On the 4th of January the board of Angling Scotland Ltd (ASL) hosted a meeting at the King Robert Hotel in Stirling to look at options for the future governance structure for angling in Scotland.  The Board was joined by invited representatives from the Scottish Federation of Course Anglers (SFCA), the Scottish Anglers National Association (SANA) and the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) to provide a broad perspective and with a view to taking a key decision about the future direction of Angling Scotland Ltd as the umbrella structure for the three SGBs.  In particular, the meeting considered options for future governance and sustainability in the likelihood of no investment being available from sportScotland in the medium term.   It also conducted an exercise to considered what the main aims of Angling Scotland Ltd should be for the future.

The meeting was extremely constructive and, by bringing together a diverse group of individuals with a wealth of experience and a broad range of interests, was able to take a wide perspective in making decisions about how to proceed.  After considerable positive discussion, there was overwhelming support to proceed with producing recommendations to the three SGBs to form Angling Scotland as a membership organisation.  These recommendations would encompass the current membership organisations of SANA, SFCA and SFSA in a way that ensured the future sustainability of the three existing SGBs and their roles in the governance and delivery of discipline specific issues such as  performance and pathways.  The meeting also agreed provisional key timings for this work. 

Each current SGB would inform members of this project, either in a formal proposal or an information piece, at upcoming 2020 AGMs, to gain approval to proceed with the work to develop a plan and detailed proposals to form Angling Scotland as a membership organisation.  The current Angling Scotland Ltd board, in conjunction with existing angling SGBs, aims to complete the work required to establish Angling Scotland as a membership organisation by 31 Dec 2020.  In the time between now and 31 Dec 2020, these 3 SGBs may wish to consult widely with member clubs, individual members and the wider Scottish angling public as to these proposals.  The required constitution or articles of association changes will then be put to members of the 3 SGBs at AGMs due to be held in the first 3 months of 2021.  Assuming agreement at these AGMs, Angling Scotland will be established as a membership organisation on 1 Apr 2021.  

ASL Board members recognise that there is still a huge amount of work to do over the next few weeks to prepare the proposal or message to put to the three SGB AGMs in February and March 2020 and to provide sufficient time to allow clubs and individual members to consider such matters appropriately.  The ASL board is currently working on consolidating the output from the exercise to consider the revised aims of Angling Scotland as a membership organisation and these will be published in the coming weeks for wide consultation.   

This piece of work will fundamentally change the way in which our sport is governed in Scotland and ASL Board members would strongly urge anyone who cares about the future of our sport to look out for, and read, the various consultation documents and surveys that will be published in the coming months to allow all involved in the current structure to have a say.  Members of the ASL board welcomes all participation in this work, and anyone with skills, expertise or time to offer to this work should do so through existing SGBs in the first instance.  Please look out for further information on the current SGB websites and social media feeds.