The Parks Management Association exists to:
Represent those individuals and organisations working in the public parks and open spaces sector, whether in the public, private or third sector. The Association remains independent and will aim to work through a steering group of parks professionals acting in the interest of public parks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Association will act as the lead commissioning, collaborating and coordinating body for the sector in relation to skills, knowledge, continuing professional development, activation in the community, advocacy and wider representation. Its complete independence will allow it to champion the value of public parks and open spaces and steer the best intervention and development amongst the various organisations that work within the parks sector.
The Association’s Board will evaluate entry level for all practitioners to be involved and set the parameters that are required to develop the sector and practitioners’ skills.
2. Purpose of The Association – its aims and defined roles
- To promote the role of well-trained, qualified and suitably experienced parks practitioners’ at every level within parks management, maintenance and development;
- To celebrate the central role quality and well-run parks play in our neighbourhoods for all sections of our communities and raise their value regionally and nationally;
- To recognise and endorse the contribution of quality parks and open spaces to healthy lifestyles and physical and mental wellbeing;
- Promote and endorse best management principles and practices and play a role in facilitating roll out among practitioners’;
- To embed the effective role parks and open spaces have as green infrastructure, natural capital and ecosystem services, endorsing sustainable development and protection;
- To lobby for long-term resources for ongoing maintenance, management and development and play a role in finding solutions with government and relevant organisations – “one voice – one lobby”;
- To encourage and enable community involvement and empowerment of local people and park users;
- To collaborate with similar minded organisations to achieve its aims; and
- Specifically, to be THE representative body for those professionals working in the parks and green spaces sector.
- Individual Membership is open to ALL practitioners working within the parks and open spaces sector.
- Membership is also open to all individuals in non-profit-distributing organisations (NPDO’s), delivering a range of services and influencing the development of parks and open spaces.
- Individual Membership can be extended to sole traders within the commercial sector who make a significant contribution to the sector.
- Corporate Membership is available for Local Authorities and organisations as defined in b) above with more than one eligible member or organisations where it would be difficult to identify one individual with overall and specific cross-cultural and parks responsibility.
- Membership is also open to companies and members of the commercial or private sector making significant contribution to parks and open spaces. Applications from all such organisations will need to be agreed by the Executive Board.
- Complimentary Membership is offered to ‘strategic partners’, such as DCMS, DEFRA, MHCLG, LGA, NDPBs etc.
- Honorary Membership is awarded to people from the sector, usually former full members, who have made a significant contribution to the development of the sector. This will be complimentary and will be decided by the Executive Board.
- In each case, the key criteria for full membership will comprise a critical test of eligibility, with the consensus that anyone can apply.
- The Parks Management Association is currently an organisation that specifically covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Membership, though, is open to eligible applicants from other countries, who meet the Membership key criteria.
3.1 Individual Membership
Individual members should:
- be employed directly within local government, or for a Non-Profit Distributing Organisations, outsourced contractors / partners, delivering environmental, cultural and leisure services directly on behalf of local government, the wider public sector and trusts;
- have experience of working at any level in parks and open spaces services; and
- work across a range of environmental, cultural and leisure sectors.
Individual members are entitled to all of the benefits of the Association with full voting rights.
Individual members from within local government and associated NPDO’s have the right to stand for election to the Executive Board.
Individual Membership is available to:
- 4.1.1 All individuals working directly in the local government environment for parks and open spaces or NPDO equivalents with a range of disciplines related to the parks and open spaces sector.
- 4.1.2 Sole traders within the commercial or private sector who make a significant contribution to the sector.
- 4.1.3 Retired members, who are no longer actively working in any capacity, are eligible for a reduced subscription.
3.2 Complimentary Membership
Complimentary Membership is available at the sole discretion of the Chair in consultation with the Executive Board. There are two sub-categories:
Honorary Membership can be awarded to individuals who are making or who have made a significant contribution to the development of parks and open spaces nationally and/or internationally. Examples are former full members who have left the sector through promotion and retirement to e.g. Council CEO etc. The Executive Board has the power to nominate Honorary Members. Such nominations are subject to endorsement by a General Meeting of the Association.
