Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Getting there!

Anglers win battle in 3 year war for water industry transparency

The Angling Trust's legal arm Fish Legal has won an important victory in its campaign to make England and Wales' biggest polluters come clean about what they put into our rivers, lakes and seas, as well as what they pump out.
Following a 3 year battle and concerted attempts by water companies to prevent an appeal, Fish Legal has finally managed to get the case referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The Judge at the Upper Tribunal (UT) in London has prepared some legal questions to ask the CJEU to help decide whether water companies are "public authorities" under European legislation, and therefore subject to public scrutiny.
Fish Legal acting on its own behalf and as the legal wing of the Angling Trust with its 350,000-strong membership of angling clubs and individuals, has been battling to challenge a series of decisions, firstly by the Information Commissioner, and then the Upper Tribunal in an earlier case which held that water companies are not public authorities and therefore not covered by European Legislation and UK law - which meant their filing cabinets could remain shut.
As long ago as 2009, Fish Legal asked water companies for information on sewage discharges and clean-up operations at the thousands of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in England and Wales. Two companies - United Utilities and Yorkshire Water - said they were not "public authorities" and therefore did not need to provide the information by law. United Utilities took about 2 years to get the complete information to Fish Legal, whose lawyers believe the information should be available by right and not just at the whim of the water companies.

The Judge's decision to refer the case to the European courts is exactly what Fish Legal wanted and is the next step in getting the companies to open up to inspection by anyone who wants to know what their local company is doing to their watercourses or beaches.
The Judge will ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to answer questions which help to understand what a "public authority" is in European legislation and whether bodies like water companies are included.
Justin Neal, Head Solicitor for Fish Legal said: "it has taken 3 years to get to this position and we may have to wait another two years for the European Courts to provide answers to these questions. Nevertheless, we hope that common sense will prevail and that they will conclude that the privatisation of the water industry didn't take information out of the hands of the general public."
Leading barrister, David Wolfe, who provided the legal advice and representation for FL, commented, "I have been pleased to assist Fish Legal in getting the case the CJEU. I am optimistic that the CJEU will give an answer which will help everyone wanting information from water companies and other privatised utilities."
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: "Water Companies should not be able to hide what they are getting up to. Water quality and quantity affect us all, and our legal team are committed to doing all they can to get access to this vital information not just for anglers, but for everyone who cares about the state of our rivers and coasts. This case could take five years for us to win, but it will be of benefit to generations of anglers and environmental campaigners."
Notes to Editors
1.Fish Legal and Emily Shirley v ICO and United Utilities, Yorkshire Water and Southern Water, was heard at the Upper Tribunal (UT) in London on 10th January 2012.
2.Fish Legal is the legal arm of the Angling Trust and takes legal action throughout the UK on behalf of its membership of angling clubs, riparian owners and fisheries. More information at
Media Contacts
Mark Lloyd 07973 468198 or

Monday, 16 January 2012

Dave Mason

Get well soon 

Just to let those of you who haven't heard, angling friend of many Dave Mason was taken into hospital late last week after suffering a severe stroke /brain bleed.
He will be in hospital for a long time and is currently in a critical care unit.

Please don't contact Dave's 'phone or email.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

This and that


As expected, a little difficulty with Santander, hopefully to be sorted by the end of the coming week. Good job I have direct access anyway, bills to pay.

Anyway whilst looking through and clearing out the old photo's and "rubbish" I found an old sale agreement.
On the day of the house clearance by the charity St Francis Hospice I was getting reports from the driver as he made 3 trips back to the warehouse, that his boss was quite excited by what was coming in on the van.

Particularly she was interested in the furniture. This consisted of 2 wardrobes and a dressing table and a sideboard, all in walnut. Apparently it's all the rage in the Brentwood area!!
They were in surprisingly good condition I have to say, because with 5 kids clambering over it for may years and once in particular I recall, swinging on the door of one of the wardrobes pulled it over and trapped one of my brothers underneath, they did take some knocking about.
We used to have a matching dining table, but after years of taking the top off to put our slate bottomed snooker table on the frame it became the worse for wear, particularly also from the butt end of many cues, in a just about big enough dining room, denting and cracking the veneered top.

Anyway back to the agreement which was between the Times Furnishing Company Kingsway LondonWC2 and my Mum, dated 21st November 1950 , the bedroom suite had a price of £56 and the dining room suite £46.10shillings, also a full 4 foot 6 bed at £16.17 shillings
All payable at £1.9 shillings a month for a total of £124.11 shillings, including a service charge which I assume was for delivery to our first house on Harold Hill.
8 years plus on the never never!
No sign of what my dad working as a glazier at that time, was earning though.
At the gate at 18months 
First Harold Hill house 45 Stratton Road

My first bike! at No1


Nah, I'll leave that to others, but some only repeat hearsay and no hard facts, so I'll let them get on with it.
One thing for certain, they won't get anywhere with their approach, but, I'm enjoying the bites!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A chapter closes

The end

It would have been Mum's 89th birthday today, so I shall be raising a glass or two during the day.

It also brings the end to 59 years of the Boney family home in Harold Hill.
Last night I handed the keys over to Havering Council and said goodbye to the house that had seen very many happy times for my 3 brothers,a sister and myself, some of which I have written about in this blog.

