Three government ministers underlined their support for shooting and fishing at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week. Ministers from Defra, the Home Office, the Department of Culture Media and Sport spoke at the event hosted by the British.
Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT), the National Federation of Anglers (NFA) and the Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA).
Emma Pickering and Sports Minister Richard Caborn
The Home Office Minister, Hazel Blears, speaking of measures in the Violent Crimes Reduction Bill said “I am aware of the role angling can play in tackling youth crime and anti social behaviour”.
Rural Affairs Minister Jim Knight referred to the Rural Reception sponsors BASC, FACT, CLA, NFA, S&TA “As being important to the Labour Party and important to the landscape”.
Sports Minister Richard Caborn, welcomed the representative from F.A.C.T, Jim Glasspool and the new unity body representing angling, saying “It is good to see a single voice for the sport. We recognise and appreciate all of the benefits which angling brings, it teaches young people respect for themselves, for the countryside and for other people”.
Speaking about Stoke Angling for Everyone (S.A.F.E) project Richard Caborn MP said that “The S.A.F.E project in Stoke has been highly successful in training coaches and increasing participation amongst young people”.
With reference to Durham’s Get Hooked on Fishing initiative and the social benefits of angling Richard Caborn stated “If we can save one child from going into secure accommodation it can save £100,000 a year”.
On recent developments within angling he commented that “The development of angling in the past year has gone from strength to strength and has started to come together as a body, that’s good for us, good for you and good for the country”.
Richard Caborn assured the audience of his commitment to angling when he said “If they ban fishing I’ll resign as MP for Sheffield because they won’t let me back in anyway”.
Martin Salter MP spoke about angling and the Olympics when he stated “If angling were an Olympic sport we would win all of the Gold Medals anyway”
John Swift, BASC Chief Executive welcomed the ministers’ comments and said “We bring to you an important and large group of people. The organisations here today represent a million people who shoot, three and a half million anglers and the owners of half of the agricultural land in England and Wales.”