Parliamentary Early Day Motion

Inland paddling
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Adrian Cooper
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Post by Adrian Cooper »

Pete the kayaker wrote:Much as I am gutted at coming to the defence of Mr Cooper Snr [especially after his 'lame' dig on the "I could cry - TL3 assessment cancelled.." thread ;) ]
Pete, don't take it so hard;-)

Don't you find that when you put a counter viewpoint on internet forums it always comes over rather harse when you really don't mean it to?

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Pete the kayaker
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Post by Pete the kayaker »

Adrian, honestly I wasn't really taking it very seriously (hence the emoticon in the reference) - and yes, you're quite right, taking a counter view does sometimes come across harshly. I've often found myself sounding unintentionally severe.

PENDLETA
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Post by PENDLETA »

To give lazy people something to work from, here is my letter written while I should have been doing over nasty lawyerly things. I've already encouraged my old uni club to send this to home MPs and Uni MPs and anyone else's MP who'll listen. This is surely the best opportunity we've had to raise awareness of how many people paddle if nothing else. If all else fails, I've been pulled over by rebels with guns while paddling in Nepal and bribed them with pens and balloons... Do you think it'll work?

Hi

I am writing to ask you to give your support and to encourage your fellow MPs to support EDM 957, which backs increased river access for non-powered crafts. As an enthusiastic kayaker/canoeist, I believe it is time for legislation to insist on increased access to waterways, giving even a fraction of the freedom provided to ramblers by the right to roam under The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, because the negotiation of access arrangements is too often failing.

Our sport, as represented by the British Canoe Union (the BCU website can be found at http://www.bcu.org.uk), is one of the fastest growing activities in the country, is a fantastic introduction to the great British Countryside and, perhaps most significantly, promotes aerobic and anaerobic fitness at a time of ever-decreasing activity levels and ever-increasing health problems in our society. However, attitudes best summed up by the familiar refrain 'Not In My Back Yard' and a strong angling community are frustratingly restricting, often totally, access to our many miles of whitewater despite the best efforts of our BCU representatives.

It is a tragedy that more has not been done to promote diversified use of our waterways. In other countries, activities like canoeing and angling co-exist comfortably. In fact, in some parts of the UK, though disappointingly few, our fellow river devotees are more enlightened and a mutually beneficial relationship is enjoyed. They recognise that there is minimal evidence that canoeing is detrimental to fishing, agree access arrangements around the highly limited times of year where spawning and the like could possibly be disturbed and exchange friendly waves as canoeists carefully navigate around angler's lines.

Anyway, enough for now. You must have got the picture. We are just asking for a foothold (well, a paddle-hold maybe!) on Britain's rivers. If all we can do is look at our rivers, people will continue to happily do this on TV, and you can continue to legislate for growing problems with health and antisocial behaviour. We already win Olympic medals for kayaking and canoeing, let's encourage the current generation so that we can dominate this great sport by 2012.

Many thanks for your support
Happy Paddling

Andy Pendleton

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Post by Grammar Police »

StoneWeasel wrote:especially by are Stateside friends
Should be: "especially by our Stateside friends"

Sorry but someone had to...

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mharrall
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Watch the telly tomoroow morning!

Post by mharrall »

There is going to bit a peice on access situation etc on BBC breakfast tomorrow morning at 7:20 and then again at 8:20. Live from Reading CC apparently.
Martin

mwestcott
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Post by mwestcott »

Don't know if people have mentioned this already (couldn't find anything), but there was a piece in today's guardian, page 7 or so, quite prominent. Online here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story ... 48,00.html

Lil Miss Boater
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Post by Lil Miss Boater »

Have e-mailed mine too, wait and see!
"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him learn it within himself." Galileo

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Jim Pullen
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39

Post by Jim Pullen »


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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

My MP is still thinking about it, I'm trying to get other paddlers within his constituency to write to him too in order to push him in the right direction
Martin

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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

39 and rising....
That's 6% of them, in case like me, you were wondering.
Martin

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Jim Pullen
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Post by Jim Pullen »

Check out the latest news on the riversaccess website. It would seem the fishfolk are responding by pushing for increased access via negociated voluntary access agreements. Hmmm, that sounds familiar!

