Constitution of Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park Group
1. Our Name and Aims and Purposes
The name of the group shall be ‘Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park Group’, here after referred to as ‘the Group’.
Its aims: To help ensure Queen Elizabeth Park, Farnborough, GU14 8NY is a well-maintained and safe public site which can enhance the quality of life for local people by improving their physical and mental health. To act as a focus for bringing people together and for ecological and environmental education for all ages. To protect the park itself and ensure that it provides a safe habitat for wildlife and remains connected to the local green infrastructure.
- find out the views of local people and park users
- involve park users and local people in planning, decision-making and all aspects of management including environmental management affecting Queen Elizabeth Park, and specific facilities within the site (i.e. pond, play areas and sitting areas).
- raise funding to maintain and increase the facilities on the site (including educational facilities)
- develop relevant and beneficial partnerships with Rushmoor Borough Council and other environmental bodies
- encourage people, from all sections of the community, to use the park and to enjoy its full potential and promote an atmosphere of mutual appreciation and respect for the natural environment
- encourage users, including ourselves, to organise appropriate public social activities at the park
- link with other similar local groups to help protect and improve green open spaces.
Membership will be open to anybody with an interest in using the park, regardless of class, race, culture, gender, age or sexual orientation, as long as:
- they broadly agree with the aims and purposes of the Group
- they have given their name and email address and agree to be put on to the membership list.
Members will be encouraged to access information about the Group via the website and join any working groups. Members may resign at any time in writing to the email address given on the website. Personal data will be protected and only used to share information about the park.
The Group supports equality and inclusivity, and is opposed to racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. Expressions of such prejudice will be challenged at meetings or other activities of the Group.
A member who behaves aggressively or violently to any other member may have their membership terminated with no appeal. This requires the agreement of two members of the Management Committee.
The membership of any member may be terminated for good reason by the Management Committee: the member concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Management Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.
3. Annual General Meeting
Every year there will be an Annual General Meeting in (June). At this meeting the members and a nominated representative from Rushmoor Borough Council (should they wish to attend) will:
- Hear and discuss a report from Officers and others on the activities of the Group for the previous year.
- Hear and discuss a report on the Group’s finances.
- Identify and discuss matters of particular importance for the forthcoming year.
- Make rules on the way the Group will operate e.g. by amending the Constitution. At least two-thirds of the members present must agree the change.
- To elect 4 members to be the Officers when necessary to cover the roles given under Section 4 for a three-year term of office or for an agreed experienced Member to be co-opted.
- Amend bank signatories where necessary.
- Conduct any other relevant business the meeting so decides.
Everybody on the membership list will receive at least two weeks’ notice of the Annual General Meeting by email from the membership list and by putting up notices at the entrances to the park.
4. Duties of the officers
The following duties will be by agreement shared and covered by the four elected officers:
- The duties of the Chair shall be to:
- Chair meetings of the Committee and the Group
- represent the Group at functions/meetings that the Group has been invited to
- act as the spokesperson of the Group when necessary.
- The duties of the Secretary shall be to:
- prepare in consultation with the Chair the agenda for meetings of the Committee and the Group
- take and keep minutes of all meetings and
- collect and circulate any relevant information within the Group.
- The duties of the Membership Secretary shall be to:
- keep an updated membership list
- collect and circulate any relevant information within the Membership.
- undertake consultation and surveys and collate when agreed by Group or Management Committee
- The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:
- supervise the financial affairs of the Group and
- keep proper accounts that show all monies received and paid out by the Group
- The duties for Communication and Public Involvement shall be covered: Website Officer, Press Officer, Social Media Officer, Fundraiser, Events Co-ordinator
5. Mid-Year Management Report
A Mid-Year report from the Management Committee will be sent (emailed) to all Members normally in December. This written report will:
- Keep members up to date with, and discuss, plans and decisions affecting the site.
- Collect the views of members and other park users.
In addition, the Management Committee or members (10 or more) have the right to compel the Officers to call an Extraordinary General Meeting on a specific subject.
6. Procedure at Meetings
The June AGM meeting shall be the decision-making body of the Group. All meetings will be held in public venues at a convenient location within Farnborough. The exception will be when governmental advice excludes public meetings from being held; arrangements will be made to have virtual meetings publicised and undertaken.
All meetings will have minutes taken and those attending will be noted. All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to; if a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken. All members will have a right to attend and to vote. The vote will be by a simple majority vote of a show of hands where necessary - except for amendments to the Constitution which require a two-thirds majority at the AGM. If there is a tied vote the Chair shall have a second vote. A quorum shall be 4 members except at the AGM where it will be 6. If there isn’t a quorum, any decisions made regarding policy must be ratified at the following Management Committee meeting. Management Committee Meetings may decide to set up working groups, or to delegate any relevant tasks to individual members.
7. The Work of the Friends
Members will be encouraged to get actively involved in the work of the Group. Anyone acting on behalf of the Group will be expected to act in an appropriate manner, and to follow the general policies and decisions agreed by the members at the AGM and the Management Committee Meeting. Working groups and officers can meet in between meetings in order to manage the affairs of the Group including:
- planning general meetings of the Group and other activities
- working on funding bids
- managing park projects
- passing on the views of members to people responsible for the site such as employees and reps of Rushmoor Borough Council
- meeting with other community groups
- managing the finances and publicity of the Group
Officers and working groups are accountable to members through the Management Committee meetings.
A bank account will be set up in the name of the ‘New Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park’. All money received in the form of donations, grants, subscriptions, or any other contributions will be put into the bank account and will only be used to further the aims of the Group. Two members of the Management Committee will be signatories and will be required to sign and record accurately all transactions. The annual accounts shall be independently verified, and the books shall be made available for inspection on request at the AGM.
The Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park Group has the power to raise funds, to employ or hire such staff or advisors as are necessary, and to enter into any transactions necessary to further its aims. It has the power to manage, licence, lease or buy property and to maintain and equip it for use and to take out insurance cover in accordance with the wishes of the landowner (Rushmoor Borough Council).
If a General Meeting, or 10 members, wish at any time to dissolve the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park Group they should give to all members at least 14 days’ notice of a Special General Meeting to discuss this exclusive matter. If such a decision is agreed at that meeting by a simple majority of those members present and voting, the assets will be disposed of to another voluntary organisation with compatible aims and principles, this organisation being agreed at the same meeting.
The changes to the original Constitution were agreed and minuted at the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park Group AGM on Thursday 15th June 2023 at Rushmoor Borough Council offices.