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Constitution of the MF

Approved at the Annual General Meeting in September 2023.

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THE MORRIS FEDERATION – CONSTITUTION

  1. Name and Aims
  2. Membership
  3. Classes of membership
  4. General meetings
  5. Governance
  6. Dissolution of the Federation

1.   Name and Aims

1.1     The association’s name is The Morris Federation (‘the Federation’).

1.2     The Morris Federation’s aims (‘the Aims’) are:

(a)  To encourage and promote Morris and related activities, for anyone who wants to participate or to spectate, and where all feel safe, welcomed, and respected.

(b) To provide a channel of communication between member sides.

(c)  To encourage improvements in standards of dancing and related activities among its members.

2.   Membership

2.1     Membership is by annual subscription. The subscription rate for each class of membership for the forthcoming membership year must be decided at each annual general meeting.

2.2     All applications for membership or for renewal of membership must be considered by the Officers. If a majority vote to refuse membership, the Secretary must inform the applicant, in writing, of the reasons for the refusal within seven days of the decision.

2.3     Membership is terminated at the end of the membership year or immediately, should:

(a)  an Individual Member die, or a Group Member cease to exist; or

(b) the Member resigns by written notice to the Treasurer; or

(c)  the Member fails to pay in full their subscription within 28 days of the Treasurer giving a final written demand for payment.

2.4     If the Officers, having followed the Policy on Complaints against Members (Discipline) then in effect, pass a resolution that in its opinion a named Member has:

(a)  failed to comply with or observe the Constitution, Standing Orders or Policies of the Federation for the time being in force; or

(b)  acted in a manner which is not in the best interests of the Federation or its Aims;

then the Member shall be suspended from Membership, and

(i)      The Secretary shall forthwith give notice to the Member of the terms of the Officers’ resolution and the Member shall within 28 days thereof be entitled to request in writing that the question of their Membership be referred to the next general meeting of the Federation.

(ii)    Both the Member and the Officers shall be entitled to submit written representations for consideration at that Meeting or to attend and make such representations as they may consider appropriate.

(iii)  In the event of the Member failing to request such a referral then their Membership shall cease on the expiry of the said period of 28 days.

3.   Classes of membership

3.1     Individual Membership

(a)  Individual Membership is open to any natural person of eighteen years or older who wishes to further the Aims of The Morris Federation.

(b) Individual Members pay subscriptions at the rate currently set. They enjoy the rights arising from, and commit to the obligations of, membership as set out in the Constitution and Standing Orders.

3.2     Group Membership

(a)  Group Membership is open to any organisation performing Morris or related activities that wishes to further the Aims of The Morris Federation.

(b) Group Members pay subscriptions at the rate currently set. They enjoy the rights arising from, and commit to the obligations of, membership as set out in the Constitution and Standing Orders.

(c)  Each Group Member must appoint one of their own members (their ‘Named Contact’) to act on the Member’s behalf to access membership information or to receive such communications as may be necessary.

(d) The Named Contact has the responsibility for maintaining the contact details of, and information held about, the Member on the Federation’s membership database.  The details provided on the database will be conclusive as to the identity of the Named Contact and the address(es) to use for correspondence with the Member.

(e)  Any notice given or communication sent by The Morris Federation to the address provided by the Named Contact will be conclusive evidence that notice has been served on or communication received by the organisation.

3.3     Honorary Life Membership

(a)  Honorary Life Membership may be bestowed on any individual by a majority vote of members in general meeting, provided the nomination for such membership reaches the Secretary by the deadline specified in the notice of the meeting. A nomination may be made by the Officers or by any member other than the nominee and must be seconded by at least five other members.

(b) Honorary Life Members maintain the full rights and obligations of Individual Membership but pay no subscription.

3.4     Friendship of The Morris Federation

(a)  Friendship of The Morris Federation is a recognition of services rendered by non-members to or on behalf of The Morris Federation or in pursuit of its aims.

(b) Friendship of The Morris Federation may be bestowed on any individual or organisation by a majority vote of members in general meeting, provided the nomination for such status reaches the Secretary by the deadline specified in the notice of the meeting. A nomination may be made by the Officers or by any member and must be seconded by at least five other members.

(c)  Friends of The Morris Federation pay no subscription and have none of the rights or obligations of membership excepting they are entitled to attend and speak at general meetings.

3.5     Associate Group Membership

(a)  Associate Group Members have all the rights and obligations of Group Members except that they pay a reduced subscription and cannot benefit from the insurance cover normally arranged by The Morris Federation on behalf of its membership.