The PMA Board will seek nominations from the membership and make 2 awards each year. The nominations will be reviewed and Honorary awards agreed by the Chair and Vice Chairs for confirmation at the AGM.
3.2.2 Complimentary Associates
Strategic Partners, typically from strategic partner organisations such as Local Government Group, DCMS, NDPBs, etc., will be allowed two complimentary memberships each; they will not have voting rights and will not be eligible for election to the executive Board.
3.3 Corporate Categories
Corporate Membership is available to eligible organisations on an organisational rather than individual basis, for access to services by individuals who work within the local government environment but where it would be difficult to identify one individual with overall and specific cross-cultural and leisure responsibility.
Corporate Membership is also available for eligible organisations where more than one individual within the organisation is eligible for membership.
Corporate Membership is available to organisations on an organisational, rather than individual basis, as follows:
3.3.1 Public / Statutory Sector Organisations
For access to services by public / statutory sector organisations, working at any level equivalent to the Full Membership categories of membership, and working directly with local government on the enhancement of parks services. Organisations eligible under this category will have been judged to meet the membership key criteria on an organisational rather than individual basis.
3.3.2 Voluntary Sector Organisations
For access to services by voluntary sector organisations, working at a any level equivalent to the Full Membership categories of membership, and working directly with local government on the enhancement of parks and open spaces. Organisations eligible under this category will have been judged to meet the membership key criteria on an organisational rather than individual basis.
3.3.3 Education Sector
For access to services by individuals from educational sector organisations, working at a senior, strategic level equivalent to the Full Membership categories of membership, and working directly with local government on the enhancement of parks services. Organisations eligible under this category will have been judged to meet the membership key criteria on an organisational rather than individual basis. Exceptions to this will be approved by the Chair and Executive Board.
4. Commercial Membership
The key criteria for commercial membership comprise a critical test of eligibility and apply to all commercial membership categories. Such members will be ‘Individual’ or ‘Corporate’
4.1 Individual Commercial members should:
- be able to provide evidence of a commitment to and interest in the development and delivery of the parks sector; and
- work as sole traders or in small enterprises within the commercial sector.
4.2 Corporate Commercial members should:
- be organisations which have a close relationship with the parks and open spaces sector; and
- be able to provide evidence of a commitment to and interest in the development and delivery of the sector and parks services
4.3 All Commercial Membership applications require approval by the Chair of the PMA, or by such person(s) nominated by the Chair to carry out this task.
4.4 Individual Commercial Members are entitled to all of the benefits and activities of the Association, with full voting rights other than as detailed in paragraph 12.6.1. However, Individual Commercial Members cannot be elected to serve on the Executive Board.
4.5 Individual and Corporate Members in the Commercial Member categories will be required to sign and commit to a Code of Conduct defining parameters for their membership.
5. Special Conditions relating to Membership Categories
The following conditions apply as standard, but may be varied as determined by a General Meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Board:
Except for Individual Members, the total numbers for each membership category may be restricted from time to time as determined by a General Meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Board.
Only Members working directly in the local government environment or in non-profit-distributing organisations, delivering a range of services within the parks sector for local government may be elected as Chair or Vice Chair.
6. Membership Fees
Fees shall be set at the AGM for the following financial year.
If a member transfers to a corporate membership with colleagues from the same council/employer, the corporate membership will begin at the first renewal date of those covered, and there will be no refund for other members whose memberships fall for renewal at a later date.
Renewals shall be made within 90 days and there will be 2 reminders during this time. Membership will then be revoked.
Any appeals on decisions about membership will be considered by the Chair, who may wish to consult other members of the Executive. This decision will be final.
7. Election, Resignation, Suspension and Expulsion of Members
7.1 Any eligible person wishing to become a member of the Association shall apply for membership in such form as the Executive Board may from time to time prescribe.
7.2 The formal acceptance by the Membership and Recruitment Secretary of such an application, together with the prescribed subscription, shall constitute the application for consideration to the Executive Board. If there are areas of concern, the Membership and Recruitment Secretary shall be responsible for collecting relevant information and reporting this directly to the Executive Board.
