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Charities and local authorities gather
to discuss drowning prevention
Local authorities met today (Tuesday, April
9) with water safety charities to discuss
and shape policies to prevent drowning
deaths and serious injuries.
Representatives from Perth and Kinross
Council, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Royal
National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) led
workshop sessions at the water safety
summit at the RNLI’s headquarters in
During the day, breakout sessions were
held to allow for in-depth discussions
about water safety and to share best practice for accident prevention near and on
water. During these talks, local authorities
were encouraged to move towards developing their own policy on water safety.
This is a key objective of the Scottish
Drowning Prevention Strategy 2018-2026.
Scotland has an estimated 30,000 freshwater lochs and a huge coastline, giving
residents and tourists considerable access
to water. The most recent data taken from
the Water Incident Database (WAID)
shows that there were 46 accidental
drowning fatalities in Scotland and a further 26 water-related suicides in 2017.
These statistics reflect the fact that Scotland’s rate of accidental drowning is also
almost double the UK average.
Carlene McAvoy, community safety
development manager at RoSPA, said: “At
present, Scotland carries a disproportionate rate of accidental drowning fatalities in
comparison to other areas within the UK.
This is completely unacceptable, and it is
incumbent on us to act.
I am encouraged by the discussions that
have taken place with local authorities and
look forward to continuing to work with
our partners to take action to minimise the
risk of drowning and other accidents in
Scottish waters.”
Michael Avril, RNLI community safety
p a r t n e r f o r S c o t l a n d, s a i d : “ R N L I i s
delighted to have been able to facilitate
today’s meeting with RoSPA and our partners in Scottish local government. I am
confident we will all go forward today with
a renewed sense of common purpose and
be united in our efforts to prevent serious
accidents and death and on Scotland’s
coast and inland waters.”
The workshop follows the November
release of a RoSPA a report entitled Local
Authority Approaches to Managing Water
Safety, which recommends that councils
should share good practice and successes
in water safety by joining Water Safety
Scotland, a group of organisations from
across the country dedicated to tackling
drowning. The report is the culmination of
a study in which all 32 of Scotland’s local
authorities were surveyed on their management of water safety. n
£100,000 of fishing licence money to be used to improve
fisheries through Angling Improvement Fund
Another £100,000 of fishing licence
income is being made available to angling
clubs and fisheries based in England
through the next round of funding from the
Angling Improvement Fund. The money
will be focused on funding measures to
protect fish stocks from predation.
The Angling Trust, which administers
the fund in partnership with the Environment Agency, is seeking applications by
4th July 2019. It is the only guaranteed
funding round this year, although some
additional funding may soon be made
available for coaching bursaries.
This latest round will help fund a minimum of 20 projects for work such as installation of otter-proof fencing and measures
to combat over-predation of fish stocks by
fish-eating birds. Awards not exceeding
£5,000 will be considered where the applicant is able to commit a comparable
amount of match funding.
Further information on how to apply,
including key deadlines, eligibility and
judging criteria for each theme will be
available on the Angling Trust website at
from midday on Thursday, 25th April. All
applications must be completed using the
Angling Trust’s online application grant
management tool and must be submitted
by midday on Thursday, 4th July 2019. It is
hoped that offers of funding to successful
applicants will be made by the end of
August and approved projects must be
completed by 31st March 2020.
Since the Angling Improvement Fund
was launched in February 2015, fishing
licence income has helped fund more than
450 angling projects worth an estimated
£5 million, creating or safeguarding tens of
thousands of angling opportunities in England. Dr Kevin Austin, Deputy Director of
Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:
“The Angling Improvement Fund is an
important aspect of our partnership work
with the Angling Trust. This reinvestment
of £100,000 raised from fishing licence
sales will directly benefit anglers and fish-
eries throughout England.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the
Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “The
Angling Improvement Fund has been a
huge success since its launch four years
ago and has benefitted hundreds of clubs,
fisheries and other angling organisations.
Predation is a serious issue affecting
angling, so I’m pleased that this latest
round of funding will help relieve the problem at a number of fisheries and support
other predation management work being
carried out by the Angling Trust and the
Environment Agency.” n


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