Constitution

2015.

1. The group shall be called the Horley Conservation Group/Tanyard Conservation Group. The group is affiliated to the Surrey Wildlife Trust and has the support of Surrey Wildlife Trust, Gatwick Greenspace Partnership (part of Sussex Wildlife Trust), Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Horley Town Council (who have agreed to cover the annual cost of the group’s membership to the Surrey Wildlife Trust).

2. The main aims of the group are to:

  • Assist with the management of Tanyard Meadows and other open spaces in North Horley where appropriate, for the benefit of nature conservation and local people.
  • Encourage the goodwill and involvement of the local community.
  • To foster a wider community spirit in Horley which in turn can help to reduce the likelihood of local crime and/or anti-social behaviour.

3. To fulfil these aims the group will run a programme of practical conservation tasks and activities on Tanyard Meadows and elsewhere (with prior consultation and permission from RBBC, HTC or other land-owners).

4. To further these aims, the group can (with prior consent) consult with local people, publicise the group and its activities, raise money to support these aims, apply for grants and receive donations.

The Committee and membership

5. The group shall have a Committee (Consisting of at least a Chairperson, a Treasurer and a Secretary), who can meet at any time to discuss the group’s activities. These officers will be responsible for the administration of the group and for consulting with landowners, such as RBBC, HTC etc. Communication could also be by email, with all committee members copied in.

6. Membership will be open to anyone interested in taking an active part in the organisation and who is willing to adhere to the rules of the group as stated herein. Under person under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent when attending a practical task or activity.

7. The committee shall have the power to refuse/terminate the membership (at any time) of anyone whose membership is considered detrimental to the aims of the group or whose actions are unsafe, who causes gross offence to any other individual or who is otherwise not willing to adhere to safety instructions or repeated warnings about their behaviour.

8. All Committee members must be over 18 years old and they will be (re) elected at the Annual General Meeting (to which all members will be invited) for a period of up to one year at a time. Any committee member may resign from his/her position by providing the Secretary with at least one month’s written notice. A (temporary/permanent) replacement officer should then be identified, agreed by the officers and announced to the group as soon as possible.

9. Additional Officers may be appointed as required; these may include a vice chairperson, vice secretary and vice treasurer to cover holidays/sickness etc. Practical tasks will still be lead by paid staff (see Health and Safety) until such time as a suitable volunteer leader is identified and trained to the required standard.

10. Additional Officers may also be required and may include people specifically responsible for such areas as publicity, social media, photography, fund-raising, recruitment etc and can be appointed with the Committee’s prior approval.

Health and Safety

11. Practical tasks will continue to be led by paid staff for the foreseeable future, although if a suitable volunteer leader is identified (and trained to the required standard), then there may be some tasks that could eventually be self-led.

12. All new volunteers on task days will be asked to declare (on a simple form) any pre-existing medical conditions which may affect their ability to carry out any practical conservation work. This is so that the task leader is aware of these conditions and can assess the suitability of the task for anyone with any medical conditions before work begins. This information will only be used on tasks by the group leaders (either staff from the Gatwick Geenspace Partnership or from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and the information will be kept confidential).

13. Any existing volunteers with a new/recent medical condition (that has not been declared before) must inform the group leader before work begins.

14. Health and safety (and instruction) for all volunteers/members on task days is the responsibility of the appointed staff working with them, namely, staff from either the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership (part of Sussex Wildlife Trust) or Reigate and Banstead Borough Council Countryside Rangers. All volunteers will be automatically insured when working with staff from the above organizations but must abide by any instructions given to them by the group leader throughout the course of the activity

15. A written Risk Assessment will be carried out before each practical task or activity, which will be given in verbal form to the group by the leader at the start of each task/activity (a written copy of RAs will be kept by the respective organization’s task leaders for a period of 1 year afterwards).

16. Staff from the GGP or RBBC who lead the group are responsible for identifying suitable volunteer tasks, liasing with the relevant landowners in advance in terms of gaining permission and must hold the relevant qualifications when using specialized equipment (ie: chainsaw/herbicides) and a current First Aid at Work certificate.

Finance

17. There shall be an annual subscription fee to help meet expenses. The rate will be fixed at the members’ meeting.

18. There will be a bank account in the group’s name for all donations, contributions, bequests, successful funding bids and any other income sources that will be the responsibility of the Treasurer to set up and manage.

19. Accounts (income and expenditure) will be kept by the treasurer, submitted to independent, external inspection and approved at a members’ meeting in advance. An annual financial report shall be presented to the AGM. The group’s accounting year should be from 1st April to 31st March.

Alteration to the constitution or dissolution

20. This constitution should be reviewed periodically (TBC, although perhaps every 3 to 5 years, in line with and depending on the duration of the management plan for the Riverside Green Chain area) and can only be altered with the prior agreement of the majority of members of the organisation.

21. Amendments to the constitution (or dissolution of the group) must be conveyed by the Chairperson to the Secretary in writing. A special meeting can then be arranged to discuss such proposals, giving members at least four weeks (28 days) notice.

22. The group may be dissolved if deemed necessary by the members in a majority vote at a special meeting. Any assets or remaining funds (after debts have been paid) shall be returned to their providers or transferred to local charities or similar groups at the discretion of the Management Committee.

This constitution was adopted at an AGM held at ??? on ??? date by:
Signed: Chairperson
Signed: Treasurer
Signed: Secretary
Signed: RBBC
Signed: HTC
Signed: Surrey WT
Signed: Gatwick Greenspace Partnership