After 12 months of highlighting and lobbying on the poor state of EA area funding across East Anglia and particularly the Broads, I'm pleased to announce that some progress has been made.
From the poor position that the Essex Norfolk and Suffolk area found themselves in 2015/16 of £212k, the budget for 2017/18 is now £383k a 81% increase and across the region this equates to an 42% increase overall.
What this process has identified however is the variance in management practices across areas and how this impacts the actual delivery of any fisheries service to us anglers, be it in cost recovery and skills.
The merger of Essex Norfolk and Suffolk area with Cambs and Beds is a clear demonstration of how structural change can influence fisheries and I look forward to seeing the outcomes from this.
We now have an agreed set of enforcement recovery plans for both Northants and Lincs and East Anglian (East), subject to the outcomes of the long awaited national enforcement review.
I would like to thank the national fisheries team for progressing this complex issue, with strong lobbying from the PAC. But like most things, this has brought winners and losers as overall rod licence income continues to decline.
AT East of England Forum Chair
28 people attended Langham community centre for this years visit into Essex for the Regional Forum.
Marcus Sibley from the Environment Agency presented the 1st item on what they provide for anglers, supported by Adam Clark on various projects within the Area.
Paul Thomas the AT Regional Enforcement Manager presented the work in setting up the Voluntary Bailiffing Service and how the police are actively becoming involved with fish theft.
James Lews presented the work undertaken on participation and getting people into angling. Followed by a passionate talk by Nick Watkins on junior engagement in Essex..
Many questions were put to the presenters during the forum, which gave the event a very open and transparant view on what is being done to progress fisheries and angling within the area,