The NFA are calling all anglers to object to the Environment Agencies proposal to increase concessionary rod licences by thirty six percent.

There are a number of issues which the NFA are concerned about regarding the proposals and we will be raising our concerns with the agency. Our key concerns are the lack of time that has been allowed to respond to the EA proposal, the deadline being 1st September 2007 and the limited exposure that the proposal has received.  A high proportion of rod licence buyers hold concessionary licences and they should be given adequate notice and sufficient time to respond.

We must also add that concessionary rod licence buyers often only use their rod licence for a small proportion of the year due to bad weather and poor access.  Paul Cartwright NFA Regional Officer for the Disabled in the North East and disabled angler stated. “Anglers with disabilities and older adults tend to get less value from their rod licence. Access to rivers is poor or non existent and concessionary licence holders tend not to go fishing in the winter when the weather is bad.  A fifty percent concession on a full licence is about right and I cannot see how an increase is justified”

To register your objection we would ask all anglers to support concessionary licence holders, and sign our petition by emailing petitions@nfadirect.com, and providing your name and address. We will then collate all of our respondents to the petition and forward to the Environment Agency and Defra with a statement of our objection. Or you can register your dissatisfaction directly by writing to Defra at Gloria Akinyemi (Rod Duties), Defra, Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity Division, Area 2e, 3-8 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HH. Please also copy your written correspondence to; The Fisheries Policy & Process Advisor (Rod Duties), Environment Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4UD.

Paul Baggaley, Chief Executive of the NFA commented, “I cannot see how this fits in with EA’s stated objective of increasing participation and diversity.  It seems to be directly at odds with 2015.”

Stuart Taylor added: “The feedback will be invaluable for helping us decide our funding priorities for the long-term future.”

Further information and copies of the Navigation Funding Strategy Customer Research Project can be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/navigation An online discussion forum has also been set up for people to air and share views about inland waterway issues which can be found on the same section of the Environment Agency’s website.

To access both the survey and the forum requires a username and password. Boaters who hold Environment Agency registrations have already been sent their details but the survey is open to all and if you want to take part just e-mail Ipsos MORI at navigation@ipsos-mori.com who will provide a username and password. Hard copies of the survey can be obtained by calling 020 7347 3000.  

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