Glad to see the campaign response to this is exactly what we want to hear. Some very positive stuff happening at the moment....[/url]

Bertie..
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Post by Bertie.. »

I've written to both my MP, Oliver Letwin - Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and to the MP for my canoe club, Jim Knight - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Commons) (Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity) & one of the top BCU targets. Here's some of their responses
Oliver Letwin - "I have written to Baroness Young at the Environment Agency about the
environmental impacts. We are alSo consulting a wide range of other
interested partie. Once this is complete, we will need to have a discussion
in Shadow Cabinet. This will all, I fear, take some time. But it will
eventually result in a collective view. If you were to contact me just after
Christmas, I should have an answer for you."
Jim Knight - "...That is one reason why the Minister does not favour a statutory right of access – put simply the evidence does not support the case for legislation. Moreover a statutory right of access would be extremely complex and expensive because regulatory systems would have to be put into place for managing a wide range of different and potentially conflicting activities. It would also be necessary to take account of those who hold the riparian rights. In England and Wales this is generally the adjoining landowners. Any such legislation would be far more complicated than the new right of access to open country and registered common land which is only for people on foot. "
Looks like there is some serious work to be done to change a few views - let's hope Tamsin can deliver, if not what next??

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The Reverend Driller
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Post by The Reverend Driller »

Go on, write to your MP, at the very least it could get this issue into the awareness of more MPs. Even if it helps us look like less of a minority it has to help.
Go out. Do Stuff.

Paul Smith
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Post by Paul Smith »

Just had an email from my MP, he is going to sign the EDM!!!

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madjbs
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Post by madjbs »

Recieved a reply today in the post from Tim Farron who is my local MP. Apparantly he was at the westminister paddle and according to his letter " I emerged with a much heightened respect for those who have mastered the art, let alone those who take to the white waters!". And yes he is going to sign it. I will post the full reply soon


Jake
boat hard keep online

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madjbs
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Post by madjbs »

boat hard keep online

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Jim Pullen
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half century!

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The Drowned Fish
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Post by The Drowned Fish »

My MP (Andrew Smith) replied saying that "He never signs EDM's as they rarely ahave any effect and there are to many to keep up with"

However, He did say that we went to the Westminster paddle the other week and was impressed enough to bring the subject up with the relevent minister.

Kind of a mixed bag that one.

Simon

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RichA
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Post by RichA »

How long have you waited for a reply (via email) from your MP? 5 Days and counting...

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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

How long have you waited for a reply (via email) from your MP? 5 Days and counting...
Mine responded to my "writetothem" fax within two days, but last time I sent him a fax it two weeks for a reply. My MP still hasn't signed it.
Martin

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Tony B
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MP Pressure

Post by Tony B »

My MP is very responsive (Lib Dem!?) and prefers to be contacted by e-mail.

After periodic correspondance on access over the last 2 years he was happy to sign the EDM - at least it makes them look like they're doing something for you.

He's got my vote anyhow.

Just get mailing and ask your's to sign up.

http://www.writetothem.com/

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waverley610
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Post by waverley610 »

RichA wrote:How long have you waited for a reply (via email) from your MP? 5 Days and counting...
I waited 10 days; and got a written reply from my Cons. MP Crispin Blunt;

Last paragraph reads; "With regard to proposed EDM on waterways access, I feel it lacks clarity as to it's precise objectives. The Conservative Party is at present looking into the issues surrounding access to waterways, and we will shortly be publishing our own framework for action. As a result I will not be signing EDM 957 should the Conservative front bench table an EDM on this issue I will be happy to sign it and let you know"

As I already pointed out to him that Peter Bottomley Con. former Sports Minister had signed it,
I don't see why he chose to hide behind a party-political line on this one.
Am I the first to get a 'NO' ?

