HC Deb 20 January 2004 vol 416 c1184W
Mr. Peter Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with(a) British Waterways, (b) the British Disabled Angling Association and (c) the National Angling Association about the provision of greater access for disabled anglers under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 by 1 October. [148423]

Mr. Bradshaw

The Government recognise the social and recreational importance of angling and are committed to improving access for the disabled. In response to the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review Group report, the Government committed the Environment Agency to promoting angling.

The Environment Agency works with a number of national and local bodies to provide angling opportunities for all. The Agency is working closely with the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) to integrate disability access into its work programme.

The Agency has also encouraged the Joint Angling Governing Bodies (those organisations of the National Angling Association responsible for angling development and coaching) to work closely with the BDAA. To facilitate this co-operative work a Disability Working Group has been set up and is attended by all the main bodies involved in disabled angling and angling governance.

The Agency also works with British Waterways on a number local initiatives. British Waterways aim to incorporate facilities for disabled anglers on its existing network and is committed to ensuring that all of its new angling facilities at reservoirs and other sources of closed waters are accessible for people with disabilities.