CONSTITUTION 

Name:  The name of the group shall be the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
Area:  The area of benefit shall include Ulley Country Park and surrounding environment.

Aims and Objectives:

  1. To work towards the management, maintenance and improvement of Ulley Country Park in partnership with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and other appropriate organisations for the benefit of the people of Rotherham and visitors to the Park.
  2. To promote, support and protect the heritage and the wildlife in Ulley Country Park.
  3. To promote safe use of the parkland and water for all users regardless of faith, political affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation etc.
  4. To actively pursue a full time Countryside Ranger presence based within the Park.
  5. To seek funding for projects to further improve and develop the Park for its users.
  6. To assist RMBC to promote and market the Park to all statutory bodies and/or other appropriate organisations in order to promote the welfare of the Park for all users.
  7. To act as a channel through which the Park users may give feedback to RMBC.
  8. To provide opportunities for the Country Park users to meet.
  9. To organise and assist with events, in co-operation with RMBC, for the benefit of visitors to the Park.
  10. To promote, research and record the flora, fauna and history of the Park, so that this may be used to inform and educate visitors to the Park and conserve its heritage.

Membership:

  1. Membership will be open to any person with an interest in using the Park regardless of faith, political affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation etc. as long as: a) They agree with the aims of the Friends of Ulley Country Park. b) They complete an application for membership giving their name and address, together with the appropriate membership fee. c) Continuing membership is dependent upon remaining up to date with membership fees.
  2. The Friends of Ulley Country Park is opposed to all forms of discrimination including racism, sexism, homophobia etc. and expression of such prejudices will not be allowed at meetings or other activities of the group and could lead to a termination of membership.
  3. Every member of Friends of Ulley Country Park, aged 16 and over, shall have an equal vote at AGMs and Extraordinary General Meetings.
  4. A copy of the Constitution shall be given to any member on request.
  5. The membership of a member of Friends of Ulley Country Park may be terminated by the Management Committee if the actions of that member are shown to be detrimental to the aims of the organisation.  The member affected will be given full opportunity to explain or justify his or her actions to the Committee before a decision is taken.  Final appeal against termination of membership may be made to the members at the next General Meeting of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
  6.  A member that fails to pay their subscription for two consecutive years will no longer be deemed a member of the Friends and will not receive notification of the AGM at the end of the second year.
  7. A new member joining after the 31st of August will not be required to pay a subscription for the following year.

Membership Fees:

All membership fees shall be agreed annually by the Committee at a Committee Meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting.

Management:

  1. A Committee elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting shall manage the group.
  2. The Committee of the Friends of Ulley Country Park is in place to cater for the interests of all users of Ulley Country Park.
  3. The Committee shall consist of Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Minutes Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer.
  4. The AGM shall also elect up to a further 15 members of the Committee.
  5. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt further members from local voluntary/community groups or other individuals whose aims are for the benefit of the Park and the local area.  The committee may also invite to AGMs, Extraordinary General Meetings or Committee Meetings any person to address the Friends or join discussions on areas of mutual interest.
  6. The Committee will deem a member of the Committee to have resigned if that member fails to attend or submit apologies to the Secretary or Chair for three consecutive meetings.
  7. The Quorum for the Committee shall be 6 elected members of the Committee.
  8. The Chairperson of the meeting will not vote on issues raised at Committee unless the vote is tied.  In the case of a tied vote the Chair will have the casting vote.
  9. The Treasurer shall not be related to, or from the same household, as any other cheque signatory.
  10. Records and Minutes of all meetings will be kept and be made available to any members on request. (This request may only be complied with once the Minutes have been ratified by the Committee as a true and accurate record.) Any information which is likely to break data protection, confidentiality or likely to be involved in legal proceedings will be omitted from the member’s copy.

Sub Committees:

  1. The Committee may appoint members to Sub Committees.  Such Sub Committees will report their findings/recommendations back to the Committee.
  2. The findings/recommendations of Sub Committees may not be implemented until there has been full discussion by, and approval of, a full Committee Meeting, unless prior approval has been granted by the full Committee.
  3. Each Sub Committee may appoint its own Chairperson and Secretary and have the power of co-option, as does the full Committee.

