SWINDON MPs Michael Wills and Julia Drown were headline speakers at the World Development Movement's west regional conference on Saturday.

The event to discuss Third World debt and international trade, hosted around 50 delegates from around the region, as well as Peter Hardstaff, head of campaigns for the national pressure group.

Organiser Chris Thackeray said the Swindon branch had been active in the movement's campaigns for many years.

She explained that they regularly lobbied local MPs and MEPs as part of their campaigns.

But she admitted it was sometimes a struggle to attract the support of local people.

"What we face is the difficulty of making it relevant why should the average Swindonian be interested? That is always a challenge."

People could talk about Third World debt but many people were more worried about their own debt or how they personally were affected.

But she said there had been several successful campaigns which had won local backing, including one on toys.

"It linked people buying toys for their children with the conditions in which those toys were produced."