Following a series of consultations between the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC) and British Waterways (BW), when the latter agreed to a number of plans to improve canal angling across the country, there are definite signs that British Waterways are taking their new commitment seriously.
Soon after the promises were made however an announcement of price increases for North West clubs taking part in the Waterway Anglers Together Scheme caused anger and consternation among some of the clubs taking part. However as a result of further direct talks between NAFAC’s regional representative and local BW management, an agreement has been reached whereby none of the member clubs will pay anymore for the next 12 months, providing their membership conditions remain unchanged. Furthermore during the period of the ‘rent-freeze’ BW will fully consult with all the clubs involved to seek a way forward.
A similar positive attitude is also being adopted in the Yorkshire region where again following talks between NAFAC and BW, clubs leasing water have been sent a letter asking them to set out the problems they have with BW, with a view to developing a plan to resolve them in the future.
Steve Griffiths, NAFAC’s North West representative commented, ‘I am very pleased to have been able to help arrive at a solution that enables Clubs to stay in the scheme and the scheme itself to survive. Clubs can continue to fish on 500km of waterways with a promise from BW that they will pay no more in 2006, and BW have gained some understanding of how clubs function, which was lacking in the original imposed conditions. There is still work to be done in achieving a long term solution, but I am confident that with good will and the good offices of NAFAC and the local consultatives, it will be possible to arrive at a scheme which provides for consultation and takes account of the reality of the current situation in the angling club scene.’