Retailer David Woodrow’s proposed motion to close all branches within the Scottish district was passed at last week’s Scottish Conference in Glasgow. 

The rationale read: “There is overwhelming evidence that the branch structure is no longer fit for purpose and that financial budgets are increasingly under severe pressure. 

“This motion seeks to streamline the district structure in order to minimise costs and to meet the needs of today’s members by creating a more direct link between the members and the decision-making forum of the NFRN in Scotland.”

Speaking after the decision, Woodrow told RN: “I’m so glad to get rid of the branches – there’s nearly 30. There’s really no need for them, and now we are in a position to be able to bring new people to the forefront of the federation.”

Part of the motion also proposed a redesignation of the ‘Scottish Council of the NFRN’ as the ‘NFRN Scottish Management Group’. 

However, Woodrow agreed to withdraw this if it meant the branches were removed. “Because I was prepared to change the group name back, it meant the decision didn’t need agreement at National Council,” he added. “There is now a real opportunity for Scotland to make change.” 

The news was welcomed by national president Mike Mitchelson and vice president Stuart Reddish. 

“This is forward-thinking and refreshing,” said Reddish. “Let’s start talking about business meetings instead of branch meetings. 

“If we don’t change, there won’t be a federation.”

Woodrow added he is looking forward to what the future holds for the district. “I am passionate about talking to people and excited to help cultivate any potential new members. I have been fighting for this for a long time,” he said. 

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