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PostSubject: Waterways for Everyone - The TAC Consultation   Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:31 am

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"Waterways for Everyone" - Defra Consultation


Consultation on the Government's strategy for the Inland Waterways of England and Wales - Waterways for Everyone



Dear Consultee

We are writing to invite views on our proposals to update the Government’s strategy for the inland waterways of England and Wales – “Waterways for Everyone”.

Waterways for Tomorrow, published in 2000 reflected the Government’s desire to promote inland waterways and to “protect and conserve an important part of our national heritage”. At the same time it looked to maximise the opportunities the waterways offer for “leisure and recreation; as a catalyst for urban and rural regeneration; for education; and for freight transport”. Whilst these objectives are still valid we now need to embrace the pressing policy agendas of today covering climate change, social inclusion and cohesion and public health and to take account of changes in the organisations responsible for delivering policy.

Waterways deliver considerable and extensive benefits ranging from stimulating regeneration in our inner cities to the public enjoyment of the Broads’ rich natural environment. Our intention with the production of Waterways for Everyone is to stimulate and support the coming together of those who might benefit more from our waterways with those charged with managing them, so enabling the waterways’ potential to be realised and their future safeguarded. By working together across Government, national, regional and local, and with third sector and business partners, we can capture the cross cutting and multi functional nature of what waterways can contribute to our quality of life. We are committed to making sure that the benefits from public support for the waterways are more widely felt.

This follow-up document to Waterways for Tomorrow sets out our strategy for further enhancing the public benefits of inland waterways by widening the involvement of stakeholders and by supporting the management and development of the waterways.

In order to assess progress in implementing the strategy in Waterways for Everyone, we will develop a number of monitoring measures in parallel with this consultation exercise. These will be included in the final published version of Waterways for Everyone and we welcome suggestions on these. An evaluation of progress will be made 5 years after publication.

This consultation document has been developed under the aegis of the Inter-Departmental Group for Inland Waterways (IDG) which is attended by the Inland Waterways Advisory Council (IWAC), a wide variety of Government departments and the largest waterway authorities – British Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority. We have also taken account of the wide variety of views expressed by stakeholders at two workshops held in Reading in 2008 and 2009.

We welcome views and comments from all of you with a potential interest in our waterways and who stand to gain from their vibrancy and greater use i.e. members of the public, waterway authorities, non-governmental organisations, local authorities and communities, regional development agencies, associated businesses and user groups. If you are aware of anyone or any organisation that might be interested in seeing and commenting on the consultation paper but is not listed, please let us know (via the contact point in below) and we will also seek their views.

While we welcome your views on any of the content of this consultation document we have also included a number of questions which are included as examples of the sort of issues you may wish to consider in preparing your response. We also envisage holding a workshop in Wales during the consultation period to consider stakeholders’ views. This will take a similar format to the ones already held in Reading. We will also convene a meeting of the Inland Waterways Stakeholder Forum at which Waterways for Everyone will be discussed.
Responses

Please e-mail responses no later than 26 March 2010 to: wferesponses@defra.gsi.gov.uk

or if you wish you can send in your response by letter to:

Inland Waterways Consultation
Inland Waterways Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Area 2D Ergon House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Tel: 0207 238 4807 / 4805

The consultation is in line with the Code of Practice on Consultations. This can be found on the BERR website.

When this consultation ends we intend to put a copy of the responses in the Defra library at Ergon House, London. This is so that the public can see them. Also members of the public may also ask for a copy of responses under freedom of information legislation.

If you do not want your response – including your name, contact details and any other personal information – to be publicly available, please say so clearly in writing when you send your response to the consultation. Please note if your computer automatically includes a confidentiality disclaimer, that will not count as a confidentiality request.

Please explain why you need to keep details confidential. We will take your reasons into account if someone asks for this information under freedom of information legislation. But because of the law, we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to keep those details confidential.

We will summarise all responses. This summary will include a list of names of organisations that responded but not personal names, addresses or other contact details.

To see consultation responses and summaries, please contact the library at:

Information Resource Centre Defra
Lower Ground Floor, Ergon House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Tel: 0207 238 6575
Email: defra.library@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Please give the library 24 hours notice. There is a charge for photocopying and postage.

