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Mid Shires Orchard Group Constitution

The history, purpose and aims of the Mid Shires Orchard Group...

Mid Shires Orchard Group Constitution

Postby MSOG » Mon May 30, 2016 5:54 pm

Mid Shires Orchard Group Constitution

At our AGM held on May 21st 2016, the following was established as the Constitution of the Mid Shires Orchard Group:

Name:
The organisation will be known as the Mid Shires Orchard Group

Aim:
The Mid Shires Orchard Group aims to conserve and promote enjoyment and use of the local orchards and rich ‘top fruit’ traditions of the four ‘mid-shires’ counties of Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Goals:
To support its aims, the Mid Shires Orchard Group will endeavour to meet a number of goals within the four Mid-Shires counties each year, through the activities of its Officers and volunteers. These goals may be revised from time to time. The goals are:

Heritage top fruit promotion & protection
1. Discover, research, identify and raise awareness of local and heritage varieties of top fruit
2. Improve public access to local heritage top fruit varieties by sourcing & grafting new trees
3. Increase populations of rare fruit trees by sourcing, obtaining & distributing their graftwood
4. Promote greater use of local varieties of fruit tree in public, private & community plantings

Orchard & fruit tree conservation
5. Discover, research, survey & record the presence of historic orchards and their varieties of fruit
6. Raise awareness of orchards, their historical, ecological and social significance and heritage value
7. Lead and promote initiatives to restore neglected orchards and maintain them in good condition
8. Give advice on establishing new orchards, conserving senior trees & succession planting
9. Engage local authorities to help protect orchards and rare fruit trees during the planning process

Education & skills development
10. Arrange training courses in traditional orchard skills such as grafting, pruning, fruit tree care, orchard management and cider-making
11. Give opportunities for people of all backgrounds & abilities to learn about, undertake and enjoy practical ‘hands-on’ work to restore and maintain orchards and fruit trees
12. Provide on-line resources for sharing knowledge, information, experience and events, to encourage learning about orchard and top-fruit related topics via friendly collaboration
13. Give access to technical expertise and practical help to support individuals, groups and communities with their orchard and fruit-related endeavours
14. Offer advice on and demonstrate methods for storing, pressing and preserving fruit harvests

Culture & community engagement
15. Promote learning about fruit heritage via inclusive social events featuring heritage fruit displays, fruit identification, apple pressing and traditional fruit-themed games
16. Run community events and revive local traditions to celebrate orchards & fruit, such as Wassail, Apple Days, St Clement’s Day, Plum Perambulations & Cherry Pie Sunday
17. Help communities start up, plan, plant and learn to maintain new community orchards
18. Operate a scheme to lend out MSOG-owned fruit processing equipment to its members, for use at community events and for private, domestic fruit processing
19. Assist and support other organisations from time to time, in developing and delivering initiatives related to orchards and heritage fruit trees, where activities and outcomes are mutually compatible

Membership:
Membership is open to all. The membership year runs from April 1st to March 31st. Membership classes and membership fees shall be agreed by the Management Committee and shall be revised as necessary.

Management:
A Management Committee of MSOG Officers shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Management Committee roles available will comprise at a minimum, the following: Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Events Manager. Additional roles may be included from time to time.

Officers may be appointed or returned to office individually or en bloc. Appointments will be proposed and seconded and the proposal will be put to the vote by, members of MSOG present at the AGM. Officers may be co-opted any time throughout the year, but are subject to confirmation at the following AGM.

Secretary:
The Secretary shall be appointed by the Management Committee. If the office of Secretary is not filled in any year, the Chairman will take on the Secretary role for the duration of that year.

AGM:
The Secretary shall call an AGM every year, by giving not less than 21 days’ notice to the membership.

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM):
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time where an issue arises which requires the input of the entire membership and is too serious or urgent to wait until the next AGM. The EGM will be called by the Secretary, on behalf of the Chairman, by giving not less than 21 days’ notice to the membership.

Proceedings at Management Committee:
The Management Committee shall meet four times a year. The meeting shall be chaired by the Chairman, or other Officer delegated by the Chairman to do so. Management Committee members failing to attend three consecutive Management Committee meetings may be asked to stand down.

Proceedings at the AGM:
- Quorum: Three full members present shall constitute a quorum, sufficient to propose and second a motion and then to vote on it with the opportunity for a majority decision in favour or against. If a vote concludes as a tie, with no majority for or against, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
- Nominations: Nominations for Officers and other Agenda items for discussion must be submitted to the Secretary at least one week prior to the AGM.
- Elections: Officers shall be elected by members present. Every member or their duly appointed representative has one vote.
- Reports: The Annual Report, Financial Report and Membership Report shall be presented by the Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively
- Other business: Such other business as the Management Committee shall decide, or as has been notified to the Secretary in advance and included on the agenda for consideration, or is raised by members present at the AGM, will be considered.

Proceedings at an EGM::
- Motion: the Chairman will present the motion for which the EGM has been called, on behalf of the Management Committee.
- Quorum: Three full members present shall constitute a quorum, sufficient to propose and second a motion and then to vote on it with the opportunity for a majority decision in favour or against. If a vote concludes as a tie, with no majority for or against, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.

Financial:
- The Mid Shires Orchard Group may receive subscriptions, grants or donations for general or specific purposes
- Any funds received by the Mid Shires Orchard Group that are not needed for immediate expenditure shall be paid into a Mid Shires Orchard Group bank account
- The choice of bank account will be designated by the Management Committee
- The Mid Shires Orchard Group shall maintain such bank account or accounts as the Management Committee may decide from time to time
- The Treasurer shall administer the Mid Shires Orchard Group bank account/s and be responsible for holding the payment cheque book
- Any member authorised by the Management Committee may pay funds into the Mid Shires Orchard Group bank account
- At least two signatures of designated Officers (as may from time to time be agreed by the Management Committee) shall be required to draw funds from any of the Mid Shires Orchard Group bank accounts and only signatories designated by the Management Committee may do so
- Every bank account signatory will also require prior approval by the bank operating the bank account

Dissolution:
In the event of the Mid Shires Orchard Group resolving at the AGM or at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to dissolve itself, then any remaining funds or other assets shall be transferred to any one or more non-profit making organisation/s that the membership decides most nearly fulfils the aims of the Mid Shires Orchard Group.

Amendments to the Constitution:
This constitution or the aims or goals of the Mid Shires Orchard Group may be amended from time to time. The Chairman will present any amendments proposed as a motion on which members can vote, at the Annual General Meeting.
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