Annual General Meeting (AGM):

  1. The Friends of Ulley Country Park shall hold an AGM in November of each year.  At this meeting the Secretary to the Friends of Ulley Country Park and the Chair of the group will give a report on the work since last AGM and the Treasurer will present a statement of accounts.
  2. A Committee of up to a maximum 21 members will be elected by members of the Friends of Ulley Country Park attending the AGM, this figure includes the officers of the Friends of Ulley Country Park. Each elected member to serve for a maximum period of three years, each retiring Committee member will have the option of standing for re-election.
  3. Candidates for election must be proposed and seconded by paid-up members of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.  All candidates for election should have their candidacy notified to the Secretary a minimum of 14 days before the AGM.
  4. If there are more candidates than vacancies the election will be decided by a majority vote.  The tellers for the election will be drawn from the non-retiring Officers of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
  5. The retiring Officers will hold office until the first meeting of the Committee after the AGM when the vacancies will be filled by majority vote from and by members of the Committee.   Each candidate for office must be proposed and seconded by members from the Committee.
  6. The Officers will be elected for one year.
  7. No member under the age of 16 will be allowed to vote at the AGM
  8. The Quorum for an AGM or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be 15 members or 5% whichever is the greater, of the registered membership of the group, the same as for any other General Meeting.
  9. The Secretary of the Friends of Ulley Country Park shall notify all members of the AGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting at least 21 days before the meeting.

Other Meetings:

  1. The Committee shall convene not fewer than six meetings a year.
  2. An Extraordinary General Meeting can be called if 10% or twelve whichever is the fewer ordinary members or four Committee Members submit a request in writing to the Secretary. The Secretary shall notify the membership and arrange for the Extraordinary General Meeting to take place as soon as is possible after the 21 day notification period.
  3. The Secretary shall publicise any Extraordinary General Meetings at least 21 days in advance.
  4. The Quorum for General Meetings shall be 15 members or 5% of the registered membership, whichever is the greater.

Finance:

  1. The Financial Year of the Friends of Ulley Country Park will run from the 1st November to 31st October the following year.
  2. All money raised by the Friends of Ulley Country Park shall be used to further the aims of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
  3. The Treasurer shall open and maintain all bank accounts in the name of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
  4. The Treasurer and two other Committee members of the Friends of Ulley Country Park shall be authorised signatories, of which any two of the three must sign cheques on behalf of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.
  5. The Treasurer/Committee shall have the accounts independently examined within three months of the end of the financial year.
  6. No member shall benefit financially other than reasonable remuneration for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Friends of Ulley Country Park.   Approval for such expenditure shall be received from the Committee prior to actual expenditure.  If the approval of the Committee is not sought then the member may be expected to stand the expenditure.

Changes to the Constitution:

  1. The Constitution may only be altered at an AGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting.
  2. Any proposal to change the Constitution must be handed to the Secretary in writing 21 days before the meeting and circulated to members before the meeting.
  3. Changes to the Constitution must be agreed by a majority of the members present at the meeting.

Dissolution the Friends of Ulley Country Park:

  1. If the Committee decides to dissolve the Friends of Ulley Country Park then it shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting, which can dissolve the Friends of Ulley Country Park by a majority vote.  If the Committee no longer exists, any four members may call an Extraordinary General Meeting. There must be four weeks’ notice given to all current members of the Friends of Ulley Country Park for a dissolution meeting and for the purpose of dissolution the Quorum need not apply.
  2. All books and documents of the Friends of Ulley Country Park shall be placed with such a person or organisation for safekeeping, as the meeting shall decide.
  3. After discharge of any outstanding debts or binding commitments, any remaining funds shall be passed to a similar local non profit making organisation to be decided at the dissolution meeting.

Adoption of the Constitution
This document was adopted as the Constitution for the Friends of Ulley Country Park at a Public Meeting held at The Visitor Centre, Ulley Country Park on Thursday November 18th 2010.

Amendment to the Constitution November 2014

AGM clause 10  –  ’12 members or 10% whichever is the greater’ replaced by ’15 members or 5% whichever is the greater’.

Other Meetings clause 4  –  ’12 members or 10% whichever is the greater’ replaced by ’15 members or 5% whichever is the greater’.

Amendment to the Constitution November 2015

AGM clause 2 reworded, causes 3 and 5 deleted. clauses renumbered.