If you have any comments or complaints about the consultation process, please address them to Defra’s Consultation Co-ordinator, Area 7C Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR, or email: Consultation.coordinator@defra.gsi.gov.uk

If you have any queries please contact us as above.

Yours faithfully

Martyn Webb

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Page last modified: 21 December 2009
Page published: 21 December 2009

Would Members please click the following link and then use the link titled "Consultation Document (PDF 1.1mb)", this will give you a greater understanding of the following response by the TAC: Waterways for Everyone




The TAC Response to the Consultation


Richard Anthony Crimp (Secretary)
E-Mail: richardcrimp@rivertac.org

The Thames Anglers Conservancy
P.O. Box 863
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 9BR

26th March 2010




Inland Waterways Consultation
Inland Waterways Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Area 2D Ergon House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR



Dear Sirs

Waterways for Everyone

The Thames Anglers Conservancy (TAC) is an organisation representing anglers throughout the Thames Tideway and the non-tidal river from Teddington Lock upstream to Staines. As a concerned stakeholder in all initiatives regarding the River Thames we would like to present our view point on behalf of the TAC and its membership in its entirety

Firstly, we as anglers of the Thames, would like to welcome Defra’s consultation document Waterways for Everyone, which is the update to the commendable Waterways for Tomorrow. However, it is our belief that the consultative document, whilst lacking in depth and detail, its intent is one that we would cautiously endorse.

Initially, please consider the following points, which will be followed by a more detailed breakdown, chapter by chapter.

1. We note with anticipation that the official National Governing Body for Angling within the document is listed as the National Federation of Anglers (NFA). The NFA was amalgamated with ‘other’ angling National Governing Bodies to form Angling Trust (AT) in January 2009. We would hope that this would receive greater prominence within the finalised document.

2. The South East of England accounted for approximately 75% of the Rod Fishing Licence fees during 2009, and the River Thames catchment of angler’s contribution would equate to around £20mn annually (£26mn nationwide). Considering that GiA will be reduced by 7% in the forthcoming fiscal year (app £700,000), and that the licence fee for the 2011/12 season will be increased 4% (app £1.3mn), we would strongly ask the Inland Waterways Team to consider the opportunities that angling will be able provide in the future shape of our inland waterways. This being the case, and with the following passage in mind from the document –“7.10 Recreational angling is the most popular participation sport in the country. The Environment Agency sells over 1.25 million rod licences each year and sales are increasing. The navigable waterway network forms the biggest and most valuable coarse fishing resource in the country.” – We trust that our comments will assist to bring the document to a position to become a substantive work to take the Inland Waterways safely into the next decade and beyond.


Chapter 1 - Introduction
1.3 To acknowledge the conservation efforts of angling to maintain and improve the many local environments that are under constant threat through schemes such as hydropower (used as an example of ‘short sightedness’ ecologically), which in the main fail to deliver a “green” solution to our collective needs for renewable energy. In addition, there are many insensitive developments that fail to acknowledge the impact on the aquatic environment at the planning stages.

1.4 Greater consultation and acknowledgement with local stakeholders to ensure that “regeneration” considers all aspects of a waterways usage, and not just the way it appears ‘above water’.

1.6 In consequence to developments mentioned as an example previously, such as hydropower projects, initiatives mentioned within this section i.e. “environmental improvement” and “neighbourhood renewal, including the role of green infrastructure and community cohesion and social inclusion” create a contradiction. Many hydropower projects will cause irrevocable damage to fish spawning areas, river flows, navigable passage, fish migration routes etc.

1.7 We would ask the IWT to strongly consider access for angling and its demise over the last 30 years within urban communities. Whilst we accept that a balance must be struck in many regards, often recreational pursuits are sorely overlooked at the planning stages of many waterside developments leading to decreased opportunities across all recreational pursuits, slipways for boaters and anglers spring readily to mind and the lack of facilities, as well as restrictions of access due to the privatisation of bank-side access. That said, we acknowledge sections 1.8, 1.9 and 1.10 and agree that holistically a balance must be maintained.

1.13 We would like to ask the IWT to strongly consider Angling Trust as a significant consultative stakeholder within the final document.

Q1. Do you agree that the range of benefits of inland waterways identified above and expanded upon in the following chapters are correct? Are there any benefits that we have missed or overstated?

