Proposed sea angling ban on Bexhill beach is scrapped

Beach fishing
Image caption Sea angling along Bexhill will continue

Draft proposals to ban daytime fishing along Bexhill beach have been dropped following an outcry from anglers.

A 2,000 signature petition was handed to Rother District Council in May after the authority began consulting on the plans.

Anglers were worried that any ban could lead to other stretches of Sussex beach being made off limits.

But councillors have thrown out the draft plans and decided to implement a voluntary code of conduct instead.

'Loud and clear'

Martin Kenward, lead member for culture, sport and tourism at the council, said the decision was made at a cabinet meeting.

"Anglers made their voices heard loud and clear and we have done the right thing and listened to them," he said.

"In that respect the consultation has helped us to make our decision.

"We look forward to more anglers visiting Rother. They are especially welcome as all-year-round visitors and contributors to our seaside economy."

Neil Smith, a Bexhill resident and shore angler who led the talks with the council, said: "This exemplary outcome was achieved because we all acted together.

Code of conduct

"Anglers, angling clubs and businesses in Rother, regional and national bodies and the thousands who made their feelings known to us and the council through the petition."

The code will advise anglers not to fish from crowded beaches, to keep well away from swimmers, to watch for bystanders before casting and to keep hooks out of reach of children and dogs.

It will also remind them to keep only the fish they will eat and put others back.

The council also voted to allow cyclists to use the promenade for a trial period.

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