The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

The Constitution of the Morris Ring

Following several months of discussions, a new constitution and supporting documents for the running of the organisation were adopted by a majority vote at the 2022 ARM. This is the end of many months of work put in by the Squire's commission to make these documents relevant and more accessible to the wider membership.

1.OBJECTS AND DEFINITIONS

  1. The Morris Ring is an association of clubs and other organisations practising and performing morris, sword, mumming and related activities; any established club meeting regularly for these purposes and endeavouring to uphold the standards and dignity of the morris, will be eligible for membership of the Morris Ring.
  2. The Morris Ring will encourage the performance of the morris, maintain its traditions, encourage research into all aspects of the morris, conserve its history as it is able, and bring into contact all morris clubs.
  3. Member clubs, in all respects, retain their independence. The Morris Ring does not replace or supersede member clubs, but will seek to assist, and where appropriate, represent them.
  4. The Morris Ring will treat all individuals with dignity and respect, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and/or age.

2.MEMBERSHIP OF THE MORRIS RING

  1. At the discretion of the elected officers, a club or organisation may become an associate member of the Morris Ring; if appropriate, such a club or organisation is expected to seek admission to full membership.
  2. Admission of a club into full membership of the Morris Ring is subject to a majority of votes cast at a meeting of club representatives, following any advice from the elected officers.
  3. Each member club or associate will pay an annual subscription, the amount to be determined by the annual representatives meeting, following a recommendation by the Treasurer.
  4. The Morris Ring will maintain public liability insurance cover for all member clubs and associates in the United Kingdom, as appropriate, applicable to all clubs on receipt of their annual subscription. Optional additional insurance cover may be offered, where appropriate.
  5. Clubs whose standards or conduct fall below those generally accepted by the member clubs, or that conflict with any applicable Morris Ring policy or code of practice may:
    • exceptionally, following the advice of the Advisory Council, be suspended from membership by the Squire, or
    • be suspended or removed from membership of the Morris Ring if at least two thirds of the votes cast at a meeting of club representatives are in favour of such action.

3.REPRESENTATIVES’ MEETINGS

  1. Representatives of member clubs will meet annually.
  2. Other representatives’ meetings may be called:
    • at the Squire's discretion
    • following a written request to the Bagman by at least one third of member clubs subject to the published policies of the Morris Ring
  3. Save for:
    • the election of officers, where there are more than two candidates
    • suspension or removal of a club from membership
    • amendments to this constitution

any matters requiring formal determination at a representatives’ meeting will be determined by a simple majority vote of the member clubs represented; each club will have one vote on any such matter.

  1. Voting may be by written, electronic or such other reasonable means as the elected officers will agree in advance, appropriate to the circumstances.

4.OFFICERS

  1. The Morris Ring will have three elected officers:
    • the Squire, who leads the Morris Ring
    • the Bagman, who is responsible for administration
    • the Treasurer, who is responsible for financial matters.
  2. The Squire, Bagman and Treasurer will be elected biennially at the annual representatives’ meeting. Elections for Squire and Treasurer will alternate with those for the Bagman, with the Squire taking office at the annual representative’s meeting next following their election. The Bagman and Treasurer take office on election.
  3. The Squire may not, but the Bagman and Treasurer may be re-elected. The officers are elected by an absolute majority of the votes cast unless there are more than two candidates, when the alternative vote system will be used.
  4. In consultation with the Advisory Council, the Squire may appoint a deputy for any other officer and, may appoint such other officers as they think fit to carry out other functions.
  5. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Squire, Bagman or Treasurer, the Advisory Council will take such action as it thinks fit, pending an election to that office.

5.AREA REPRESENTATIVES

  1. Area Representatives will be elected at an annual representatives’ meeting for a three-year term and will be eligible for re-election.
  2. For the sole purpose of choosing Area Representatives, each member club will be allocated to one of the geographical areas within the United Kingdom and may only vote in that area.
  3. Candidates for Area Representatives must be a member of one of the area’s clubs, be nominated by at least one of those clubs and be elected by a simple majority of votes of the clubs in that area. Clubs outside the UK will be represented by the elected officers. A temporary replacement area representative may be appointed by the Squire, where necessary.

6.ADVISORY COUNCIL

  1. The Advisory Council consists of the Squire, Bagman and Treasurer, any officers elect, and all past elected officers of the Morris Ring whose term of office has concluded within the past six years, together with the elected area representatives. The Advisory Council will elect a chair, who shall not be a currently elected officer but may be the last past Squire.
  2. The Advisory Council will meet at least once a year, and will have a quorum of five members, including at least one elected officer and two area representatives.
  3. The purposes of the Advisory Council include:
    • advising and assisting the officers to further the objects of the Morris Ring
    • taking action in an emergency
    • considering any other appropriate matters in accordance with the policies of the Morris Ring.

7.GENERAL

  1. Any amendment of this constitution will require at least two thirds of the votes cast at the annual representatives’ meeting to be in favour of the amendment.
  2. Appropriate policies and codes of practice may from time to time be adopted by the Morris Ring at a meeting of club representatives by simple majority vote.
  3. All funds or assets of the Morris Ring will be used only for the furtherance of its objectives and no such funds or assets may be transferred to the officers or member clubs of the Morris Ring for their personal use.
  4. On the dissolution of the Morris Ring none of its funds or assets may be transferred to its officers or member clubs for their personal use and may only be transferred to charitable or not-for-profit organisations having the same or similar objectives as the Morris Ring and an equivalent prohibition on personal use of funds or assets once transferred.

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