The aims of the Kent County Association of Change Ringers are:
- the establishment, maintenance and encouragement of service ringing in the churches in its area
- the recognition of ringers as church workers
- the proper care and use of bells and belfries
- the cultivation of the art of change ringing
- the safety and wellbeing of its members
It has come to the attention of the principal officers of the Association that some Facebook groups, ostensibly run by towers that are ‘in union’ with the Association or within the geographical boundaries of the Association, are posting material which is unrelated to ringing. This is in the form of derogatory comments or unsubstantiated allegations against other organisations, groups or individuals and is contrary to our aims.
Whilst the Association cannot dictate the content of such sites, often managed or run by an individual, we cannot condone the content of these sites. We wish to make clear to members that postings on such sites do not represent the views of the Association or reflect our aims as stated above. We would also urge any member who is managing or contributing to such a site or space on any social media platform to carefully consider the nature of the content that is posted on such a site and the appropriateness of material that is displayed therein.
Should any member be found to be responsible for posting material which, in the view of the principal officers, is bringing the Association into disrepute, they may find that their membership of the Association is suspended or terminated under Rule 14 which was approved at the last AGM held at St Nicholas, Chislehurst on 18th April 2022.
Rule 14 reads:
14. The procedures by which a member whose conduct has brought the Association into disrepute may be suspended or removed from either elected office or membership shall be as follows:
(i) If in the unanimous opinion of all the principal officers (i.e., Association Chairman, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer) any Officer or other elected official of the Association is unfit to hold office or fails to carry out their duties to its satisfaction, they shall have the power to suspend the Officer immediately, advising the reasons for suspension, and confirming in writing within seven days. If the Officer is also one of the principal officers, then the remaining principal officers must be unanimous.
(ii) If in the unanimous opinion of the principal officers a member has committed acts which have or are likely to damage the reputation of the Association, then their membership may be suspended with immediate effect, advising the reasons for suspension, and confirming in writing within seven days.
(iii) All suspensions shall be reviewed and confirmed or rejected at a Meeting of the General Committee, which shall be convened within 2 months of the suspension, whose decision shall be final. Members and Officers who are suspended may lodge an appeal and shall be invited to the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation to the Committee either in person or through an intermediary (who shall not be a member of the Committee) prior to the Committee making their determination on termination or reinstatement.
Membership or Office shall be terminated if not less than three quarters of the Committee members present vote in favour. Terminated members shall forfeit any payment made to the Association.
All suspensions, terminations and re-instatements shall be recorded in confidential Minutes of the General Committee.
(iv) Terminated members may not seek re-election until at least three years after termination, or in the case of a custodial sentence three years after release, and then not until a formal application supported by at least two members has been considered by the General Committee and approved by not less than three quarters of the Committee members present. Those terminated members whose application to re-join has been approved must present themselves at a District Meeting for re-election and may not be re-elected under the terms of Rule 11 (i.e. by Belfry Election before a peal).
(v) Where an officer or elected official has had their office terminated under these rules, they shall not be eligible to stand for election to office for at least two years after termination, and then not until a formal application supported by at least two members has been considered by the General Committee and approved by not less than three quarters of the Committee members present. The consideration should include a review of their conduct in relation to the original causes of concern.