Orchards Community Forum is established to represent all those with an interest in the Orchards area. By working in partnership with all relevant interest groups, voluntary organisations, government departments, statutory authorities and individuals, the Orchards Community Forum seeks to provide for the improvement in the local environs for an involved and valued community.

The group shall be non-political and non-sectarian.

In order to become a member of the Orchards Community Forum you must be either a resident or work within the area known as Orchards.

Orchards Community Forum will:

  • Provide an additional route for those in Orchards to raise concerns and issues on local matters and communicate these to Thurrock Council and partners.
  • Strengthen local community networks and develop constructive and effective partnerships between local people and organisations and the Council.
  • Aim to provide information to residents, businesses, groups, and interested parties within the local area, work towards developing a community spirit and hold local events that will bring the community together.
  • Achieve funding for local initiatives from Thurrock Council and from other relevant bodies/organisations as appropriate. Improve the general environment and amenities of Orchards and to represent Orchards in other matters of concern.
  • Promote the welfare, leisure and recreation of the local community.
  • Liaise with Thurrock Council, Police and other bodies to achieve these aims.

Members shall always conduct themselves in a manner acceptable to the Orchards Community Forum when attending meetings or any function in connection with the Forum. In particular; all members shall abide by the aims and objectives as set out above. Failure to meet the required standards will result in exclusion of membership of the Forum.

All members should express a declaration of interest on financial matters or any other vested interest. This should be declared at the start of the any relevant meeting and all such members shall abstain from voting.

Minutes, Meetings, News and Members


Date of Constitution: 20th Nov 2019
Name: The name of the organisation shall be known as “The Orchards Community Forum”.

Objective of the Organisation
The Orchards Community Forum is a not-for-profit organisation established to represent all those who live, work and/or have an interest in the Orchards Community Forum area by working in partnership with all relevant interest groups, including voluntary organisations, the local authority, Government Departments, individuals etc.


The area is defined by Thurrock Council as the area bounded by Bridge Road, the south side of Highview Avenue, Whitehall Lane, The Broadway (to Wood Street) and roads beyond Wood Street to the railway line which forms the Southern boundary. The area includes Elm Road Open Space.


• Provide residents with information on anything that affects the Orchards Community Forum area;
• Find out the views of local people and act as their voice; providing an additional route to raise concerns and/or communicate with Thurrock Council;
• Involve local people in identifying, planning and running one-off events to strengthen community networks;
• Identify appropriate funding streams to deliver activities within the area;
• Develop relevant and beneficial partnerships with Thurrock Council and other organisations / individuals.


The Orchards Community Forum has the power to raise funds; recruit volunteers; employ or hire such staff or advisors as may be required for a specific activity or activities; purchase or hire equipment and/or premises; work in partnership with different individuals and/or organisations; communicate with and provide feedback to local people; and carry out any other requirements within the law as are necessary to further its aims.


Membership is open to anyone regardless of age; disability; religion or belief system; sex; gender reassignment; sexual orientation; race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin); etc.
Membership will be advertised via the Orchards Community Forum meetings and Information Loop.
All local residents will be invited to regular public meetings through which information will be disseminated regarding the local area and other items of interest as requested by attendees.

Alternatively, or additionally, members may join the Orchards Community Forum Information Loop. To do so, an individual will be asked to provide an email address to enable them to receive information on the Orchards Community Forum’s activities. Members names will be held in accordance with General Data Protection Principles and not shared. Individuals have the right to opt out at any time.
Members shall at all times conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Conduct when attending any meeting, function or event in connection with the Orchards Community Forum. Failure to do so may result in exclusion.
The Code of Conduct will be agreed by members at a public meeting and reviewed on an annual basis.
Diversity and Inclusion
The Orchards Community Forum supports diversity and inclusivity, and is opposed to racism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of discrimination. The Orchards Community Forum will promote equality of opportunity and encourage good relations between people irrespective of race, religion, gender, age or disability etc. Expressions of such prejudice will be challenged.


The affairs of the Orchards Community Forum will be directed by a Committee which will comprise of four Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) plus a minimum of three other members.
Committee members of Orchards Community Forum will be elected at its public Annual General Meeting which is to be held in October each year. The Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer will be elected annually. Members of the Committee will hold office for a period of one year and shall be eligible for re-election at the subsequent Annual General Meeting.
The Committee may from time to time include individuals co-opted by the Committee due to their knowledge, skills or experience.
All attendees are able to participate in the decision-making process. Any voting will be undertaken by a show of hands and minuted.
Emergency Measures
This will only apply in the event of an Extreme Emergency, for example, a major Disaster/Pandemic. Orchards Community Forum will introduce extra measures to enable it to continue. For example, this would apply to Face to Face Meetings, AGM & re-selection of a New Committee, etc. Any emergency measures will be notified to members via the email Information Loop.