Amendment to the Constitution November 2018

Membership Clauses 6 and 7 added

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AND THE OFFICERS OF THE FRIENDS OF ULLEY COUNTRY PARK

Document approved by Committee in October 2014

 Elected Committee Members

  1. Attend meetings of the Committee when possible in accordance with the Constitution.
  2. If unable to attend send an apology to the Secretary before the meeting.
  3. Familiarise themselves with the constitution and any policy or procedure that has been determined by the Committee.
  4. Work within the framework of the Group and take part in its activities.
  5. Contribute to its discussions and freely express opinion or knowledge.
  6. Develop a good understanding and knowledge of the Park and its management
  7. Bring to the notice of the Committee anything of which they have become aware that may be detrimental to the Park, the members of the public using it, or the Friends Group.
  8. Only communicate with the media with prior approval of the Publicity Secretary.
  9. Be prepared to become members of sub-groups of the Committee and assist in the organisation of events in accordance with personal interest or expertise.
  10. Declare, when there is a conflict of interest, and possibly refrain from taking part in discussion or voting.
  11. Support any decision having a majority vote of the Committee.

Chair-Person

  1. Take the Chair at Committee Meetings, The Annual General Meeting and any General Meeting of the Group.
  2. Conduct the meeting impartially in accordance with the Constitution and apply the general principles of debating.
  3. Act as the first point of contact with the Park Rangers, the Local Authority, and Park User Groups.
  4. Be aware of the activities and discussions of sub-groups, and when necessary, or by request, attend sub-group meetings.
  5. Agree the agenda for meetings with the General Secretary.
  6. Approve minutes with the Minute Secretary before the Minutes are distributed.
  7. Sign a copy of the minutes, after they been accepted a true record.
  8. Cooperate with the Secretary in producing the twice-yearly News letter
  9. Liaise with the Vice-chair-person on matters relevant to the Group.
  10. A named signatory for the FOUCP bank account.

Vice-Chair-person

  1. Be familiar with the responsibilities and actions of the Chairperson.
  2. Deputise in the absence of the Chairperson.

 General Secretary

  1. Deal with the correspondence of the Friends Group.
  2. Report to the Committee any correspondence received.
  3. Pass on all relevant correspondence and information to leaders of sub-groups.
  4. Ensure all members are given notice and supplied with an agenda seven days before the meeting.
  5. Ensure that all Members of the Committee are provided with a current copy of the Constitution.
  6. Ensure efficient organisation of all Committee Meetings.
  7. Order stationery that is needed for the efficient organisation of the Group.
  8. Liaise with the Minutes Secretary over the length of service of each member of the Committee and the date when they are due to retire, or stand for re-election in accordance with the Constitution.
  9. Collect, prepare and publicise, in accordance with the constitution, the names of candidates who are standing for election, or re-election, for the Committee, together with the names of members who are proposing and seconding them, before the AGM.
  10. Prepare the Calendar of Committee Meetings and Café days during October for the following year after consulting the Park Management on the availability of the rooms and making the reservations and informing the Committee.
  11. Ensure leaflets and posters are prepared and distributed for distribution as appropriate for events
  12. Prepare and arrange the distribution of the half-yearly Newsletter in conjunction with the Chairperson.
  13. A named signatory for the FOUCP bank account.

Treasurer

  1. Deal with the routine finances of the Friends Group.
  2.  Keep accurate and up-to-date records of all income and expenditure.
  3. Ensure that monies from events are collected and banked.
  4. Payment of all bills.
  5. Payments of members’ expenses incurred on behalf of the Friends Group in accordance with instructions from the General Committee.
  6. A named signatory for the FOUCP bank account.
  7. Produce accounts and balance sheet in time for auditing and presentation at the AGM.
  8. Record a financial statement for each event and present it to the full Committee.
  9. Record and reconcile bank accounts.
  10. Produce quarterly accounts for presentation to meetings of the general committee.
  11. Chair the Finance Sub-group.

Membership Secretary.