3.6     Junior Group Membership

(a)  Junior Group Membership is available for practising Morris sides comprised in the majority by young people of compulsory education age residing in the United Kingdom.

(b) Junior Group Members have all the rights and obligations of Group Members except that they pay a reduced subscription.

3.7     Additional classes of membership differing in entitlement, obligations and/or subscription may be introduced by a motion passed by not less than two-thirds of the votes cast (‘a Special Resolution’).

3.8     In this Constitution and Standing Orders and any Federation Policies, except where otherwise specified, ‘Individual Member’ means any person with individual membership whatever their class of membership and ‘Group Member’ means any member organisation whatever their class of membership.

4.   General meetings

4.1     An annual general meeting must be held each year and not more than 15 months may elapse between successive annual general meetings.

4.2     The Officers may call a general meeting at any time.

4.3     The Officers must call a general meeting if requested to do so in writing by as many members as would constitute a quorum at a general meeting. The request must state the nature of the business that is to be discussed. If the Officers fail to call the meeting within 28 days of a proper request being received by them, the members may proceed to call the meeting.

4.4     Each class of membership holds voting rights as agreed at their creation or subsequently amended. Unless specified otherwise, each and every Individual Member has one vote and each and every Group Member has up to ten votes in total.

5.   Governance

5.1     All funds and assets of The Morris Federation shall be used only for the furtherance of its Aims.

5.2     The Morris Federation is managed and administered in the furtherance of its Aims by a committee of Officers elected by majority vote of Members.

5.3     The Morris Federation must have at least six Officers, including:

(a)  a President;

(b) a Secretary;

(c)  a Treasurer

5.4     These Officers are responsible for determining what other Officers are required, their titles and roles, provided that at no time are there more than nine Officers including those named in clause 5.3.

5.5     Should an Officer holding a position not named in clause 5.3 retire or fail to be re-elected and there is no candidate to replace them then the position lapses.

5.6     Should the number of serving Officers fall below the minimum required, the continuing Officers must act to hold elections or fill the vacancies by appointment, such appointment:

(a)  to be of a person willing and able to act as an Officer;

(b) not to be to a role already occupied by an elected Officer;

(c)  to be reasonably publicised to members;

(d) to be subject to election no later than the next annual general meeting.

5.7     The Officers may from time to time make and amend Federation Policies binding on themselves and on members for the good conduct of Morris Federation business.

5.8     No Federation Policy may be inconsistent with, or materially affect or repeal, anything contained in this Constitution or Standing Orders.

5.9     The Officers must issue a Notice to bring a new or amended Policy to the attention of members. No Policy may take effect until 28 days after this Notice is issued.

5.10   Members may amend any provision of the Constitution, Standing Orders and Federation Policies provided that:

(a)  the full text of the proposed amendment is set out in a Notice circulated to all Members; and

(b) any resolution to amend the Constitution or the Standing Orders is passed by not less than two-thirds of the votes cast.  Amendments to Federation Policies require a simple majority.

(c)  No amendment can have retrospective effect to invalidate any prior act of the Officers or Members.

6.   Dissolution of the Federation

6.1     The Morris Federation may only be dissolved by a Special Resolution.

6.2     The Officers currently in place will remain in office and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Federation. The Officers must apply any remaining Federation property or money as soon as practicable:

(a)  to pay outstanding liabilities; and/or

(b) directly in support of the Aims; and/or

(c)  by donation to a recognised public archive or museum (for property only, plus any money strictly necessary for that archive or museum to accept or process the donation to make it publicly available); and/or

(d) by transfer to any not-for-profit organisation or charity whose purpose is the same as or similar to that of The Morris Federation.

For the avoidance of doubt, in no circumstance may the property or money be distributed to the Officers, nor to the Members, nor to any other persons except as above.


Last Updated: October 2023

 


Note that Members have passed resolutions at annual general meetings that impose restrictions on what Members can or cannot do but that did not explicitly amend the text of the Constitution. These resolutions are captured here – see the Officers’ responsibility section 2.1.

2.1     Customarily, The Morris Federation holds a day, or weekend, of dance alongside its annual general meeting.  At these days of dance:

(a)  The Morris Federation shall not allow ‘combination’ sets to perform in any public displays that may form part of the annual day(s) of dance. ‘Combination’ sets arise when dancers from different teams, wearing different kit, dance together in the same set.

(b)  Sides attending the annual day(s) of dance must ensure in advance that they have a musician to play for them in any public display. No musician is to play for a side unless invited to do so by that side.

2.2     No Group Member, nor their members, nor any 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.


Last Updated: January 2024

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