Constitution for The Friends of Brislington Brook – (Sept. 2014)

Name of the Group: Friends of Brislington Brook

Aims: The group aims to ensure that the Brislington Brook, which includes The Nightingale Valley and St. Anne’s Woods plus other areas of interest around the brook, are maintained as a Site of Natural Conservation Interest (SNCI) to the benefit of both the wildlife and the people.

To fulfil this aim the group will:
• Liaise with Bristol Council to ensure a high level of care for The Nightingale Valley and St. Anne’s Woods, and to have a say in how the sites are managed.
• Provide a friendly and welcoming community focus for people interested in these areas. • Contribute to making these areas safe and inviting places to visit.
• Work to improve understanding and increase respect of the brook and associated areas by the local community.
• Contribute to the management of these areas, including the protection of wildlife habitats, in accordance with a Management Plan for the site, a copy of which will be held by the group and aim to achieve Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status.
• Research and collect information relevant to these sites, for example on the wildlife and history of the site. • Work with Bristol Council and other bodies to ensure that the effects on the Brislington Brook are considered in any plans or developments for surrounding areas.
• Communicate any matters of interest relating to Brislington Brook to the local community, and consult with the local community where necessary.

Membership and equality: Membership of the group is open to anybody with an interest in Brislington Brook or the surrounding areas. The group will try to make sure this is a reality by ensuring that it is as widely publicised as possible and that is is welcoming to everyone.

Organisation: All meetings are open to all members of the group. Individual members will be elected to the following roles:
Chairperson, who will act as the main contact and spokesperson for the group and who will keep meetings fair, unbiased and on time.
Treasurer, who will be responsible for opening a bank account for the group, holding the cheque book, keeping receipts and a record of all income and expenditure of the group.
Secretary, who will be responsible for organising meetings, taking the minutes and who will keep a record of all members’ contact details.
Other roles may be assigned or volunteered for, but are not official positions that must be exist in order for the group to function.

Work Parties: All practical work to be carried out by the group will be agreed and risk assessed by Bristol City Council to meet the conditions of the council’s public liability insurance. Each work party will have a leader trained in the safe use of tools.

AGM: There will be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in which the group’s finances and activities will be reported on and officers elected. Changes can be made to the constitution at the AGM. Vacant officer roles can be filled at any time of year but they must be ratified and elections held at the next AGM. An individual may hold only one permanent position. If a position is unexpectedly vacated, an election will be held.

Disposal of Assets: In the event of the group closing, all assets shall be shared out to similar groups with community interest in the vicinity. This will be determined during the resulting Emergency General Meeting (EGM).