There are stories circulating of further cuts being proposed in Defra budgets for fiscal year 2008/9.
Any cut in Defra budgets is likely to affect money available for fisheries work and the Environment Agency will be under pressure to save even more money than this year.
Readers can help change the decision, before it is made, by writing to the Chancellor:
Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
LONDON SW1A 2HQ
Or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax number 020 7270 4580
There are many volunteer organisations, within and without angling, supporting the environment in the country at national and local level.
Many of these groups are dependent on small allocations of funds from the EA and local government to maximise their effect.
Cuts in these important environmental funds not only damages the environment but also diminishes the perceived importance of those vital community groups. Why would people continue to volunteer when funds are constantly cut by central government for environmental issues?
The community needs volunteers and it should be government policy to ensure that volunteers and community groups can still be motivated by supplying sufficient funds to underline the importance of local contributions by individuals.
Cuts in Defra funds will immediately impact on fisheries work by the Environment Agency as well as community works at a local level. The EA is already stretched to deliver on the Water Framework Directive and further budget cuts for Defra from the Treasury can only make matters significantly worse, just at the time when we are all facing increased impacts from climate change.
SAA is asking the Treasury to ensure that no cuts imposed on Defra have a negative affect on the work of community groups or of the Environment Agency.