It seems Brownhills Community Association, or someone within, its undertaking a little empire building of late. It’s all coming over a bit imperialist to me.
(I’m assuming here that although the posters say ‘Brownhills Community Centre’, this is Brownhills Community Association – the phone number is identical, and Brownhills Community Centre as such doesn’t exist, as far as I’m aware).
Cycling from Anglesey Basin at Chasewater today, down to Catshill Junction Bridge, I noticed these new signs on just about every bridge abutment. It seems that now, if you want to fish in the canal between Catshill Junction and Chasewater, you are expected to pay Brownhills Community Association £3 per day for the privilege, or £15 for a season ticket.
I’m not sure how far the range extends yet, but it clearly covers most, if not all of the Anglesey Branch Canal, and the Wyrley and Essington from Ogley Junction to Catshill Junction.
I’m not a fisherman, and I never have been, as I think is fairly well known, but this seems like a bit of an iniquitous land (or rather, water) grab to me.
Waters that were I believe, free to fish before, are so no longer. Why, what exactly gave Brownhills Community Association the right to do this? Where was the public consultation? On what grounds?
There may well be something, somewhere, I’ve missed. I’ve certainly not seen any public notices. Please feel free to correct me if I’m misunderstanding something.
This is hot on the heels of the news – still not acknowledged by Brownhills Community Association – that the Canoe and Outdoor Centre in Silver Street has lost it’s operator and appears to be closed. This is a facility apparently under the responsibility of the same Association. When I came past today, this great project, funded by Lottery money as well as European Grants, was closed. The equipment usually stored in the compound had gone.
I’m also aware that people associated with the Community Association have been involved in the scaremongering about the proposed heathland management on the common. I can’t actually repeat what I’ve been told here by various sources, but frankly, I’m amazed.
I’ve always liked and supported the things that Brownhills Community Association do, and happily publicise their events. Community, and the coming together of townsfolk for popular events and activities is a key factor, and should be welcomed, particularly with kid’s events. However, the silence over the Canoe Centre – a truly well-loved amenity, the sudden takeover of formerly free angling rights, and bizarre scaremongering over work on Brownhills common are leaving me with a very nasty taste indeed.
I’m feeling primarily that the Brownhills Community Association should sort out the issues with the canoe centre before it starts controlling other stuff. Does anyone know what’s actually going on here?