An Annual General Meeting will be held at a time and place determined by the Committee giving the public at least 28 days’ notice. No more than 15 months shall have elapsed since the preceding Annual General Meeting.
Orchards Community Forum will hold no less than eight public meetings throughout the year, the actual frequency and timing to be determined by the Committee. This allows flexibility around proposed activities, which may necessitate more frequent meetings; or less meetings during holiday periods. All public meetings will include an “open session” for questions and issues to be raised by the attendees.

In exceptional circumstances the Chair may call a Special Meeting, if requested in writing, signed by a minimum of ten members giving reasons for the request.
For a valid meeting to be held there must be a quorum of at least two of the Officers plus three other full members in attendance. There is no upper limit on the number of attendees. In the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair the members present will elect a Chair for that meeting.
At all meetings matters will be decided by simple majority voting. In the case of equality of votes, the Chair of the meeting will have a second or casting vote.
Minutes of the Orchards Community Forum will be maintained by the Secretary, and approved and signed off at the following public meeting.
Any sub-committee meetings will be arranged on an ad hoc basis by the Chair of Orchards Community Forum as needed. The purpose of sub-committee meetings is to organise regular or one-off events, and to make any decisions surrounding them. Meetings may also include finance; funding opportunities; and any issues or concerns.



The Orchards Community Forum will open a bank account in its name. No less than two authorised signatories will sign any cheque or authorise any transaction.
Any equipment purchased / hired or any expenses relating to the Orchards Community Forum will be included in the Orchards Community Forum accounts. Assets will belong to Orchards Community Forum and an Assets Register will be maintained.
Orchards Community Forum’s Treasurer will keep a record of all income and expenditure and produce an annual summary for the Annual General Meeting. The accounts will be independently examined each year by an accountant / independent auditor.
Amendments to the Constitution
Once adopted, the Constitution may only be amended by reference to the wider public Forum / Special Meeting for ratification. A majority vote in favour of any amendments (two-thirds of those attending; with a minimum of 21 attendees) needs to be reached before any changes can be made.
Major changes will be advertised at least 28 days prior to a wider public meeting / Special Meeting and circulated via the Information Loop.



This will apply if, for any reason, the Committee decides, by a simple majority, that the Orchards Community Forum needs to be wound-up. Reasons for this may be that the Orchards Community Forum lacks support or resources, or if activities have been transferred to another organisation. In this situation, a Special Meeting will be called. The Special Meeting will be advertised at least 28 days prior to the date and circulated via the Information Loop.

A majority vote in favour (two-thirds of those attending; with a minimum of 21 attendees) needs to be reached at the Special Meeting before the decision to dissolve the Orchards Community Forum can be ratified.

A summary of the accounts and the Asset Register will be made available to attendees of the Special Meeting. Any excess funds, and / or material assets available for redistribution will be donated to a charity agreed on by simple majority at the Special Meeting.

Code of Conduct at Public Forum Meetings

  • All members shall be open and honest in their dealings and show respect for other members
  • All speakers will address themselves through the Chairperson
  • Only one person shall speak at a time
  • All speakers shall be polite and not raise their voices
  • All speakers shall respect all others in attendance and shall not use offensive language.
  • All forums observe equal opportunities and respect diversity of all community members.  Racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic and discriminatory language aimed at disabled people will not be acceptable or tolerated so please do not air personal views that are likely to offend.
  • All speakers will keep to the subject under discussion
  • Unless there are exceptional circumstances, each person may speak only once on an issue until every other member has had the opportunity to speak thereby accounting for all opinions
  • All members shall abide by the decisions taken at meetings
  • If any member does not abide by the Code of Conduct, there will be a warning that if they break the Code of Conduct they may be asked to leave the meeting
  • The offending member will be told that three warnings will be given and this is the first warning
  • The offending member will be told that there may be two further warnings and at the third case shall ask the meeting to vote on whether the member should be asked to leave the meeting
  • In the event of there being a conflict of interest (or potential conflict of interest) this must be disclosed to the meeting and if necessary, the member who has disclosed the conflict, (or potential conflict), whether financial or non-financial, shall absent themselves from the meeting whilst the subject is under discussion.  Political references shall be avoided.

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