A1. We as the TAC would acknowledge that much of the Waterways for Everyone’s Introduction (Chapter 1), outlines a ‘grand ideal’ on the future development of our waterways. However, its depth and details are nebulous and unless the document receives significant fiscal support from Defra (unlikely in the current financial climate) to enable its ‘ideals’ tangibility, it will fail in the main body of its intention, and has therefore, grossly “overstated” what will ‘actually’ be rendered possible. We do however acknowledge that “Waterways for Everyone” has great potential.


Chapter 2 - Our inland waterways today

2.2 As a conservation body constitutionally, the Thames Anglers Conservancy would strongly recommend that any waterways that are to be “restored to full navigation”, that such projects are sensitively restored to prevent irreparable damage to the local ecosystems concerning the aquatic wildlife that thrive in such habitats and we would suggest a wide base of consultations with all concerned stakeholders within the final document and beyond.

2.7 The Thames Anglers Conservancy recognises much of the good work performed by the Environment Agency, but would hasten to mention that the apparent structural problems within the agency that can often create a ‘conflict of interests’ that fails to deliver environmental continuity on our waterways. An example being the recent work carried out upon the banks of the River Loddon by the EA, where much natural bank-side cover was removed without any consideration for the damage it was going to cause for the aquatic environment.

2.11 Regarding the liability incurred through public access to our waterways, it may be opportune to point out that, Angling Trust members have “Free £5 million public liability insurance”, which is one of the benefits of the annual individual membership fee.
It may also be pertinent to point out that a nominal licensing arrangement for canoeists, for example, would bring them greater recognition as an ‘invested’ stakeholder upon our waterways, as well as additional resources ‘for the pot’.

2.13 Regarding the obvious pressures placed upon fiscal public resources in the current climate, the Thames Angling Conservancy would like to see a documented commitment ensuring that, the conservation of our waterways environments is at the very top of any list of recreational improvements to be made through the final document.

2.14 Will be addressed within Chapter 11.

Q2. Do you consider that waterways are in a better condition now than they were 10 years ago? What have been the main achievements over this time and what could have been done better?

A2. In truth, this question is an expansive one that would require the accumulation of diverse research and a vast pool of amalgamated data, which would then acknowledge many positives in approximately equal measure to the negatives we surmise. That being the case, it may be best for the IWT to use this consultation as broadly outlining the Thames Anglers Conservancy’s answer in this regard.


Chapter 3 - Place making and Shaping

‘Green Infrastructure’

3.2 Greater promotion of the River Thames and its importance to the Capital.

3.3 To provide knowledge and education to developers through local authorities regarding the importance of the local communities needs (e.g. recreational facilities), when developments are initially conceived, thereby creating environments that are sustainable and used with a ‘broad brush’ concept.

3.4 Will be addressed in the appropriate chapters.

3.5 & 3.6 To assess and create recreational ‘regeneration’ programmes through a combined approach with all the stakeholders on the ‘free angling stretches’ of the Thames Tideway, notably within urban areas. This is a possibility through the advancement of Environment Agency consultative groups such as “Enjoying Water”.

3.8 The Thames Anglers Conservancy would hope that future ‘restoration opportunities’ would consult a broader array of stakeholders at a local level to enable restoration to fully bear the fruit of its intention. Delivery will then be maximised through much needed volunteer work assisting in the maintenance and further development of said ‘opportunities’.

‘Regeneration and the growth agenda’

3.9 The Thames Anglers Conservancy would fully endorse regeneration of this nature, however, in many instances angling rights are overlooked with dire consequences for the opportunities lost to the local communities.

3.12 Again, the Thames Anglers Conservancy would like to recommend that the Environment Agency orchestrates its agenda with greater continuity and consultation with the stakeholders that use the natural amenities on a daily basis, such as boating and angling organisations. This would, in the broader sense, incorporate section 3.13.

3.14 & 3.15 The Thames Anglers conservancy would like to acknowledge Thames Water in their assistance to date concerning the immediate plans for the Thames Tideway.

‘Planning’

3.18 Economic growth and social welfare concerns hugely undervalued/underdeveloped within the diverse nature of angling and its positive effects on local communities in urban areas. Far greater prominence within the final document concerning the opportunities for planners and local authorities to utilise the local angling communities (plus others) to underwrite the development of stronger relationships among the local stakeholder groups.

