Hart Allotments becomes an Industrial and Provident Society (a co-operative)

The Hart Allotments management team have been advised to make the association more formal.  We therefore consulted with Hart Council and the Hart Voluntary Action Group to find out the best way to take this forward.  At the AGM in 2012 the green light was given by those present that the Association could become an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) when the time was appropriate.  An IPS is what used to be known as a Co-operative.  This status was considered appropriate as Cooperatives work on the basis that they really only benefit their own members (which in our case will be plot holders) rather than the community as a whole.

The management team considered that the timing was now right and applied to become an IPS.  In order to become an IPS the easiest way is to be sponsored.   As we are already members of the National Allotment Society (and pay a subscription to them based on the number of members that we have) we approached this organisation for sponsorship.  In doing so we signed up to adopt the National Allotment Society’s model rules and constitution.  (These can be amended later if the amendments are proposed and voted on at subsequent AGMs.)  As an IPS we also need to pay an annual fee to the Financial Conduct Authority (the amount that we pay depends upon our turnover) and produce audited accounts.

We needed to become more formal as we need to sign leases with farmers/council and contracts with plot holders.  Money will therefore be changing hands and we need to ensure that procedures are in place to protect plot holders and the management team.

Apart from the managing team (consisting of a President, Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and management committee members), an IPS needs members.  These will normally be plot holders.   Only members of Hart Allotments will be entitled to take out tenancy agreements.

The fee for Membership of Hart Allotments Ltd includes:

  • A share certificate for each new member.  This entitles the member to a nominal share in the society for the duration of their membership; and the right to vote at the AGM.
  • The obligatory membership fee for the National Society of Allotments & Leisure Gardeners Ltd.
  • Administration, insurance & legal costs for Hart Allotments Ltd (see financial reports prepared for AGM for expenditure & activity)

Membership fees are subject to review at future AGMs.  See Useful Info for details of annual membership costs.

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