NCW Conference, 2016

NCW POLICY RESOLUTIONS PASSED AND RATIFIED AT THE ANNUAL
CONFERENCE, OCTOBER  2016 HELD IN DARLINGTON   Read more…

 RENEWAL OF THE BBC ROYAL CHARTER IN DECEMBER, 2016

Submitted by NCW Darlington & District Branch
Proposed by:  Heather Carter, NCW Darlington & District Branch
Seconded by:  Professor Sylvia Harvey, Voice of the Listener and Viewer

NCW urges HM Government to take steps to ensure that the BBC:-
– remains in public ownership to continue to be independent of vested commercial interests and the Government of the day
– continues to be the public service broadcaster for the public benefit rather than for purely commercial purposes
– makes the content and services available to everyone regardless of age, location or internet access
– continues to be publicly funded through the licence fee which should be exclusively allocated to the BBC, ensuring the interests of citizens and licence payers are kept at the forefront of decision-making
– is funded through a licence fee which keeps pace with inflation and rises in real terms to enable the BBC to compete with commercial rivals.
The potential to move from the licence fee to a household fee should be investigated, as the preferred option, as this ensures that all users make a contribution, and the independence of the BBC.
– continues to be independently supported by the Government setting up a ‘Licence Fee Body’ to determine the level of the licence/household fee
– does not pay for licences for the over 75’s as decreed in the July 2015 budget as this is Government Special Policy and further undermines the independence of the BBC
– Remains the flagship broadcaster of Great Britain with its ethos of bringing people together.

CONSERVING, GUARDING AND EDUCATING ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS, 2016

Submitted by:  NCW Health Committee
Proposed by:    Ruth Neuberg, NCW Health Committee
Seconded by:   Emma Rose, NCW Individual Member & Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics

NCW, in Conference assembled, urges HM Government to expedite action to curtail the blanket and indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farming practices in order to avert a “disaster of apocalyptic proportions” for human beings.

Reasons
The overuse of antibiotics in farming has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria which can then be spread to humans.  But whilst efforts have been made to curtail prescribing in human medicine, veterinary antibiotics use tends to escape scrutiny, despite the fact that farm animals account for around 40% of total antibiotics use in the UK.

In most EU countries, including the UK, it is legal to treat groups of entirely healthy animals as a routine.  This is a purely preventative measure commonly used in intensive systems where disease outbreaks are more common and harder to control.  Farmers may even treat animals using drugs classed by the WHO as ‘critically important’ for humans.  Worryingly, whilst medical use of these drugs has declined steadily in the UK, farm use has increased in the last four years.  Should over or incorrect veterinary use of the last effective antibiotics continue, leading to further bacterial resistance, we could face a national and international “disaster of apocalyptic proportions” said Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer.  Childbirth complications, routine surgery, pneumonia, TB and many other diseases and conditions, now curable, are set to become untreatable, unless we act fast.  Something MUST be done.

INCREASE AND FUND MORE HOSPICES, 2016

Submitted by:  NCW Health Committee
Proposed by:    Jan Hurst, NCW Health Committee
Seconded by:   Mary Drury, NCW Darlington & District Branch

NCW, in Conference assembled, urges HM Government to invest in local hospice services, together with palliative education of all doctors, so that more adults and children can get the support they need at the end of life.

Reasons

Local Hospices around the country provide essential care and support to over 120,000 patients and their families each year but depend hugely on the generous support of local people to sustain this care.  Hospices provide over £1 billion worth of care but £700 million has to be raised by the communities they service.

Hospices also help to improve the quality of care given to dying people in hospitals, care homes and in their own homes through direct care together with extensive education and training programmes, also poorly funded.  As more people are living with, and dying with, complex needs at the end of life, demand for high quality hospices and palliative care is growing every day.  However, currently 92,000 people die each year with unmet needs for palliative care.  Children’s Hospices rely even more heavily on voluntary donations, with even less government support and a growing number of children who could benefit from hospice care.  Care in all settings would improve with more investment in palliative training at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for all doctors.  At present 250,000 adult hospice places are needed and 50,000 children’s place.

RE-AFFIRMATION 2016:  FOLIC ACID FORTIFICATION OF FLOUR (1998)

Submitted by Hereford Branch

The National Council of Women in conference assembled, aware that most neural tube defects could be prevented by increasing folic acid levels in the population, urges HM Government to take an initiative to fortify flour with folic acid so that all women could