Angling’s representative body, the Angling Trust, has secured anglers a voice at a national and local level in the Canal and River Trust (CRT), which is the new name for British Waterways since it became a charity on 1 July.

The Trust warmly welcomes this new opportunity for one of the largest waterway user groups to have a say in the management of the canal and river network.At a national level, Angling Trust Board Member David Kent has been nominated by the Trust to serve on the CRT’s 30-strong Members Council, with representatives from most waterway-related activities, local government and a selection of NGOs.The Trust has also encouraged anglers to put their names forward to serve on the thirteen Partnership Boards.

So far, five of these have been successful, and there will be opportunities for new applicants to put themselves forward in the coming months and years.Angling is represented in the following regions:
North East.Eric Bootland who has a detailed knowledge of the big Yorkshire waterways;
East Midlands.Glyn Williams, former Angling Development Board (ADB, now part of Angling Trust). National Coaching Development Manager. Glyn has a long time involvement with the Chesterfield Canal and the Witham and Fossdyke navigations;
Central Shires.Brian Hull, formerly Education Officer with the ADB. Knows the Grand Union North and the River Soar very well.• South East.Dick Pilkington, who for many years has worked tirelessly on the Grand Union South Consultative and knows all about the Tring Reservoirs;
Kennet & Avon.Angling Trust Board Member Terry Fell, a retired Justice of the Peace, with a massive knowledge of the K & A system.These appointments, alongside David Kent’s national seat on the Members Council, will ensure that angling has a strong presence within the charity from the outset.

This is the most high profile example of the Government’s push towards the Big Society. Therefore, one of the cornerstones of CRT’s strategy is to encourage greater involvement from the wider community in the management and well-being of our waterways.

David Kent said: “I am delighted to be able to represent anglers on this new charity’s Members Council. The canal and river network controlled by the charity extends to more than a thousand miles of bank and towpath, and our aim is to improve the opportunities for anglers to enjoy this fantastic resource to the full. Anglers and their clubs should contact me via the Angling Trust to let me know of any problems or suggestions they have to improve fishing on the canals. We will be working with our member clubs and consultatives to encourage knowledgeable anglers to volunteer to serve on the remaining local partnerships when vacancies arise.”