3.20 Thames Water’s “Super Sewer” to be given full support by all the concerned local authorities. The Super Sewer will drastically reduce the ‘catastrophic’ 32 billion litres of untreated sewage that is legally dumped into the Thames Tideway annually through consents.

Q3. Do you agree that it is important for regional development bodies and local authorities to work closely with those responsible for managing the inland waterways to ensure that the potential benefits in respect of place making and shaping are maximised? Do you have any ideas as to how this can be achieved?

A3. The Thames Anglers Conservancy whole heartedly agrees that it will need wide consultation among many stakeholders through regional development bodies and local authorities to facilitate a consorted and holistic approach in the development of our inland waterways. As an example, concerning a framework for recreational/sporting purposes, Sport England would appear to be a prime candidate to govern the concerns of many recreational user groups that enjoy, and would wish to enhance the development of, the vast array of activities that take place upon our waterways.

Q4. What more can navigation authorities do to encourage local authorities to consider using waterways to improve the quality of life of their local communities?

A4. Within the restrictive financial environment, navigation authorities will have to find leadership that invests in the future development of the opportunities currently ‘underdeveloped’, that are largely ‘undernourished’ by both the navigation authorities and the local authorities. Such relatively small developments would engender a vast array of local volunteer activity and provide contingency to enhance the local community benefits concerning social welfare.

Q5. What do you think the barriers are to local authorities taking more interest in waterways in respect of place making?

A5. In the first instance it may appear to be a lack of vision and a ‘fear’ of fiscal obligation in some quarters of local authorities. It could also be argued that it is a distinct lack of imagination on the part of local authorities, or even an abnegation of a concerted will for change? That inferred however, in the main it may lie with a lack of information leading to such matters rarely being addressed. That said, the Thames Anglers Conservancy would refer to ‘A3.’ to ensure a broad consultative structure encompassing all stakeholders to develop the use of our inland waterways for the benefit of all.


Chapter 4 – Climate Change

‘Government Policy’ & ‘Mitigating Climate Change’

4.1 Whilst the Thames Anglers Conservancy recognises Govt. Policy concerning climate change and the commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the TAC would like to strongly recommend that the Govt. considers the impact of renewable energy programmes that involve schemes such as hydropower that will have a severely detrimental effect on many local aquatic environments.

4.2; 4.3; 4.4 & 4.5 In the main the hydropower schemes appear to be little more than a ‘fudge’ to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels at the expense of many fish migratory route, debilitating the potential use vital fish recruitment areas, which can only lead to further expense in years to come, as has been seen in North America (+ other continents), where they have been largely discredited as a redundant anachronism of ‘green’ energy. It is acknowledged, however, that in a minority of cases, these can be of benefit to local communities - if developed sensitively with environmental conservation as a primary consideration.

4.7 Renewable energy sources and the impact on local aquatic environments must be sensitively managed to ensure that those environments do not suffer irreparably at the behest of a ‘target’ driven policies.

‘Adapting to climate change’

4.11 Acknowledge within the final document that the pressure on our inland water resources is not finite and that the effect of such abstractions and usage will undoubtedly have a ‘crippling’ effect on aquatic environments, if such programmes are not managed with sensitivity and ingenious construction.

4.13 Water reservoirs (new and increased capacities) will have to formulate the basis of controlled management plans to ensure that any shortfalls of supply are mitigated by committed and strategic long-term planning to provide for the future.

4.15 Concerning the Thames Tideway, Thames Water’s Super Sewer would balance the risk of ‘flooding’ and discharge, and the full support of Govt. is required.

Q6. Do you agree that Inland Waterways offer an opportunity to help the UK mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change? Are there any areas you consider that should be explored further in this context, including how the waterways themselves will need to adapt?

A6. The Thames Anglers Conservancy would agree, in the main, concerning the mitigation of climate change through the use of Inland Waterways. However, the final document needs to elaborate clearly concerning the contingency planning in regards to the multitude of conservation issues that will undoubtedly challenge those that wish to adapt our Inland Waterways to lessen the impact of climate change. A holistic environmental management programme is required, as there seems little point in trying to prevent ‘one area of detrimental change’, whilst creating another as a by-product of those adaptations.


