Pillaton WI Report - May 2011
Furrowed brows and serious faces in the Village Hall at the May meeting as members listened to and joined in the debate on this year’s national resolutions. A précis of the arguments heard at the Spring Countdown meeting in Truro was presented by Pillaton WI member Lesley Allibone.
First up, “This meeting abhors the practice of factory farming, particularly large animals such as pigs and cows and urges H.M. Government to ensure planning permission is not granted for such projects”. An emotive subject, this one, and our farming members were reticent about expressing their feelings. Persuasive arguments for farming on an industrial scale drew heavily on the need to feed the world and had counter arguments to allay fears about issues such as the methane gas produced during the farming process, disease management etc.
Against included the instinctive feeling that it cannot be right for animals to be reared in such unnatural conditions; the physical and behavioural health problems that would be likely to ensue and the suggestion that the third world realistically would be unlikely to benefit from meat reared in this way, whilst the Western world continues to eat and grow ever fatter. The vote was marginally in favour of supporting the resolution, but with a number of abstentions.
The second resolution asked “This meeting urges H.M. Government to maintain support for local libraries, as an essential local educational and information resource.” Hmm. This one was a bit woolly making it even more difficult to decide whether to support it or not. There were some staunch supporters of local libraries amongst the members present, many with memories of taking their own children to the library to choose library books and do their homework. Arguments against suggested that today’s young people are far more likely to research their homework online and many of our own information needs can be met by the Internet. The budgetary constraints of Local Authorities were mentioned, and competition for valuable financial resources. Realistically, for example, would we want to keep the local swimming pool open or protect library opening hours? The show of hands when the vote was taken indicated an even smaller margin of support for the resolution, with many members again abstaining.
The serious stuff over, we enjoyed listening to local farmers Christopher and Margaret Best, who regaled us with the story of their invitation to The Wedding! That is, of course, Kate and William’s wedding, The Royal Wedding. We could all identify with Margaret when her first reaction was “But I haven’t got anything to wear!” The story of how she found her perfect outfit was great fun to hear and she brought it all along to show us – frock, jacket, hat, and shoes to die for. The only thing missing on the night was the champagne toast to the Royal couple.
The brief business meeting guided us through key events in the County News and we were invited to add our names to the lists circulating for the Watercolour workshop on July 22; the Minack trip on August 24 and the Double Duchy Day on September 13. It was agreed that Pillaton WI would send a donation to the Cornwall Federation towards the car park at Chy Noweth.
Of local importance, the village party organised by the WI to celebrate the Royal Wedding had been a huge success and a repeat event will be organised next year to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Our next meeting will be on June 13 when the guest speaker will be a representative from local pasty company, Ginsters.
Pillaton WI is a friendly group and welcomes new members. Come along and meet us! If you would like to know more about Pillaton WI, please contact me on 351289.