The HICOP Constitution

  1. Name
    1. The Name of the Group is Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project (HICOP)
  2. Aim
    1. To create, develop and maintain one or more Community Orchards for the benefit of local people, visitors and wildlife.
  3. Objectives
    1. To encourage community involvement in the development and management of the Community Orchard;
    2. To create and maintain a community orchard that reflects local distinctiveness;
    3. To grow and conserve a mix of local varieties of fruit that can include apples, plums, pears, cherries and nuts;
    4. To optimise the potential for wildlife;
    5. To manage the Orchard as organically as practical;
    6. To create and execute a management plan for the Orchard and annual work programmes, in consultation with wildlife consultants/orchard experts, where appropriate;
    7. To undertake or commission wildlife surveys/seek or pay for management advice as appropriate;
    8. To endeavour to maintain sure, safe and easy access to the Community Orchard at all reasonable times;
    9. To offer a place for recreation, quiet contemplation, where horticulture and wildlife management can be passed on/learnt and practised;
    10. To grow a harvest of fruit that can be shared – as decided by the Management Committee and local people – leaving at least 10% for wildlife;
    11. To offer a host of activities from practical management and education to celebration and appreciating the harvest;
    12. To raise awareness of the activities and ethos of the Community Orchard;
    13. To encourage the creation of more Community Orchards and green spaces in the locality and to liaise with other Community Orchard groups;
    14. To engage in such measures as from time to time seem appropriate to achieve these objects.
  4. Powers
    1. The Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project may undertake whatever activities are required to achieve its aims, including holding meetings, fundraising, setting up and managing bank accounts, producing leaflets and newsletters, holding events, consulting and raising membership subscriptions.
    2. The Management Committee shall decide further powers as necessary.
    3. A Charitable Incorporated Organisation may be formed in order that the Group may own land and property through lease or freehold in furtherance of its objectives.
  5. Membership
    1. Membership of the Group is open to all local residents and others who are supportive of the aims of the Group.
    2. The Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project believe in equal opportunity of membership and involvement in the Group and will not discriminate between members and applicants for membership because of their gender, age, ethnic origin, colour, sexual orientation, nationality, place of residence, personal beliefs, religion, political affiliation, disability or mental health.
    3. The Management Committee shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to terminate the membership of any individual who, by actions words or otherwise, undermines, or seeks to undermine, the objectives of the Group.
    4. Any person shall receive membership of the Group upon being accepted by and giving their name and address to, any member of the committee.
    5. Membership fees may from time to time be levied.
  6. The Management Committee and Officers
    1. The Management Committee consists of:
      1. Three Officers – a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer; and
      2. Up to six other members of the Histon and Impington Community Orchard
    2. The committee shall have the power to fill vacancies/co-opt additional members as required.
    3. The Management Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting.
    4. The Chair and Officers of the Management Committee are elected by the Management Committee at its first meeting after the AGM.
    5. Four Members of the Management Committee must be present at any meeting for it to be quorate, of whom at least two must be Officers.
    6. The Committee shall decide when and where it will meet, with a minimum of four meetings per year, with adequate notice given to all committee members, and a record of meetings and decisions shall be kept.
    7. The normal term of office shall be two years, with one half of the Management Committee standing down after the first year.
    8. Members of the Management Committee standing down in rotation may put themselves forward for re-election.
    9. The Chair should stand down from that position after serving two years but may remain a member of the Management Committee if re-elected.
    10. Voting: All questions arising at any meeting, with the exception of those affecting alterations to the Constitution, shall be decided by a majority of members present and voting at such a meeting.
    11. No member shall exercise more than one vote except that in the case of an equality of votes the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.
  7. Annual General Meeting
    1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held each year, and no more than 15 months may elapse between AGMs.
    2. 21 days notice shall be given to all members, this notice may be given email, by notice in an appropriate local newspaper and by posters in appropriate locations. Postal notification to each individual member is not required.
    3. Other general meetings may be called as required either by decision of the 4 Management Committee members or if requested by 15 individual members.
    4. At the AGM the following business will be conducted:
      1. Report from the Management Committee on the work and achievements of the Group;
      2. Election of the Management Committee;
      3. Report on the finances of the Group, and receipt and approval of the accounts for the year;
      4. Appointments of Auditors or external validator.
  8. Finance
    1. The Treasurer will keep proper account of all monies, and will report to Management Committee at each meeting and to the AGM.
    2. All bank accounts opened on behalf of the Group will be in the name of the Group and will require two signatures for any transaction. Three or four approved signatories will be arranged from members of the Management Committee, of whom at least two shall be Officers.
    3. The annual statement of accounts will be externally approved by accountant prior to submission to the AGM.
    4. The financial year runs from April 1st to March 31st.
    5. All monies received by or on behalf of the Group shall be applied in furtherance of the Aims and Objectives of the Group and for no other purpose.
  9. Alterations to the Constitution
    1. This constitution may be rescinded or amended at any General Meeting by a two thirds majority of those present, provided such a motion has been publicised by a poster at the Community Orchard and a notice in an appropriate local newspaper, that a copy of the proposed alteration has been made available to all members via internet or a central collection point, and that 21 days notice has been given.
  10. Dissolution
    1. The Group may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two thirds majority at any General meeting, provided that such a motion has been publicised by a poster at the Community Orchard and a notice in an appropriate local newspaper, that the motion has been made available to all members via internet or a central collection point, and that 21 days notice has been given.
    2. All monies remaining shall be given or transferred to the geographically nearest community orchard, to be agreed at the meeting where a resolution for dissolution is approved.

Constitution adopted by membership at Special AGM on 25th January 2012

The Histon and Impington Community Orchard Project
Founded: June 2011. Constituted: January 2012:

Chair: Paul Christie
Secretary: Simon Payne
Treasurer: Mark Bianco
Correspondence address: The Secretary
Banking correspondence to: The Treasurer

About the Constitution

The HICOP Constitution is based on a constitution drawn up for use by Community Orchards and is used by many. Small alterations have been made to the general template following various stages of consultation. Prior to adoption, the HICOP Constitution was discussed at both committee and public meetings.

The Constititution was adopted by unanimous vote at the first HICOP AGM on January 25th 2012. No objections were raised at the AGM.

The offices of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer were filled as the result of a vote of the HICOP Management Committee at the first meeting following the AGM, as per the procedure set out in Section 6 of the Constitution.