Chapter 5 – The natural environment

Rather than deliberate over specific sections within Chapter 5, the Thames Anglers Conservancy would recommend that the Inland Waterways Team receives and acknowledges consultation from Angling Trust as the recognised governing body of angling. Far too many inland waterway projects/developments never receive the valuable and incisive opinions of angler’s, and therefore never receive the benefit of many missed opportunities to develop those projects with the entire local communities in mind. Fish and anglers are one of the first groups to suffer when aquatic environments deteriorate, and it is generally anglers that are the last to benefit (if at all), when those environments are brought back to a sustainable and healthy balance.


Chapter 6 – Cultural heritage

As above in the consultation for Chapter 5, the Thames Anglers Conservancy would ask for acknowledgement within the final document of angling’s rich and diverse heritage. Not once in Chapter 6 is the legacy of angling mentioned, which spans the entire history of these lands? It is an oversight at best, at the other end of the scale it is patent disregard.

Q7. Do you agree that the unique cultural heritage associated with inland waterways provides a key benefit to those who use and visit waterways? How can these resources be used to further enhance and encourage use of the waterways?

A7. We would agree that the diversity of our collective cultural heritage is a major strength to those that visit our inland waterways, but more so, that those that use those landscapes and invest in them take enormous pride in their well-being and will seek to protect and enhance those amenities to the enrichment of all.

Q8. Do you consider the protection of the natural and built heritage to be one of the Waterway Authorities primary tasks?

A8. From an angling conservancy’s perspective, we would consider the quality of the aquatic environment, the water resources and the quality of potable and recreational water resources to be of primary importance to any waterway authority above any other. However, the protection of our built heritage is of importance - and providing its conservation is in no way detrimental to the overall quality of the natural environment - the benefits are of obvious proportion; not least for reminding those that are infrequent appreciators of our inland waterways of its beauty, and the need to maintain its ‘functional’ biodiversity.

Q9. What area of waterway heritage do you consider most under threat?
One word answer... Angling.


Chapter 7 - Health, well-being, recreation and sport

‘Health and well-being’

7.1 The propensity for the development of urban angling opportunities on the Thames Tideway is immense and the final document should incorporate this vastly untapped potential to reintroduce local communities to ‘embrace the river’.

7.3 Once again the untapped potential of introducing many social groups to the benefits of angling, including youngsters, ethnic minorities, the disabled and many others, could provide access to an enjoyable recreation that can act as an introduction to the rich and diverse environmental and cultural heritage of the nation. The final document has the opportunity to become the catalyst to enrich urban communities with a number of recreational portals to develop social well being.

7.13 The Thames Anglers Conservancy reads with interest regarding the “Lee Valley Fisheries Action Plan”, and despite the fact that we have only recently formed, would acknowledge that this project provides incentive and inspiration to the conservancy for our future direction.

Q10. Do you agree that inland waterways, including their paths and surrounding environments provide an important resource for outdoor recreation, sport and improving public well being? What more can be done to protect and improve these important resources?

A10. The Thames Angling Conservancy would agree that access to inland waterways provide an ‘invaluable resource’ to public and social well being. Regarding the protection and improvement of such facilities, it is incumbent upon local stakeholders to ensure that these resources are maintained to a standard they would expect as individuals and we would like to see the final document place more emphasis on the opportunities for volunteer groups to become involved, through supplying examples written therein, that will provide inspiration for others to follow suit. These volunteer activities can be as simple as ‘litter picks’ in consultation with the Thames Landscape Strategy, Thames21 etc.

Q11. What needs to be done to make waterside paths more accessible and better appreciated by local communities?

A11. As above in ‘A10.’ plus greater support from local authorities concerning recreational user groups to ‘empower’ them through acknowledgement and assistance where appropriate.


Chapter 8 - Sustainable transport

‘Freight transport’

8.14 To include consultation with local recreational and environmental stakeholder groups.

The Thames Anglers Conservancy recognises the need to increase freight traffic upon inland waterways. However, the level of the aquatic environmental impact, the combining of budgeted recreational facilities should form a significant part of the final document, including within any revised PPG 13 (Transport) recommendations to local authorities.

‘Passenger transport’

8.16 There is a fantastic opportunity to be able to utilise transport facilities in the Thames Tideway for urban recreation projects during seasonal downturns. I would also refer once again to the fact that Angling Trust members have “Free £5 million public liability insurance”, which is one of the benefits of the annual individual membership fee; as an example of how these utilities could be used without liability to the authorities.

