Community Land Scotland Newsletter April 2016
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There is never a dull moment these days as the country opens its eyes even wider to the cause for land reform.  We have welcomed the latest stage of the Land Reform Bill - pleased to play a strong role in shaping the Bill in the interests of communities across Scotland (see update below). For an update on how the community land is lying in the Western Isles, we'd recommend having a listen to our Director, David Cameron, speaking on BBC Scotland's Out of Doors (3 mins in - available until 10.05.16). 

We're happy to welcome Bute Community Land Company in to our membership, as well as several new Supporters. If you would like to support our work and be part of the growing movement for community land ownership in Scotland, please have a look at how to become a Supporter.

We've got a packed programme set for our Annual Conference at the end of next month and are looking forward to seeing some of you there (see below for details).

Our sixth annual conference will be held in Stornoway on 27th - 28th May. Entitled Community Land Ownership - What's next for the sector? the conference will hear from speakers on the new joint protocol with Scottish Land and Estates, pre and post acquisition experiences, the economic impact of community land ownership, community land policy and practice, recording the sector's history and our plans for the year ahead.

If you are interested in coming along, you can find full details and booking information on our website.

Note that we will also be holding a conference in Edinburgh in September which will focus on land reform policy.

Land Reform Bill
- Our Contribution

The Land Reform Bill passed its final stage of Parliamentary amendment and approval in mid-March. The Bill, as approved, reflects many issues and proposals Community Land Scotland had raised and made specific proposals for. These include:

- Community land purchase rights being further enhanced; 

- A Land Commission being established to keep land policy under review;

- New requirements being made for landowners to engage with communities;

- Much greater transparency in information about who owns Scotland to be required in future;

- Enhanced rights for tenant farmers

Read the Bill / associated documents

On 2nd March 2016, the Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights was launched; supported by Community Land Scotland as members of the International Land Coalition.

The Culbokie Community Trust (CCT) was established in June 2014. In early 2015, CCT was successful in purchasing 0.5ha of land in the centre of the village under the Community Right to Buy Scheme with funding from the Scottish Land Fund. Plans for the site have been drawn up following extensive community consultation which include a village square, a café and health treatment rooms, an enterprise building, covered space and some small very accessible housing units for the elderly.

One of our members, the Keose Glebe Steering Group has completed the purchase of its local estate for £85,000 in just one year.

The estate - former church land on the Isle of Lewis - lies on a peninsula between the sea lochs of Erisort and Leurbost and covers about 1,200 acres, it includes seven small islands and has a population of some 40 people.

The not-for-profit Keose Glebe Estate Ltd, which is seeking charitable status, will now manage the estate on behalf of the community.

We're pleased to be able to extend our congratulations to the community of Keose Glebe and look forward to keeping up with their developments.

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You may have missed...

- BBC2 series The Promised Land (available on iplayer)

Land reform needs to look seaward Glen Smith

- Scottish Film Launch: Land reform from Scotland to Brazil Jen Stout, Common Weal

Unfinished business surrounds the land question in Scotland Calum Macleod, West Highland Free Press

The Environmental Implications of Redistributive Land Reform Malcolm Combe

- The lairds of Panama; investigation shows £100m of Scotand owned offshore Lauren Crooks, The Daily Record

Scotland to redistribute land from rich landowners to communities Paul Wallis, Digital Journal

Community Land Scotland Blog

We have recently launched a new blog page on our website. Read the latest blogs from our Development Manager, Linsay Chalmers;

“Land ownership patterns where the majority of land is owned by the few is wholly unsustainable in every sense. Community ownership redresses the balance of power and is crucial to a vibrant and just society. The work of Community Land Scotland is crucial to provide communities with the confidence to break with an unjust tradition and take things into their own hands for the common good.”

Elaine Morrison
Community Land Scotland Supporter
Community Land Scotland is part funded by

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Community Land Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland SC041864, Company Number 385572