FURIOUS anglers attended a council meeting to challenge councillors over plans for a town centre lake.
Members of the Canvey Island Coarse Anglers, and other fishermen and women who regularly use Canvey Lake, claimed their rights were being ignored by Canvey Town Council.
The council is just beginning a renovation project, which will include dredging the lake and putting in new areas for fishing.
But at the community relations committee meeting it was revealed fishing will be restricted to the Denham Road half of the lake once the project is finished.
Councillor Dave Blackwell said: “It’s not just a fishing lake, it’s a local nature reserve.
“We are trying to accommodate the residents who constantly bombard us with complaints about the anglers as well. As a council, we have got to accommodate all of you.”
About 20 anglers watching the meeting said that was not good enough.
Donna Slater, 42, of St Christopher’s Close, Canvey, said: “I feel so strongly about this. I have been taking my children down there for years.
“If there are only fishing areas up half the lake, there won’t be enough room.
“I don’t think they realise how many people fish at the lake. Our rights are being trodden on and they are not interested in what we think.”
The fishermen claimed they had not been kept informed by councillors and their letters and emails had been ignored.
Robert O’Neill, secretary of the angling club, told the councillors: “You have got to talk to us if we are going to work with you and every time I contact you I am ignored.”
After listening to complaints from a number of anglers, meeting chairman Joan Liddiard called for order and proposed organising a special meeting between the council, residents and the fishermen.
This was agreed unanimously by the committee.
John Bannister, treasurer of the angling club, welcomed the idea of a meeting. He said: “I think it’s a good idea. It would be good if one of the community coppers chaired it, rather than the town council.”
A date for the meeting has yet to be agreed.