Mr. Gareth R. Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the difficulties facing councils in getting access to inland waters in England and Wales. 
§ Alun Michael
We have made no such assessment. Last month we published the findings of research establishing the facts about water-based sport and recreation. The report "Water-based Sport and Recreation" identified the powers available to local authorities to give people greater access to inland water for open-air recreation. We are looking at what action we may need to take in the light of the research report. Copies of the report are available in the Library.