The Constitution of The Morris Federation

Last updated September 2020

1. NAME The organisation shall be known as The Morris Federation.

2. MEMBERSHIP Acceptance of the aims of The Morris Federation (MF) shall be a condition of membership. Membership of The Morris Federation shall be of five classes:

a) Full Group Membership – for practising morris sides and, at the discretion of the Committee, clubs performing related activities, residing in the United Kingdom.

b) Junior Group Membership – for practising morris sides of compulsory education age and, at the discretion of the Committee, clubs performing related activities, residing in the United Kingdom.

c) Full Individual Membership – for individuals residing in the United Kingdom.

d) Associate Membership – for practising Morris sides and, at the discretion of the Committee, clubs performing related activities

e) Honorary Life Membership – for individuals properly voted into that category.

3. SUBSCRIPTIONS Yearly subscriptions shall be payable on 1st December of each year, membership running from 25th January each year until 24th January the following year inclusive.

The annual rate shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting. New members will pay a full year’s subscription regardless of when they join.

4. COMMITTEE The Committee shall comprise a minimum of six officers. These shall include a President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Their terms of reference shall be as follows:

a) President

(i) To be responsible for the overall liaison between other officers
(ii)To act as Public Relations Officer

b) Secretary

(i) To provide a central address for first‑line enquiries
(ii) To maintain a list of relevant contact addresses for circulation at regular intervals
(iii) To act as meetings convenor and minutes secretary

c) Treasurer

(i) To have overall responsibility for all financial transactions
(ii) To administer the receipt of membership subscriptions
(iii) To maintain adequate insurance cover

d) Notation Officer

(i) To maintain the stock of dance and music notations available for members
(ii) To handle technical enquiries in conjunction with the Archive Officer
(iii) To co-ordinate the activities of the MF Notation Group

e) Archive Officer

(i) To be responsible for maintaining and indexing the MF archive
(ii) To assist with and encourage research activities
(iii) To handle technical enquiries in conjunction with the Notation Officer
(iv) To co-ordinate the activities of the MF Archive Group

f) Newsletter Editor

(i) To be responsible for the compilation, editing and circulation of a quarterly Newsletter.

The officers shall be elected to their posts at the Annual General Meeting, except in the case of a post becoming vacant between AGMs, when an Extraordinary General Meeting may be called to elect a replacement.  Their terms of office shall run for up to three years, beginning on 1st January of the year after that in which they were elected, until 31st December of the third year inclusive.

In the event of a post becoming vacant before the full three-year period has expired, the term of office of any elected replacement shall run for a maximum of the period remaining of the term of office of the outgoing officer.

Co-opted Members of the Committee

The committee may co-opt members or external experts to assist in running The Morris Federation.  Co-option will be for a specific projects and be for one year in the first instance.  Co-opted members may be invited to continue on an annual basis.  Co-opted members of the Committee shall be invited to attend Committee meetings and to participate in discussions, but will have no voting rights. They will be invited to report their activities to the membership through the Newsletter or personal presentation at General Meetings. Co-opted members may include those who take on a post that falls vacant before the normal term of office expires.

5. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The date of the Annual General Meeting shall be decided at a previous General Meeting.

6. INSURANCE It shall be a function of The Morris Federation to maintain valid and adequate insurance cover for all FULL member sides residing in the United Kingdom. Public Liability cover shall be automatic for all such Members on receipt of their annual subscription and valid registration papers. Any other policies offered by The Morris Federation shall require extra payment from those wishing to take part.

7. FINANCIAL    All funds and assets of The Morris Federation shall be used only for the furtherance of its objectives. No funds nor assets shall be transferred to the Officers, nor any individual, nor member sides for their personal use.

8. DISSOLUTION    On the dissolution of The Morris Federation, all of the funds and assets shall be transferred to charitable or not-for-profit organisations having the same or equivalent objectives as The Morris Federation and an equivalent prohibition on personal use of funds or assets once transferred.  For the avoidance of doubt, none of The Morris Federation’s funds or assets shall be transferred to its Officers, or individuals, or member sides.  Pending distribution, the Officers of The Morris Federation shall hold any funds in trust.

9. AIMS The aims of The Morris Federation shall be:

a) To encourage and promote morris and related activities, for anyone who wants to participate or to spectate
b) To provide a channel of communication between member sides
c) To encourage the improvements of standards of dancing and related activities among its members
d) To encourage an environment for morris and related activities where all feel safe, welcomed and respected

Standing Orders of The Morris Federation

Last updated September 2020

1. THE CHAIR The Chair shall be taken by whosoever is appointed by the Committee.  Any member may challenge the Chair at any time, a majority 4/5 being required for a challenge to succeed.  Should such a challenge succeed, the Chair shall be taken by whosoever is voted in by those present at the meeting.  If no acceptable Chair can be found, the meeting shall be adjourned.  Should a challenge fail, a further challenge may not be made until at least 15 minutes have elapsed.