7.3 The Executive Board shall reserve the right at their discretion to decide or not to grant the application. The Membership and Recruitment Secretary will inform the applicant of the decision of the Executive. There is no right of appeal to the decision.
7.4 A member shall cease to be a member of the Association when they fail to meet the eligibility criteria. It is the responsibility of members to inform the Association of any change in their circumstances that might affect their membership category or their eligibility for membership.
7.5 A member shall cease to be a member of the Association when their subscription is in arrears of three months after the date of notice of renewal, and they have been formally notified of the arrears at least twice and the implications of non-payment.
7.6 A member may resign from the Association at any time by giving three months written notice of resignation to the Membership and Recruitment Secretary, but they are not entitled to a rebate for any of their annual subscription paid for the year in which they resigned unless there are reasons of hardship, where a rebate is entirely at the discretion of the Membership and Recruitment Secretary. They shall remain liable to the Association for any subscription or fees for activities unpaid by them at the date of resignation.
7.7 The Executive Board may, if two thirds of the members of the Executive Board present and voting at a meeting of the Board properly constituted according to this constitution, expel from membership of the Association any member whose conduct is in the opinion if the Executive Board detrimental to the interests of the Association or calculated or likely to bring the Association into disrepute; or who in the opinion of the Executive Board wilfully and persistently refuses to comply with the rules of the Association.
8.1 Every member shall be liable to pay the Association at the beginning of every financial/municipal year in advance a subscription of such amount or amounts as has, from time to time, been determined by General Meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Board. New members joining during the year will pay pro rata until the end of that year.
8.2 Different subscription rates are applied to categories of membership. The following principles are those currently applied, but may from time to time be amended by a general meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Board.
- Rate 1 Individual Membership (to include concessionary rates and differing level rates)
- Rate 2 Corporate Membership
- Rate 3 Retired Membership
8.3 Members may be required to complete an annual declaration of eligibility at the time of renewal of subscriptions.
8.4 Only those members whose subscription is paid up on 30th April are entitled to nominate members for the Executive Board. It is the responsibility of members to ensure that their membership is current at the qualifying dates. Only members whose subscription is paid at least 7 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting are entitled to vote at the meeting. Any member infringing this rule will be subject to scrutiny by the Executive Board.
9. Constitution and Functions of the Executive Board
The business of the Association shall be conducted by an Executive Board of: the Chair; 4 Vice Chairs; the Honorary Treasurer; the Immediate Past Chair; and up to 10 elected Members. Restrictions on appointment to the Board of certain membership categories are set out above.
However, should the Board deem that the best interests of the Association are served by increasing the number of such members on the Board; they have the power to increase representation of any category, over and above the limit set out, by power of co-option. The continuation of any co-options shall be subject to specific confirmation at the AGM immediately following the date of co-option.
9.2 Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors shall be nominated and elected at each Annual general Meeting and shall serve in that capacity until the Annual General Meeting in the following year.
9.3 The Officers
Officers of the Association shall be a Chair, 4no. Vice Chairs, an Honorary Treasurer and the Immediate Past Chair. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall elect the Officers of the Association.
9.4 Terms of Office
The members of the Executive Board shall hold office from the commencement of one Annual General Meeting to the next Annual General Meeting. The Chair shall hold office for a maximum of three consecutive years, excluding any period of such office arising from a casual vacancy. In exceptional circumstances, the Executive Board may extend this period, but not beyond that set for the last date on which the AGM may be held, currently 1 September. All officers shall be eligible for re-election to the same office except for the Chair.
Should a vacancy arise in the officer positions for any reason, the Board, lead as appropriate by the remaining Officers, shall act in the best interests of the Association and determine how to fill the vacancy on a temporary basis. Any officer position which is filled on a temporary basis shall be subject to election, by normal process, at the AGM immediately following the occurrence of the vacancy, regardless of whether the position would normally be due for election or not.
