On the 11th April, we are holding our Annual Resolutions Conference at Pudsey Civic Hall to discuss the chosen resolution of decline in our high streets and to give an update on the More Midwives Campaign.
Here is a description of the new resolution from the NFWI.
'The NFWI notes with concern the continuing decline of our high streets and the damaging effect this has on local communities. We call on every member of the WI to support their local shops and make the high street their destination of choice for goods and services. We call on decision-makers to work collectively, at all levels, to help bring an end to the decline of our high streets and to ensure that high streets flourish and provide a focal point for local communities.'
'The proper believes that our high streets have reached crisis point. Without urgent action, high streets will be irrevocably changed, with a significant social, environmental and economic impact.'
'The past 20 years has seen a severe decline in Britain’s town and village centres. Changes in shopping patterns, along with an increase in out of town shopping centres and online shopping, has meant a steady decrease in footfall to our town centres. When combined with a slowdown in consumer spending, banks reluctant to lend, and increasingly high rental and business rates, many high street businesses are simply unable to stay afloat. Anecdotal evidence cites boarded up shops, high streets lined with charity shops and once thriving town centres all but abandoned.'
'The high street is often a community hub, and provides much more than merely a place to shop. Many older people and people without cars rely on the high street for their daily and weekly shop. When high street shops close, individuals are forced to travel to out of town shopping centres. The decrease in footfall leads to a vicious cycle of falling numbers of shoppers and shop closures. It also jeopardises other town centre amenities dependent on a critical mass of consumers, such as banks, solicitors, doctors and libraries. These are in danger of either closing or moving to out of town centres.'
At our Resolutions Conference, there will be a for and against speaker for the decline of the high streets issue in order for your to determine your vote as an institute at the NFWI AGM later on this year.
Also at the Resolutions Conference, there will be an update on the More Midwives resolution from last year as they are having great success getting their voices heard as well as organising the International Day of the Midwife Day of Action on Friday 3rd May.
The original resolution from NFWI for More Midwives was: - "There are chronic shortages of midwives. The NFWI calls on the Government to increase investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care"