YOU READ it here first.   The committee of the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association (LLAIA) tonight narrowly survived a vote to retain control as administrators of salmon and sea trout fishing on one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions.

A tense emergency meeting of the 100-year-old association in Glasgow ended with the existing committee led by chairman, Michael Brady, receiving the backing of members by just six votes, 116 for 110 against.

The meeting followed months of campaigning by a breakaway group calling for change to the constitution and more transparency in the administration of the organisation.  The LLAIA’s annual meeting in March broke up in disarray and the committee had to take legal advice when the rebel group attempted to set up an alternative administration.

Insults and claims of financial mis-management were levied at the LLAIA committee whose chairman responded with allegations of “smears and lies” being peddled on internet forums.   One website, Fishing the Leven, was shut down by its hosts last week after threats of legal action from the LLAIA.

Stewart Inglis, a Clydebank teacher who had put himself forward as the secretary of an “alternative commitee” said after tonight’s meeting:

“We are desperately disappointed to have lost this by just six votes.  But the committee will have to take notice of the level of opposition and we are confident there will be radical changes.”

He declined to speculate on what the breakaway group’s next steps might be.  “We will want to reflect on the decision and consider our position,” he added.

The LLAIA has more than 630 members paying up to £175 a year for salmon and sea trout fishing throughout the Loch Lomond catchment, the centrepiece of Scotland’s first national park.

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