9.5 Election to the Executive Board
Only members employed directly within local government, or for a Non-Profit Distributing Organisation (often referred to as Trusts) that provides strategic advice to the local authority, alongside delivering parks services directly on their behalf, are eligible to join the Executive Board.
A maximum of 3 NPDO members are permitted to join the Board. These members will not be eligible to hold the roles of Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.
Nominations for places on the Executive Board shall be in writing signed by two current members and delivered to the Board Secretary not later than the four weeks before the date of the relevant AGM. The Board Secretary shall, within one week, send written notice by post to each person so nominated of their nomination; any such person may withdraw their candidature by written notice to the effect and delivered to the Board Secretary not later than one week following receipt. If, after the end of the week following, there remains only the required number of persons nominated, those persons shall be declared by the Chair to be elected members of the Board Board. If more than the required number of persons remains so nominated, the Chair and the Secretary shall conduct an election at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. See Appendix 1 for Election Protocols.
The Executive Board shall appoint from its membership on an annual basis any Special Responsibility officers as it deems necessary to fulfil the mission and purposes of the association.
9.7 The Executive Board shall appoint a professional, dedicated Administrator (Board Secretary), provided the roles and responsibilities are agreed by a general meeting; that such expenditure is contained within the agreed annual budget and that robust contracting arrangements are fulfilled.
9.8 The Executive Board shall have power to co-opt from the membership either to fill a casual vacancy, or to ensure that the Executive Board has adequate representation from the Membership in the furtherance of its mission and purpose.
9.9 The Executive Board may appoint such other Boards, including ‘Panels’, ‘Working Groups’, etc, as considered appropriate to report to the Executive Board on any matter and may delegate accordingly, except on matters of Membership and Subscriptions.
9.10 The Executive Board may incur any expenditure that it deems desirable for the conduct of the affairs of the Association, provided that such expenditure is within the financial resources of the Association and within the limits set by the approved Annual Budget. It shall be presumed that the Executive Board shall do all in its power to obtain such additional support services (i.e. those not specially con
10. Roles and Responsibilities of Officers of the Association
The Chair shall be the main spokesperson of the Association ensuring that the mission and the purpose of the Association are adhered to and developed to reflect the wishes of the members. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Association and have a casting vote when required.
10.2 Vice Chairs
There shall be up to 4 Vice Chairs who shall deputise for the Chair as and when required.
The Vice-Chairs shall assume overall responsibility to convene meetings of the Association, its Executive Board and to approve minutes. They shall present an Annual Report of the Executive Board proceedings to members at each Annual General Meeting. Through contract management, a nominated Vice-Chair will ensure effective administration of the Association.
The Vice-Chairs will also undertake and develop responsibilities as determined by the Chair and the Executive Board on an annual basis.
10.3 Honorary Treasurer
The Honorary Treasurer shall receive and pay all monies due to and from the Association respectively, and report on the finances of the Association to every meeting of the Executive Board, to include an estimate of annual budget, revised accordingly each quarter. They shall prepare annually a detailed Statement of Accounts made up to the 31st March, which shall be submitted to the accountants. The accountants report will subsequently be sent to the Chair not later than 4 weeks prior to the AGM, for reporting to members at the meeting.
10.4 Immediate Past Chair
Immediately after retiring from the position of Chair at the end of a normal three-year period of office, the past Chair shall be eligible for automatic election to the office of Immediate Past Chair. This position shall run for two years, coinciding with the term of office of the new Chair.
10.5 Special Responsibility Executive Board Members
These are currently:
10.5.1 External Representative:
The Board shall include a position for a representative specifically elected to represent the interests of external members. Nominations for this position can only be made as a result of a unanimous vote by the external membership, although any such nomination is subject to ratification by the AGM as normal.
10.5.2 Special Responsibilities: Any officers shall be appointed by the Executive Board from its membership on an annual basis to undertake special responsibilities for aspects of the annual work plan to ensure that the business of the Association and the purposes are fulfilled.
10.6 Administrator (Executive Secretary)
Subject to the contractual agreement by the Executive Board, an Administrator shall be appointed to undertake the necessary support services to enable the functioning of the Association to be carried out in an effective and efficient manner.