For this, one of the most disrupted years of my life, time wise that is, and which  gave me a chance to enjoy my Mum's company far more than I would have done being a 3 hour drive away, I'm pleased to say it's ended.

Time now to move on.

Loads of things for Pauline and myself to do, particularly our world travel exploits, just booked a European river cruise to start it off.
 I certainly need to get out on the banks a lot more too, so we shall see what the year brings.

Only Santander to sort out first tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Barbel Society News

Press release 3rd January 2012

The Barbel Society is delighted to announce that the 2011 online auction in aid of the Research and Conservation projects undertaken by the Society, raised almost six thousand pounds, with generous donations from tackle companies and fishing days with noted anglers such as Bob Roberts, Martin James, Chris Ponsford and Ian Welch.

"This funding enables us to carry on with the valuable conservation work we are wholly or partly funding on many of the UKs barbel rivers, as well as some ground breaking research into barbel  and barbel fisheries"said Pete Reading, BS Research and Conservation Officer
"We raised almost nine thousand pounds this last year, combined with the annual Barbel Society and Roach Club Fundraiser on the Hampshire Avon last autumn"

The Society would like to thank the following donors of lots to the auction

Andy Sliwa Rods
Billy Clarke Tackle, Sheffield
Bob Roberts
Coarse Angling Today
Chris Ponsford
Stephen Harper of Harper Fine Angling Books
Christchurch Angling Club
Climax Tackle, Sheffield
Dave Brown
Dave Mason
Dave Steuart
Don Caliendo
Dynamite baits
Fishing Magic
Fred Crouch
Gary Mills Mills Tackle
Gerry Higham
Glyn Gomersall, Three Rivers Baits
Graham Marsden
Ian Welch
International Centre for Birds of Prey
Kevin Clifford
Martin James
Pete Reading
Phil Buckingham
Phil Smith
Predator Publications
Rich Frampton
Richard Hewitt Fish & Fly
Ringwood and District AA
Rob Burt
Steve Derby
Steve Pope
Wickersley Angling Centre

Research and Conservation projects: Where the money goes

In the last five years, the Barbel Society has funded, or part-funded, the following projects, supporting both habitat work of real conservation value, and positive research into barbel and barbel fishery management;

Stocking of the River Dane; following pollution of the river, the BS made a grant to a local club to help establish barbel populations.

Stocking of the River Aire; the BS made a grant to a small club to help improve barbel populations on the river.

Dorset Stour Barbel Project; in partnership with local clubs and the EA, the Society raised over five thousand pounds towards habitat improvement works on the river, involving the reintroduction of gravels, and construction of fry bays.
Work on a weir at Throop was recently completed, and further works are planned.
The EA and the BS placed 9000 small barbel into the middle reaches of the river in the last three years as part of the project.

Arborfield Weir Project; the Society provided several thousand pounds worth of gravel and materials to support this EA led Award winning project on the River Loddon.

Bransford Project; The Society worked in partnership with the EA and consultants to skylight a stretch of the Teme near Worcester, bringing life-giving light to the river, as well as providing improved bank stability. Unstable willows were pollarded and coppiced, and woody debris placed in the river, along with planting of fresh willow pollards to retain bank collapse.

St Patricks Steam Project; the Society paid for a fish survey and report on this Thames tributary, and will support the resulting habitat works.

Bournemouth University Research Project; the Society has funded a major piece of research work, which involves a review of all current barbel research work and tank experiments into competition between barbel and other species, both of which have now been published.
The University is also carrying out a scale reading study, using scales provided by the EA and BS members. This study will be the largest of its kind, and will provide information on growth rates and population structure for many UK rivers.
A database of all available barbel-related research is to be compiled over time by the University.

Barbel and gravels; the Society is helping to fund a PhD student researching the effects of barbel on gravel mobility and structure.

River Cherwell Project; the Society is working in partnership with the EA and The Wild Trout Trust, providing funding to provide in stream cover for fish on this Thames tributary, in the form of large tree trunks, woody debris and live hanging willows.

Hampshire Avon habitat works; using funds raised in conjunction with the Avon Roach Project, the Society has removed redundant iron pilings from the river, and has several thousand pounds earmarked for further habitat improvements.

Barbel Society Handling Code; with help from film maker Hugh Miles, the Society will be producing a DVD and downloadable resources to help educate anglers in the safe handling of barbel, which will be provided free to clubs, tackle shops and other outlets
All these activities require funding, which has been provided by the generosity of major tackle manufacturers, tackle shops, fishing clubs, Barbel Society members and the angling community.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy new year

Didn't get out to fish, half expected that though.

Had a few in the White Hart last night, but stuck to one brew rather than going along the row.
I've found that some mixes of real ale affect the bowels when you have 4 or more different brews!!

Having our Christmas goose in a couple of hours along with all the trimmings, wine's open ready, Christmas pudding steaming away, glass of beer in hand.

Getting myself ready for a fight with Santander, their reputation goes before them,and not getting an appointment to close my Mum's account until 9th January, isn't starting off my preconceived (weekend paper complaints) thoughts about them too well!

Cheers, I'll be back