‘Walking and cycling’

8.20 The Thames Angling Conservancy would once again like to express the magnitude of opportunities available to all the stakeholders to combine under ‘umbrella groups’ that would enable them to create volunteer clean ups etc. in conjunction with the Thames Landscape Strategy, used as an example.

Q12. Do you agree that waterside paths offer considerable potential for increasing green commuting, both for pedestrians and cyclists? What more can be done to encourage this further?

A12. The Thames Anglers Conservancy would concur with this sentiment. However, in our experience the restricted width of many of the waterside paths create many problems for the current users, let alone the increase that could be created for the various ‘potential’ users. It can be seen currently that many areas are wholly unsuitable for minimal ‘green commuting’, and any projects that would seek to alleviate the current restricted access would increase pressure upon many existent macro environments and subsequently the wildlife that currently reside in such fragile environments.

Q13. What can be done to reverse the decline in freight on the inland waterways in recent years? Which elements of the commercial waterways have the greatest potential for freight use? How should the planning process ensure the protection of freight interests in those areas with greatest freight potential?

A13. The Thames Anglers Conservancy is not currently ‘up to speed’ with any possible potential beyond the estuary and would defer any comment to be made in this regard to the governing body of angling, Angling Trust. That said, any projects to increase freight on the Thames Tideway and further upstream should, as ever, involve consultation from recreational stakeholders on a local level to ensure minimal ecological impact.


Chapter 9 - Tourism and business development

Q14. How can we best encourage a common purpose between different users of the waterways? What can be done to better manage potential conflicts?

A14. It is incumbent upon every stakeholder to create/engage in an umbrella organisation (such as the River Thames Alliance (RTA) on the non-tidal Thames), to ensure that dialogue is possible. Many issues are readily resolved through communication and the opportunity to do so is a rarity! It is noted by the Thames Anglers Conservancy that even though the RTA project has existed for 7 years, it primarily concerns boaters and it has the potential to utilise many other recreational users to form a nexus between local stakeholders.

Q15. What do you believe should be done to maintain and increase the number of boat registrations on our inland waterways?

A15. We would suggest that much of the inland waterways is poorly policed and there are many craft that ‘litter’ the waterways that are moored but abandoned, thereby taking valuable space that could be used by ‘going concerns’. The size of craft appears to be rapidly increasing and this also leads to less mooring space, among many other issues that ‘appear’ to be unaddressed by the relevant authorities due to limited resources. The Thames Angling Conservancy would also like to point out that, plans to ‘unlock the potential’ of inland waterways for the vast array of uses mentioned in this document, would necessitate the release of resources (financial and otherwise), to make such projects viable incorporating the vast knowledge and experience of those that work and use the rivers on a daily basis. Access and slipways would also need addressing to realise the ‘greater potential’.

Q16. How can the waterways increase their share of the holiday market?

A16. There is a vastly under-tapped market within the UK angling industry that has barely scratched the surface in terms of the tourist industry. This however, will need sensitive planning to ensure that fish stocks and conservation issues are maintained/improved, and that this ‘potential boon’ market is addressed in the final document. It may be pertinent to point out that, angling contributes over £3.5bn to the economy directly and employs tens of thousands of people in the UK alone. A significant percentage of that is within the South East of England and yet there wouldn’t be much, if any, angling tourism of note. Food for thought...



Chapter 10 - Fairer, stronger and more active communities

Q17. Do you agree that there is scope for increasing waterway related volunteering activity? How can this be achieved?

A17. The Thames Anglers Conservancy would advocate greater local stakeholder forums to strategise local community projects on a nationwide scale. The scope for increasing the potential for volunteer activities is immense. That said, such forums would need huge PR and consultation from the very heart of Govt. and its agencies, combined with the ‘investment of will’ of local authorities in devising/assisting umbrella organisations to form a nexus for such ‘socially minded’ community based projects to succeed, allied with the vast pool of local stakeholders enabling implementation through volunteers.


Q18. How can schools and colleges be encouraged to make greater use of the waterways for educational purposes?

A18. Among many other possibilities, angling teaches people the nature of the aquatic environment and the potential for angling based projects in many urban environments has yet to be fully explored. This will form part of the Thames Anglers Conservancy agenda at the earliest opportunity.

Q19. What can be done to help NCBA to increase the use of waterways to improve social inclusion?

