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Letter From The ACA Chairman

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Dave Lumb:


Dave Lumb:


Surely the fact that Bob James is a world famous personality and that if his name is attatched to any appeal, information or press release has immediate responce has been overlooked by the ACA committee. By their actions in the suspension they have lost a great deal of good will

I think you'll find that in the case predator anglers (like Mark Barrett and myself) the ACA has gained a lot of good will now Mr James is no longer associated with them........


Perhaps the ACA will find itself able to have a stand at the next year's PAC convention? It's a good few years since they showed up there after being regular attenders from year one. Perhaps Mr James was afraid of being lynched?

why dave! because of his stance on livebaiting?

that sort of narrow mindedness is what is keeping me out of PAC....should not some of the committee

who allowed this stiuation to develop also stand down.bob james was a employee of the ACA he got away with whatever he did get away with because

he allowed to by those same employer's

as i've said before the word's "barn door and horse" come to mind other heads need to roll

and without the pay off's the jame's got

concentrate for the moment: feel. don't think.

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Dear All,


I suppose I will be receiving my copy of the chairman’s letter in the post shortly. But, I still can't fathom certain elements of this issue clearly as yet.


I am a company director myself so am aware of "some" of the legal implications arising from holding such an office. And upon reading the copy of Alan's letter posted here some things still don't appear to "sit right". The ACA is an unincorporated body linked to a Trustee Company which to my knowledge is different to a limited company owned/operated by a board of directors either beholding to themselves as owners or shareholders??


UK corporate law is complicated and most small company directors like me are reliant on qualified chartered accountants and corporate lawyers in this area. I should think that ACA members would like clarification on how the ACA set up works in simple to understand terms??


It is also interesting to note that certain "angling politico's" have chosen to now pass their own comments on the issue now this latest chairman’s letter has been pasted onto this site. Some of these now say they will re-join the ACA and urge everyone else to do the same. Well, I and many like me never left the ACA even though we "were" aware everything in the ACA garden was far from rosy. We kept faith with the ACA for what the organisation "DID" for watery environments and "NOT" because of what the James’s did or didn't do!!! Although this latest issue between the James’s and ACA made a lot of us loose confidence admittedly.


From a personal perspective, I am looking forward to see if Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith practices what he appears to preach. Because there can now be surely no doubting that the ACA has got to become totally transparent towards its membership. ACA members "should" in my opinion be allowed access to the ACA AGM where they can be furnished with copies of audited accounts and be allowed voting rights on all important issues. However, the present ACA set-up "might not" provide for this in their present constitution?? That being the case, I would of course welcome any look into the present ACA constitution for possible changes that would facilitate at least yearly opportunities for the membership to have their democratic say at AGM's?? Democracy brings freedom and clarity for all and there should be nothing to fear from its implementation unless something untoward is going off.


One thing that did impress me in the chairman’s letter was this;


" 4) The Association needs to approach those true supporters who left the Committee and the Association in recent years. There is a vast groundswell of support for a well-run Association and this must be tapped into. Very influential individuals who have not been able to work with the past senior officers must be welcomed back on board."


Two names instantly spring to mind here. Terry Mansbridge and Brian Crawford. Both men tell it "like it is" and both are in favour of full democratic process. Brian especially so. I would like to see such men sit on the ACA committee.


Yes, the ACA has some bridge building to do. But the tools for building this bridge lay firmly in the hands of Dr Marsh-Smith.


One thing remains certain though, angling "NEEDS" the ACA. So do our nations watery environments because they are undoubtedly a national treasure.


Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith has my support. And no doubt my various emails in the coming weeks- months ahead!!


One thing that has given me disquiet over this issue is the various near scurrilous comments made against the James’s in this and other threads. Bob and Jayne have every right to earn their living as do we all and slurs made in context of any future employment they might gain has no bearing on the issue in hand. This affair is about them and the ACA and is "NOT", or shouldn't be in my opinion, an opportunity presented so that witch hunts can take place.


With the James’s passing from the ACA let us not forget the positives they both gave angling respectively. Jayne gave 18 years service to the ACA working tirelessly for the organisation not to mention our watery environments she sought to protect. Bob aided and abetted by Chris Yates and film making genius Hugh Miles brought the nation that jewel known as "A Passion for Angling". Million's of "none anglers" tuned into that series which undoubtedly showed angling to our none angling nation in a light that pushed our general PR light years forward. For that contribution alone paid or not, Bob deserves to retain his reputation and right to work within angling in arenas of his choice without having his name slanted on here surely?


Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith has by his own words, left the ACA door ajar and is welcoming ideas and opinions to be heard from the ACA membership. Step through this open door and have your say. Step through this door and help to build a better ACA.





