May is the month when we discuss the resolutions which will eventually be debated at the Annual meeting of the National Federation of Women`s Institutes at the Albert Hall in London. This year`s resolution was about whether we need more midwives but before we got down to that discussion our President, Judith Walker , had some information about the WIs own Olympics. The imitation "baton" which is being passed around to all WIs in Warwickshire arrived in Snitterfield by a delegation from Bearley. A group from Snitterfield then went to pass it on to members of Old Town by the river in Stratford. Unfortunately the planned trip on the river had to be cancelled because the river was in flood and the current too swift for any small craft. Other Olympic events are the finals of the skittles and table tennis at the sports club on Tuesday 15th May and the 180 knitted squares are being crocheted together to make a blanket. For the Queen`s Jubilee celebrations WI are to make the puddings for the Sports Club Barbecue on June 2nd. At the village Fete we are having a stall for the children to paint flower pots. Finally there is to be a Barbecue on June 30th kindly hosted by Ann Farr and her partner John.

We also discussed and voted unanimously for two changes in Snitterfield WI byelaws "That Committee members should serve for five years with the proviso that if insufficient volunteers come forward they may stay on for a further period" and "The term of office of the President shall be three years"

The Resolution to be discussed was " There are a chronic shortage 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 rersourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care " (Horwich WI, Lancashire Federation). Our member Ann Farr who is a retired midwife with a long service in the profession gave a very convincing explanation as to why we should vote in favour ot the motion. Over the last 50 years there have been radical changes in the need for maternity care. Most births now take place in hospitals and maternal health sevices in England and Wales are facing increasing pressure with staff shortages, a continuing baby boom and increasing numbers of complications testing maternity services ability to deliver a high standard of care to women and children. David Cameron`s pledge before entering government was to increase the number of midwives by 3000 but this target has not been met. There has been an increase in the number of midwives in training yet not in sufficient numbers to meet estimated shortfalls. The Royal College of Midwives is running a "Protect Maternity Services" campaign and petitioning the Government for 5000 more midwives. The NCT are also calling for more midwives and Sarah Brown launched the "White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood". These facts and figures convinced our WI to vote unanimously in favour of the resolution.

At the end of the evening we played a Beetle drive to find a winner to compete in yet another Olympic event. Our representative to go forward is Sylvia Morlidge.

The next meeting on June 13th will be to hear Eugene and Margaret Schellenberg talk about "The Ilfakara Bakery Project"