  1. Keep up-to-date details of current members and their contact details.
  2. Supply each paid-up member with a membership card/receipt.
  3. Ensure that members are informed when fees are due for renewal.
  4. Ensure details of current membership numbers, are tabled to the General Committee at each meeting.
  5. Keep a record of monies received from subscriptions, they are banked regularly, and the Treasurer is informed.
  6. Remove details of members after two years of non-renewal.
  7. Produce labels for each mailing to members of FOUCP
  8. Update and prepare Membership Leaflets/Application forms as necessary, ensuring a sufficient number are available at all Friends events.

Publicity Secretary

  1. Responsible for all contact with the media.
  2. Keep records of all dealings, including correspondence, with the media.
  3. Sanction all contacts between Members of the Committee and the media.
  4. Discuss any controversial items in relation to contact with the media with the Chairperson.
  5. Production of information leaflets after discussion with the General Secretary.

Minutes Secretary

  1. Record an accurate account of all the full Committee Meetings and the AGM.
  2. The order of items in the minutes should correspond with those of the agenda for that meeting.
  3. Discuss and agree the minutes of meetings with the Chairperson within 10 days of the meeting and distribute a copy of the minutes of the meeting to members of the Committee and other persons on the list well before the next meeting.
  4. Keep a copy of the minutes, signed and dated, by the Chairperson, as a permanent, retrievable record after they have been ratified.
  5. Record the attendance at each meeting of the Committee.
  6. Record the length of service of each member of the Committee and the date when they are due to retire, or stand for re-election in accordance with the Constitution

Website Manager

  1. Liaise with John Kelly, Online Services, Communications and Marketing, RMBC regarding hosting of the FOUCP website, including arranging payment of fees.
  2. Management of the information on the website to keep it up to date and accurate.
  3. Monitoring e-mails received at friendsofulleycountrypark@gmail.com through the FOUCP website

Sub-groups

  1. Sub-groups, consisting of a few members, may be organised to deal with specific items, under the leadership of one member of the Committee.

There will be permanent standing Sub-groups as follows:-

  1. Catering Sub-group
  2. Finance Sub-group
  3. Funding Sub-group
  4. Procedural Sub-group
  5. Each Member should have specific knowledge, or expertise related to the aims of that sub-group.
  6. The attendance at the meetings of the Sub-group should not be limited to its members and the matters discussed limited to the subject specified.
  7. The membership of a sub-group need not be limited to members of the General Committee.
  8. The leader of the sub-group should be appointed by the Committee.
  9. Officers of FOUCP and other members of the Committee should not attend Sub-group meetings unless invited by the Leader of the group or with their specific permission.
  10. A report on the findings of the Sub-group should be given to the Committee with any recommendations for actions.

Catering Sub-group

  1. Plan refreshments for monthly Café Days and special events.
  2. Ensure stocks of catering materials are adequate and replenished as required.
  3. Ensure the rooms are suitably prepared with regard to Health and Safety and food hygiene standards. Rooms to be cleared and left clean and tidy for other users.
  4. Undertake regular risk assessments for catering operations and take appropriate actions.
  5. Ensure home kitchens meet required health and hygiene standards.
  6. Organise and maintain an up to date list of volunteers to help at catering events.
  7. Ensure staffing levels at catering events are adequate.
  8. Organise a raffle and sales of FOUCP merchandise.
  9. Keep records of expenses and takings from each event and report to Committee.

Finance Sub-group

  1. Maintain financial records to provide an up to date report on the overall financial situation of the Group.
  2. Monitor the anticipated expenditure on projects identified by the Funding Sub-group and make recommendations to the Committee for approval.

 Funding Sub-group

  1. Assess projects being promoted by the Committee to identify potential sources of funding from FOUCP or from external sources.
  2. Submit grant applications for funding to appropriate external sources and ensure all requirements of the grant approvals are met.
  3. Request confirmation from the Finance Sub-group of the availability of FOUCP funds on projects when this is required.
  4. Advise the Committee that implementation of the project can proceed once all required funding has been approved.
  5. Provide an up to date report on the overall progress of projects to the Committee.

 

Procedural Sub-group

  1. Review the Constitution of FOUCP and make recommendations for any amendments, when appropriate.
  2. Review the Roles and Responsibilities for members of the Committee and Officers of FOUCP and make recommendations for any amendments, when appropriate.
  3. Provide advice and guidance on any procedural issues relating to the FOUCP to the Committee, when requested.

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