BRITISH Disabled Angling Association officials put their call for a more inclusive and fraud free concessionary licence for disabled people to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Elliot Morley MP., at a specially arranged meeting at Whitehall.

With the backing of the Environment Agency, the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) delegation of Director Peter Thompson, secretary Terry Moseley, and Stoke on Trent City Councillor Terry Crowe, met with the Minister to discuss possible changes to eligibility for disability licence holders.

Changes have been called for by the Environment Agency and the BDAA after recent revelations revealed some seriously disabled people are not eligible for a cut-price licence while many thousands of pounds are believed to be lost in revenue due to fraud.

The Minister agreed there was an anomaly in licence sales, whereby different benefits had loopholes which allowed non-disabled people to claim concessionary licences, while punishing others who are severely disabled but willing to carry out a form of employment.

The Minister said he would welcome a partnership between the Environment Agency and the BDAA to work together in a bid to produce proposals for a workable change in eligibility.

Speaking after the Ministerial meeting, Peter Thompson the Director of the BDAA said: “For a Minister to meet with us shows the seriousness of the licence fraud and eligibility issue, and we welcomed the opportunity to put the combined BDAA and EA initiative before him.

“We spent considerable time with the Minister discussing disability issues for the future, and look forward to producing proposals that should provide a better environment for our members who will be delighted to see we are working to their benefit.”

The Minister also revealed that he would like to see the Environment Agency and the BDAA working together to produce a standard platform design for the use of disabled people at fisheries across the country.