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Personally I am inclined to take the Chairman's comments at face value. They tend to tie into my understanding and observations over the years, albeit from afar.


Terry Mansbridge had previously, as I understand it, resigned from the ACA. Have met him, liked him immensly. Yes, he does call a spade a spade, if not an effing shovel, good bloke, for an ex copper!


Brian, regretfully, I don't know outside of this forum, but he does write well!!


Mr Bird could also take more on, I'm sure!!


No witch hunt from me re the James. Met 'em, at Southwold, liked 'em, discussed the livebait issue. It was a personal view, not ACA policy. Bob was suitably embarressed by the whole affair!


Also met them at Chatsworth where we discussed the ACA links with the CA. As much as I liked Jane, I concluded that she is not, in my opinion, a lady to disagree with. That opinion ties in with my understanding of the Chairman's letter.


But as for their future employment prospects, I say it how I see it. I reckon people, in general, are quite fond of the ACA, warts & all. But whatever, its only my opinion and we all know what old cack that can be!!


Personally I see no wrong with Dave Lumb's comments. I also don't think the ACA pike matches, run as they are, are in the best interests of pike conservation.


I supported the ACA under the James despite some of the things that I understood to be going on, such as its apparent links with the CA.


Irrespective of my feelings for the Countryside Alliance I always felt strongly that the ACA should have kept its distance. Non of its people, then and now, should be wearing both hats.


The time has to come when the ACA will be taking action against a polluter who is a CA member, if not a high ranking CA official.


The opportunity is there now for the ACA to start afresh. I hope Chris hasn't gone but if he has then I hope his place is not taken by some poser. Hopefully someone, David Bellamy like, who would attract wide public support will be elected.


The ACA certainly doesn't need a controversial figurehead at this time! The new bloke needs to be accepted without reservation by anglers of all interests, and there are some possibles who would not fit that brief particuarly well!!


At the end of the day this is a discussion forum, and this a discussion between friends! :):):)


[ 13. December 2004, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: Peter Waller ]

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yes smudger, precisely because of the livebaiting stance.


whilst i am sure that it was his own personal viewpoint, as the press officer for the ACA he should have been aware that it would have been construed as representative of the organisation for which he held office.

that to a point shows a naievity that is a bit difficult to align with his position of ACA press officer.

Mark Barrett


buy the PAC30 book at www.pacshop.co.uk


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I must admit as a member of ACA my loyalties have swung one way and another over the past few weeks. I honestly don't know what to think anymore. Surely an enquiry by an independent body is now called for to sort out this mess?

Slodger (Chris Hammond.)


'We should be fishin'

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There is, to my jaded way of thinking, an openess and honesty about the new ACA Chairman's letter that is to be applauded.


I belong to quite a wealthy sailing club, a club whose turnover is pretty big. Annually I receive the balance sheet which, if any questions are asked, is always justified. I might think 'good grief, how much?' But, like the other memberes I accept it all in good faith. But receiving the balance sheet is one thing, getting a sight of the books themselves is another. Such things tend to be accepted in good faith, have to be really.


An accountants job is to agree the books, not to justfy the expenditure. I say this because I see Neil Leavers letter as less than helpful at this time. Unfortunately, over the years, I can't help feeling that too much reliance has been put on the ACA Chief Executive, but that tends to be the nature of things. Now is the time for the Committee to take back control of the ACA, and for us lot to support them.

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In the Chairs letter published Anglers Mail 30th November he says;

We will keep you updated on matters through our web site - www.a-c-a.org

Just how long does it take for them to update a web page?


I'm no genious or web expert, but can update my club 40 page site in less time than you can boil an egg.


Perhaps their web expert has also resigned?(it appears to be the thing to do within the ACA at the moment)


And we (my club) are still waiting for site of the ACA Constitution and Standing Orders.

Tight Lines,




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Stephen Marsh Smith wrote 'I intend to instil a culture of transparency ' but this hasn't been made very public yet - I wonder why?


Dear Stephen


It is with real sadness that I'm afraid I have to resign from my position as

President of the ACA. I have watched with dismay the treatment of Bob &

Jane James in recent weeks and I believe that several sledgehammers have

been used to crack a nut.


The locking them out of their office, an office that Jane has dignified for

18 years, and the levelling against them of "crimes" involving a hoover and

the now famous 90p cash voucher, should surely have been settled over a pot

of tea.


When men of the stature of Chris Sandford, Neil Leaver, Chris Liebbrandt and

Trevor Johnson all walk away from the ACA there is clearly something

seriously amiss.


The whole affair seems to have been handled in a manner unworthy of the

Association that I was once so proud to serve as President and I want no

further part of it.


Yours sincerely


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