As Chair of the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) and a long-time WI member here in Monmouthshire, I was saddened to see the protest organised by a Carmarthenshire member.

I believe the piece is rather misleading. I am delighted to report that for this year membership has remained steady at about 205,000 members, with many areas reporting an increase in membership.

WI subscription is shared between a member's WI, her local County Federation and the National Federation, her own WI receiving nearly half of the subscription, NFWI about one third and the County Federation the remainder.

In 2008, of the £1 increase in subscription, NFWI received 10p, the remaining 90p remaining locally. In 2009, the £2 increase will be divided roughly evenly between the member's WI, County Federation and NFWI, each receiving about 70p.

WIs and Federations have been telling NFWI that they find it increasingly difficult to cover their costs and we have responded accordingly.

At £29 for a year's subscription, I am convinced WI membership is extremely good value for money.

NFWI have introduced gift vouchers for a full year's subscription or £10 as we believe WI membership would make a perfect gift this Christmas.

Our website has details of this and the many diverse activities offered by the WI.

Fay Mansell

(Chair NFWI)