2. QUORUM

(a) A General Meeting shall be considered quorate if at least 15, or 10%, whichever is the lower, of the Group Members of The Morris Federation are represented in person at the meeting.  The representative must belong to the Group Member concerned and may represent no more than one Group Member.  If after one half of an hour from the time appointed for the meeting to start, a quorum is not present; then the meeting shall be declared inquorate.  Once a quorate meeting has been opened, any member may challenge the quorum at any time.  Should such a challenge not result in the meeting being declared inquorate, a further challenge may not be made until at least 15 minutes have elapsed.

(b) If the meeting is declared inquorate, the meeting shall proceed as an Open Committee Meeting, and will follow the AGM agenda as closely as possible, differing in that no binding voting may be made with respect to any motion and no voting can take place for committee posts.  Instead, proposals will be put forward for ratification by a postal ballot.  The committee in post immediately before the abortive AGM will remain in post until elections can be held. The committee will organise an election and voting on proposals by postal ballot.  It will strive to complete this within 2 months of the AGM.

(c) Once the meeting has been declared inquorate, the whole of the business of the meeting shall be regarded as if the meeting was never quorate, and it cannot later be declared quorate.

(d) No member shall be admitted to the meeting after one half of an hour has elapsed since the opening of the meeting without the permission of the Chair.  No member shall leave the meeting before its conclusion without permission from the Chair.

3. NOTICE OF THE MEETING Notice of a General Meeting shall reach all members eligible to attend, not less than 8 weeks before the date of the meeting. Items for the agenda and any nominations should reach the Secretary not less than 6 weeks before the AGM. Nominations for Committee posts must reach the Secretary not less than 6 weeks before the meeting. Should any nomination for a post be received by that date then no further nominations will be accepted after that date. An agenda shall reach all members not less than 2 weeks before the meeting. Items shall be dealt with in the order they appear on the agenda, which shall be the order in which they were received by the Secretary, unless an application to change the order is approved by the majority of those present.

4. MINUTES If the minutes of the previous meeting shall not have been circulated, the Secretary shall read them, but no motion or discussion shall be allowed on the minutes except in regard to their accuracy. After confirmation of the minutes, they shall be signed by the Chair. Members shall then be at liberty to ask questions on matters arising out of them.

5. MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS The first proposition on any subject shall be known as the Original Motion and all succeeding propositions on that subject shall be called amendments. Every motion and amendment must be moved and seconded by members actually present at the meeting and, unless impossible, all motions shall be notified in advance and included on the agenda. Unless specifically stated elsewhere, ‘Resolutions’ made by General Meeting, AGM or EGM, shall take effect immediately upon being made.

6. SUBSTANTIVE MOTIONS If the amendment is carried, it displaces or alters the Original Motion and becomes the Substantive Motion, which shall be put to the vote and, if carried, shall become a Resolution of the meeting.

7. RIGHT OF REPLY The mover of the Original Motion shall, if no amendment is moved, have the right to reply at the close of the debate upon such motion. When an amendment is moved, they shall be entitled to speak thereon, and at the close of the debate on such an amendment, shall reply to the discussion, but shall introduce no new matter. The question shall then be put to the vote immediately, and in no circumstances shall any further discussion be allowed once the question has been put from the Chair. The mover of an amendment shall not be entitled to reply.

8. WITHDRAWALS AND ADDITIONS No motion or amendment on which a Proposal to Put to the Vote has been carried (which proposal may be moved by any member present) shall be withdrawn without the unanimous consent of the meeting. Once the Proposal to put to the Vote has been carried, no further discussion shall take place on the motion or amendment to which it refers.

9. ADJOURNMENT AND CLOSURE  Motions of Adjournment of the Meeting or of the Question under Discussion or for the Postponement of Voting on a particular proposal or to move to the Next Business may be moved by any member present. Should any of these proposals be defeated, that proposal may not be put again until at least 15 minutes have elapsed. A Motion of Closure of the Meeting may be moved by any member present and, in the event of defeat, may not be moved again until 30 minutes have elapsed.

10. VOTING RIGHTS

(a) General Meetings may be attended by all persons covered by membership of The Morris Federation.