A19. It would seem natural to the Thames Angling Conservancy that affiliations between boating groups and angler’s would have to be achieved (as well as all those that encompass the local stakeholder groups), for ‘strong’ social inclusion projects to be actualised on many levels, through many differing recreational opportunities.

Q20. What can be done to overcome barriers to achieving greater diversity among boaters and anglers using the waterways?

A20. ‘Education not Condemnation’! There has to be greater dialogue and the promotion of local forums should be encouraged within the final document. For example, the Thames utilises the nine River User Groups forums, to discover a synergy among all concerned groups and many barriers are broken down through local communications.


Chapter 11 - The Way Forward

Q21. In view of the pressure on public finances, how can waterway authorities make the most of their resources over the next few years? Would mutual or Third Sector status for British Waterways be beneficial in this respect?

A21. Whilst there appear to be many benefits to Third Sector status for BW within glossaries read, the Thames Anglers Conservancy is not in a position to evaluate the full affect such status would provide to local stakeholders and would be unable to add input on a substantive level. We would therefore defer any comment to our governing body Angling Trust.

Q22. What scope is there for enhanced partnership working to improve the resources available to protect and enhance the benefits delivered by inland waterways?

A22. As written within this consultation on numerous occasions, the Thames Angling Conservancy believes the opportunities to be wholly untapped in terms of angling, and would assume that the potential for all stakeholders (recreational or otherwise), through volunteer groups and public/private projects - in partnerships as well as independently, in coalescence with Govt. agencies – could also see great benefit through greater communication and amalgamated support systems from the top down. The opportunities are manifold but there has to be a formulated structure.

Q23. What activity should be undertaken to monitor the benefits delivered by the inland waterways over the coming years?

A mammoth task in truth, and whilst the Thames Anglers Conservancy advocates ‘less paper pushing and more action’, structures will inevitably have to be formed/conjoined to facilitate organisational process and administration to realise the greatest effect on the progress of our inland waterways in the years to come. The Thames Anglers Conservancy believes those ‘hierarchies’ to be existent but disconnected. It would, in our opinion, need for those hierarchies to find greater affiliation through mutual purpose and intent, and to deliver an inland waterways strategy that could ‘work’ on a collective and sustainable level for years to come. This would be to the benefit of all users/stakeholders regarding the usage - and poignantly the conservation - of our inland waterways, and would generate the opportunities that are before us all, to the benefit of many. Simply put, Govt. would have to ensure that “Waterways for Everyone” becomes the blue print that we would ‘all’ hope it to become, through the consolidation of its agencies as is appropriate.


TAC


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James Page



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PostSubject: Re: Waterways for Everyone - The TAC Consultation   Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:02 am

the second word in the last paragraph sums it up, mammoth, well done m8, that'll do for me
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Mike Wilson



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PostSubject: Re: Waterways for Everyone - The TAC Consultation   Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:17 am

Excellent response Richard.
Took some time to digest it all which is why I'm late in acknowledging your reply.
Look forward to 'their' reply in due course.

Mike
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Richard Crimp
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PostSubject: Re: Waterways for Everyone - The TAC Consultation   Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:52 pm

I don't think we'll receive an individual reply Mike as it will be absorbed into the body of work they will undertake over the next five years compiling a blue print for Inland Waterways. Naturally there are scores of stakeholders involved in the consultation, and the final document will balance 'those' opinions, and will obviously be restricted through financial constraints. However, the Olympics is something that 'can create opportunities', despite angling not being one of the Olympic disciplines, it is in a very strong position as an urban tool for regeneration and social inclusion... and as much as I am loathe to admit (being Labour by birth!!!), it may well be a possible/probable Tory Govt. that will have most to offer angling?

As always, the situation is forever in flux politically, but the next couple of years could prove pivotal for angling in the UK. We can only endeavour to ensure that, over the next 12 months, the TAC is in a position to be able to capitalise on every opportunity available to improve angling and conservation issues upon the Thames, as that is the reasoning behing the TAC.

The response above is an 'amateur' attempt on my part to have the TAC involved and recognised as a stakeholder, the message could have been shortened to 10 words: "Hello we are anglers, protect our sport and our river!" But I don't suppose that would have fulfilled the criteria! lol

Thanks for reading it Mike!


Richard
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