of RHSO to take place shall be four (4) including at least one out of the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
  3. Partnership Positions
    1. At the Annual Meeting members shall elect a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. All shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting until the conclusion of the next Annual Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election.
    2. The chair will set the agenda for and preside over meetings and will have the casting vote in the event of a tie. Will be responsible for impartially moving the meetings through the agenda, ensuring that votes are carried out when required.
    3. The secretary will be responsible for:
      • Producing, publishing (on the group website) and distributing the minutes of meetings.
      • Booking a meeting place and notifying members of forthcoming meetings.
      • Recording responsibilities and any declarations of interest of the elected officers.
    4. The treasurer will be responsible for administering the funds of the group and maintain all financial requirements for the organisation.
    5. The RHSO meetings should include at least one member of Sawbridgeworth Town Council whose role is to report to the Town Council any condition or circumstances that may affect the existence of the Rivers Heritage Site and Orchard or that may prevent the continued public access or use.
    6. The Constitution of the group can be amended at an open meeting provided that there is at least two weeks advanced notification of the proposed amendment.
  4. Meetings
    1. The minutes of meetings and the decisions shall be kept by the secretary recorded on the website.
    2. A minimum of four meetings of RHSO should be held each year from 01 February to 31 January. All meetings are open forum with invitations to the whole town and community.
    3. An RHSO meeting can be called when the chair feels one is needed, or when several RHSO members call on the secretary to arrange such a meeting.
    4. The Annual Meeting should take place in February each year and requires 21 days notice. Elections of new committee officers should take place at this meeting.
    5. Accounts to be drawn up for the year from the 01 April to 31 March.
  5. Disqualification of elected officers
    A member shall cease to hold office where he/she:
    1. resigns by giving notice in writing to the Chair of RHSO (in the case of the Chair, he/she can resign by giving notice to the rest of the group).
    2. in the opinion of a majority of the group a member brings the reputation of the RHSO into disrepute.
    3. their membership of another organisation bestows a serious conflict of interests.
  6. Insurance
    • RHSO shall make such arrangements, as it considers necessary to effect suitable insurances including third party and Public Liability for the activities in which it proposes to participate.
  7. Banking
    • RHSO shall make arrangements to keep safe and protect its funding by depositing all monies received into a Bank Account in the name of the RHSO. Payments from this account made by the treasurer must be approved either by the chair or secretary in writing (including electronically) or by a meeting of the group.
  8. Group termination and asset disposal
    • RHSO can be terminated by majority vote of an open meeting of the entire group; or if it is unable to fill the three elected positions. In such an event, the assets (physical and financial) will be transferred either to a nominated successor group (if formed) or to Sawbridgeworth Town Council to hold until such a group is formed. If it seems unlikely that a successor group (with similar objectives) will form, these assets may be dispersed to other local organisations.

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