(b) Voting at a General Meeting on matters where prior notice has been given to members, which will include motions and the election of officers where nominations have been received prior to the given deadline, shall be on the basis of ten votes per Group or Associate Member, apportioned to reflect as closely as possible the views of the side. Full Individual Members and Honorary Life Members shall have one vote. An Individual Member who also belongs to a member side may vote in one capacity only. A voter who cannot be present at a meeting may give written, signed authorisation to any other valid attendance, preferably the Secretary, to cast votes on their behalf as directed by them on specific proposals, provided an apology for absence accompanies the authorisation.

(i) Voting on administrative matters, not detailed on the agenda, and voting for the election of officers to the committee where nominations have not been received prior to the deadline shall be on the basis of one vote per person present, to a maximum of ten votes per Group Member present, excluding non-Members and the committee.

(ii) In the event of a dead heat, a second vote will be held. If this fails to resolve the issue, the President will have the casting vote.

(c) Tellers shall be appointed for the meeting by the Chair, for the duration of that meeting. In the event of an objection being raised against any one teller, which is supported by the majority of those present, the Chair shall appoint another in their place. In the event of an objection failing with respect to any one teller, no further objection may be raised until at least 15 minutes have elapsed.

(d) In the event of a Proposal of Postponement to put to the Vote being carried at a meeting, the matter may be decided upon by a postal ballot if approved by the meeting. The voting rights shall be the same as those at the meeting from which it was postponed.

(e) An individual from outside the Federation may attend meetings at the invitation of or by permission of the President.  The individual shall have no speaking rights except when invited to speak by the Chair.

11. RESCINDING A RESOLUTION No resolution shall be rescinded or amended at the same meeting at which it was passed.

12. SELECTION OF SPEAKERS A member shall raise a hand when wishing to speak and shall rise when called upon by the Chair to do so. When called upon to address the meeting, the member shall first give their name and, where applicable, shall also give the name of the side to which they belong.

13. INTERRUPTION If any member interrupts the speaker or uses abusive language, or causes a disturbance, or refuses to obey the Chair when called to order, they shall be named by the Chair. The member shall thereupon be expelled from the meeting and shall not be allowed to enter again until an apology satisfactory to the meeting has been given.

14. SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS On a matter of great urgency, the Chair may accept a motion for the suspension of Standing Orders. The member moving such suspension must clearly state the nature and urgency of the business, the numbers of the Standing Orders affected, and the length of time (not exceeding 30 minutes) the member desires the suspension to last. No suspension shall take place except by a 7/8 majority of the members present.

15. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES, ETC. Changes to the Constitution, Standing Orders or General Policies of the Federation shall require a majority of 2/3 from a vote taken at a General Meeting or a postal ballot taken among all members following a Proposal of Postponement to Put to the Vote passed at a General Meeting (see Standing Order 10d).

16. HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP Honorary Life Membership may be bestowed on an individual who is an existing member, by a majority vote taken at an Annual General Meeting, provided the nomination for such membership reaches the Secretary not later than 5 weeks before the meeting, for inclusion on the final agenda. A nomination may be made by any Group, Individual or Honorary Life Member (other than the nominee) and must be seconded by at least 5 other such members prior to its submission.

17. FRIENDSHIP OF THE FEDERATION Friendship of The Morris Federation may be bestowed on any individual or organisation by a majority vote taken at an Annual General Meeting, provided the nomination for such status reaches the Secretary not later than 5 weeks before the meeting, for inclusion on the final agenda. A nomination may be made by any Group, Individual or Honorary Life Member and must be seconded by at least 5 other such members prior to its submission.

Resolutions of The Morris Federation

Last updated September 2020

Over the years, various resolutions have been made at The Morris Federation’s Annual General Meetings. Some of these, unlike constitutional changes, for example, cannot be dealt with immediately and then just filed away. By their very nature, they need to be brought to the attention of and continually kept in mind by the members of The Morris Federation.

The list of such resolutions, given below, will be added to when necessary, each fresh list being circulated to all members.

1978

An objective of The Morris Federation shall be to improve the standards of dancing by its members and the Committee should investigate ways and means of encouraging this objective.

1980

The Morris Federation shall not allow ‘combination’ sets to perform in any public displays that may form part of the AGM Weekend. ‘Combination’ sets shall mean those in which one dancer is wearing a kit different to that worn by at least one other dancer in the same set.

1980

Sides attending the AGM Weekend shall be required to ensure in advance that they have a musician to play for them in any public display they wish to participate during the course of that weekend. Also, no musician is to play for a side unless invited to do so by that particular side.

2020

From 1st January 2021 no member team, participants in a team, or individual member shall use any solid full face coloured makeup which could be taken by a reasonable observer as likely to imitate or parody a skin colour different from their own.

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