The recession has claimed another high-profile victim in angling with the news that the boss of the country’s biggest fishery organisation was being made redundant.
CEMEX Angling manager Mick Barnes and his second in charge, Roo Newby, have been told their jobs were being merged as part of a cost-cutting initiative by parent company CEMEX UK Operations Ltd.
And Mick, one of the most respected names in fisheries, has announced he has turned down an invitation to reapply for the new position.
“I’m proud of what I achieved in the past three-and-a-half years at CEMEX Angling, but I won’t be putting my health and happiness at risk by taking on twice as much work for the same money just to get my boss out of a hole,” said Mick.
“I suspect the company is looking to downsize its angling commitment and focus their attentions on premier waters, such as those on the Yateley Complex,” he added.
Mick will look for another job in fisheries or the tackle trade, while Sparsholt College graduate Roo is thought to be first in line for the new job.
As to what the future has in store for the 23,000 customers who fish CEMEX’s waters, little is known because the company’s director of property Simon Barrett is unprepared to make a statement.
But Angling Times understands that the brakes have been put on a number of proposed investments for the forthcoming season, including the decision not to bid for a renewed lease on popular specimen fishing complex Fishers Green in Lea Valley Park, Hertfordshire.
Elsewhere around the country, many other commercial fisheries have been left reeling from the combination of a recession and the worst winter weather for 30 years.
“It’s been a really hard time this winter. I’m lucky we’re a family-run business with low overheads ¬ lots of smaller fisheries have been really up against it,” said Garbolino Lindholme Lakes owner Neil Grantham.
“My £10,000 winter league cost me £3,000 due to iced-up cancelled days. It probably wasn’t the best winter to invest £200,000 in a new café, tackle shop and extra fish but what can you, you’ve got to do something to attract the customers?” he said.