The main functions shall include general administrative support to the Chair, Vice-Chairs, the Honorary Treasurer, Immediate Past Chair and other Officers as shall be in place at any time; such costs incurred shall not be exceeded without the minuted sanction of the Executive Board. The annual work plan will be agreed by the Executive Board and be monitored by the Chair and Immediate Past Chair who will have management responsibility for the post. Close liaison with the Officers and the Executive Board is essential.
11. General Meetings (including virtual)
11.1 An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held before the 1st September each year, except where in exceptional and unavoidable circumstances a reasonable extension to this is agreed by the Executive Board, to receive the Annual Report of the Executive Board including the Accountants Report & Financial Statement and to transact such other business as may be proper to be transacted thereat, including changes to the Constitution.
11.2 Special General Meetings shall be called either by direction of the Executive Board or a requisition (stating the object of the Meeting) signed by at least 25 members and sent to the Executive Secretary, who shall seek to call a meeting within 21 days after receiving the requisition.
11.3 General (“Members”) Meetings shall be held on such dates and at such a place as may be arranged by the Executive Board; the Secretary shall give not less than 14 days written notice thereof to all members.
11.4 The quorum of any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting shall be 25 members.
11.5 The procedure at all General Meetings shall be at the absolute discretion of the Chair.
11.6 Each member shall have one vote and in the event of an equality of votes the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.
11.6.1 Only individual members as described in paragraph 4.1 may vote in matters relating to the constitution of PMA at any stage of the process of amending the constitution.
11.7 The Chair, or in the Chair’s absence one of the Vice Chairs, shall preside at all General Meetings of the Association. In the absence of the Chair and the Vice Chairs the meeting shall elect a chair from the members present.
11.8 Any member may bring forward any matter covered by the objects of the Association for consideration at any Annual General Meeting on giving to the Executive Secretary of the Association not less than one calendar month’s previous written notice thereof.
12. Power to set up Supplementary Contributions
At any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting called for the purpose, the Association shall have the power to authorise the Executive Board to raise a supplementary contribution from all members of the Association of such an amount as shall be decided at the meeting.
13. Investment of Funds
The funds of the Association not required for current business or to meet accruing liabilities may, subject to any direction of the Executive Board, be invested in any of the investments referred to in Parts I, II and III of the First Schedule to the Trustee Investment Act, 1961. Provided that this power of investment may be exercised without compliance with the provision of the Trustee Investment Act, 1961 as to the investment of Trust Funds, or other succeeding legislation which may affect the financial stability of the Association.
14. Inspection of Books
14.1 The books of the Association shall be available to be inspected at the office of the Executive Secretary or Administrator, by any member or person having an interest in the funds of the Association. The record of names of members may also be made available to interested parties, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, and, where relevant, the membership of the Association and the legal restrictions laid out by any data protection act in force at the time.
14.2 The accounting records of the Association shall be available to be inspected at the office of the Executive Secretary by any member of the Association.
The Chair and 4 Vice Chairs of the Association shall be the Trustees of the Association and the property of the Association both real and personal shall be conveyed demised or assured to or become vested in the Trustees of the Association.
The Association may, at any time, be dissolved by a motion carried at a General Meeting duly called for that purpose, of which at least one month’s notice of the meeting and the proposal to consider a motion for dissolution of the Association thereat, shall have been given by the Executive Secretary, to all members. Except where such dissolution is for the purpose of amalgamating the Association with another organisation, the Officers of the Association shall thereupon proceed to realise the property of the Association and after discharge of all liabilities shall divide the same equally amongst all members and upon the completion of such division the Association shall be dissolved.
17. Alteration and Interpretation of Rules Constitution
17.1 These Rules may be altered only be resolution supported by at least two thirds of the members present and voting at a General Meeting of which the Executive Secretary shall have given to every member at least one calendar month’s notice specifically of the nature of the proposed alteration.
17.2 Any matters not dealt with by these Rules and any case of doubt as to their interpretation shall be referred for determination to the Executive Board whose decision shall be final.
13th February 2021
Paul Rabbitts MLA FRSA