Members of the Women's Institute 'not in revolt'

Helen Barrett

The Women's Institute has denied it is facing a mass revolt by its members caused by increased subscription charges.

Last week, in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a reader accused the WI's national executive of ignoring its "many members" unhappy at an 18 per cent increase in membership fees for 2007, from £22 to £26. A new membership magazine, WI Life, will be included in membership from February and replaces WI Home and Country, which was subscription-only.

The letter claimed that many members are considering resigning in protest.

However, a meeting of elected county chairmen voted unanimously to accept the charges.

"A small number of members are not happy about the new magazine, but the majority are," said Amy Bick, a spokeswoman for the WI. "About 95 per cent have signed up to receive it. Circulation was falling for the old magazine. It was a democratic decision to replace it. The WI board of trustees, which is elected by members, decided in consultation with the leaders of our 70 regional federations."

The institute has 215,000 members.

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