Here's a quote from Peter Sowray:
My starting assumption is that English chess is in decline. Lots of evidence for this. Just as an example, I went into my local branch of Waterstones today. They have quite a large section devoted to ‘Indoor Games’. There was one chess book. Yes, one. We are way behind poker, bridge, backgammon, sudoku, etc. With a concerted effort, we may one day draw level with ‘join the dots’. Partly it’s down to social changes, but it’s much worse here than in other countries.
Background information is available here (with a link to what appears to be England's main chess forum) and also here.
Definitely interesting reading for local Aussie chess fans. See especially all that talk of money and reform.