Angling: Trust membership fees hike is still on the cards

My sources are usually very reliable but I'm afraid that I was wrong when I told you last week that the Angling Trust was re-considering the hike in the individual membership fees from £20 to £25.

It seems that was not the case and I'm now told those increased fees will remain in place.

What the Angling Trust intends to do is to introduce a new scale of charges for member clubs, syndicates and private owners.

Under the proposals clubs with a membership of over 1,000 would have faced an increase in fees from 250 per year to almost 1,000, while those with 51 to 200 members would have suffered a rise from 150 to 290.

But, following a re-think by the trust's board of directors, the original fees will, for the time being, remain unaltered.

However, the increase for individual members will still go ahead from January 1.

This in itself will still be a very controversial issue as many people feel that the members should have been consulted first.

This certainly could have been done under the old National Federation of Anglers system. In those days the country was split into eight regions, with each region having regular meetings involving delegates who represented all of the member clubs and associations.

The Yorkshire and Humberside region, which I was vice chairman of, used to hold quarterly meetings at the Leeds Anglers Club and they were always well attended.

Indeed, we used to have some very lively discussions on all regional matters and full reports and copies of the minutes were always forwarded to headquarters immediately afterwards.

When the Angling Trust was formed, almost two years ago, we hoped things would carry on in a similar manner, but since then not a word has been heard from the trust.

So I'm not sure how are they expected to know the opinions of their members.

I know that this is a comparatively new organisation, and I should stress it will always have my full support but someone, as the Duke of Edinburgh once famously said, has to get their finger out!

? IT is almost 10 years since the wife of Scunthorpe angler Kevin Allen was diagnosed with breast cancer and since that date he has been a tireless fundraiser for the cancer charity.

Fortunately his wife has now completely recovered but he still carries on the good work and every year he organises a fund-raising contest at Doncaster's Lindholme Lakes complex which, over the last five years has raised over 40,000 for the Scunthorpe Breast Cancer Care Unit.

For his efforts Allen has been nominated for an award at the forthcoming High Heroes awards scheme, to be hosted by former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell, and if he is successful then his chosen charity will benefit by a further 5,000. We wish him well.

? What to buy an angler at Christmas has always been a problem for unless you know specifically what is required it is very easy to buy the wrong thing.

I have always found the easy way is to buy a voucher for the fishing tackle shop, they all sell them these days, and then let the recipient spend it on something that is really needed.

Certainly in these hard times the tackle trade would really appreciate the business.

However, one item that I would thoroughly recommend is a book entitled 1,000 greatest fishing tips.

I have a copy of it myself and it is full of information and will make the perfect present. It costs just 11.99, which includes postage and copies can be ordered by phoning 0845 408 2606.

Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher. Picture: John Mallett

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