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DanH
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Post by DanH »

No! Got a very quick response though, a letter within 4 days of sending one!

Got the same almost the same reply from my MP (Nigel Evans - Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party)

'I understand your concerns regarding the question of canoe access to rivers in England and Wales and I believe that it is important to maximise the diverse use of our rivers. I also recognise the value of canoeing as both a popular and successful Olympic sport. Participation should be encouraged amongst our budding young sports enthusiasts as much as possible.

With regard to the proposed EDM on waterways access, I feel it lacks clarity as to its precise objectives. The Conservative Party is at present looking into the issues surrounding access to waterways, and we will shortly be publishing our own framework for action. As a result, I will not be signing EDM 957.

I agree that access for canoeing is important with regard to health and fitness, as well as the disability inclusion issues. With this in mind I will forward your letter to Jim Knight MP Minister for DEFRA. I shall also make sure that my front bench colleagues are aware of the issues you raise.'


Not the response we hoped for, but I'll wait and see Jim Knight comes back with!

bugs bunny
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Post by bugs bunny »

Am I the first to get a 'NO' ?
I also received the same word for word reply from my MP, Dominic Grieve. Have asked exactly when the Conservative party will be publishing their framework for action and if they will be consulting the BCU as part of their consultative process.

IMO we have a better chance under a Labour Party than a Conservative one on the whole access issue.

Dave Thomas
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Post by Dave Thomas »

67 signed now. I'm off to talk to my MP tomorrow - suggested by him as a follow-up to the Westminster lobby invitation and my request to him to sign the EDM.

Daev Thomas

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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

I know for a fact that James Gray Conservative MP for North Wilts has also taken the same tack and said "No", my MP still hasn't signed either, but he initially said that he could see no problem with the motion. Must be still thinking about it I guess.

Anyway, as I sit here writing this I notice we have rapidly jumped up to 76 votes. I reckon we can get to 100 if we keep pushing and badgering. If anyone out there hasn't written to thier MP yet, pull you finger out!
Martin

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RichA
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Post by RichA »

76 Signatures now. My MP relied with a written letter today.

His reply consisted of the same word-for-word reply as others have received, amongst other comments.

'I understand your concerns regarding the question of canoe access to rivers in England and Wales and I believe that it is important to maximise the diverse use of our rivers. I also recognise the value of canoeing as both a popular and successful Olympic sport. Participation should be encouraged amongst our budding young sports enthusiasts as much as possible'.

He mentioned that he would forward my letter to Jim Knight MP Minister for DEFRA, and would make his front bench colleagues aware of the issues I raised. I have no idea what front bench people do.

'The Conservative Party is at present looking into the issues surrounding access to waterways, and we will shortly be publishing our own framework for action. Meanwhile I am happy to sign EDM 957'. That's one more signature then!

PhilC
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Post by PhilC »

My MP has signed the EDM. He said in his letter to me that he thought that the current laws are "ridiculous".

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Tony W
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Post by Tony W »

I have received a slightly different relpy from my MP (John Denham Labour MP for Southampton Itchen):

'Thank you for your recent e-mail asking me to sign EDM 957.

Although Early Day Motions can be a helpful expression of back bench parliamentary opinion, I feel that they are somewhat over used and their impact somewhat diluted. For this reason I only very occasionally add my name to EDM's.

Nonetheless your letter has prompted me to consider the issues you have raised carefully and I have therefore written to the relevant minister on your behalf.

I will contact you again as soon as I have received a detailed reply.'


To be fair I can see his point of view. Having done some basic research on EDMs, it would seem that they are fairly ineffective as they are normally discussed in the house at some ridiculous time in the morning or evening when about 3 MPs are present. However, having said that anything bringing these issues to the attention of parliament is good thing.

Hopefully, I will receive a further letter from Mr Denham in due course, and I'll let you know what he has to say...

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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

81 now. Come on, we can make it into 3 figures!

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetai ... ESSION=875
Martin

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