Letter to the inspector: Local Inquiry into The Wales Rod and Line (Salmon & Sea Trout) Byelaws 201

CAMPAIGN FOR THE PROTECTION OF WELSH FISHERIES

9th November 2018

 

Mr Declan Beggan BSc (Hons) MSc DipTp DipMan MRTPI

The Planning Inspectorate

Crown Buildings

Cathays Park

Cardiff

CF10 NQ

 

By email to Gareth.Harvey@pins.gsi.gov.uk  (for the personal attention of Mr Declan Beggan)

 

Dear Inspector,

Firstly may we thank you for holding the Local Inquiry into The Wales Rod and Line (Salmon & Sea Trout) Byelaws 2017 and The Wales Net Fishing (Salmon & Sea Trout) Byelaws 2017 at a location which is as convenient as possible for those who wish to make their representations. We also appreciate the time that you have taken to identify the concerns which have been raised by angling stakeholders in order to provide an appropriate framework for the Inquiry.

However we have serious concerns over the expectation that those of us who oppose the proposed byelaws will be able to attend the Inquiry on a daily basis over the course of 12 days. For a number of people that amounts to more than 50 hours driving time before we have even engaged with the relevant issues. The fact that we must do that at our own cost, and in our own time, in order to defend our fisheries from the actions proposed by Natural Resources Wales, whilst those who have instigated the action are being paid to attend, as well as provided with accommodation and/or travelling expenses, does not provide us with a level playing field. There is indeed an irony in the fact that revenue raised from our own fishing licences will be used to fund the defence of NRW’s position whilst we must reach into our own pockets again in order to make our representations.

To that end surely it would be possible to ask those people who have indicated that they wish to attend whether they do wish to speak, rather than observe, and to provide dates when they would be able to do that. That would allow a timetable to be drawn up so that we know when we would be expected to provide our evidence and significantly reduce the number of days on which we would need to be present.  We appreciate that narrowing this down to a single day may be difficult, but if two dates could be offered this would greatly reduce the burden on volunteers and representatives from NGOs who have limited budgets and very busy diaries.

We would anticipate that many of us would wish to attend on the days when NRW’s evidence is presented but are less likely to feel the need to challenge those who hold similar views.

As you have correctly pointed out, this is in many ways a unique Inquiry in that most of us who wish to attend are not local to the venue and we therefore feel that in the interests of fairness every effort must be made to make the Inquiry as accessible as possible to all.

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Eardley – Strategy Officer: Campaign for the Protection of Welsh fisheries

 

Mark Lloyd – Chief Executive: Angling Trust

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