Our Land prepares to take case for urban land reform to Glasgow

SNP MP to put forward vision of urban reform for Glasgow neighbourhood 

ANNE MCLAUGHLIN MP and campaigners for urban land reform will attend an event in Glasgow as part of the Our Land festival. 

The event, open to the public, will take place on 3 September and will focus on ways community empowerment legislation passed by the Scottish Government can be used for applying land reform to urban areas.

In cooperation with Common Weal, the MP for Glasgow North East hopes that it will kickstart plans for the new use of disused buildings, abandoned green spaces and economic opportunities for local people.

"Land reform has been historically focused on rural areas, righting longstanding wrongs which is fantastic for people in those communities, and Scotland." Anne McLaughlin MP

McLaughlin CommonSpace: "People in my constituency are fed up of seeing neglected and derelict buildings. I want to provide a framework for individuals and community groups to be able to seek guidance and help from each other to make Glasgow North East a better place to live and work.  

"Control over the land around them is a fundamental part of that. There's a wealth of talent and capabilities in this area and I am committed to working with communities to reach their full potential.
 
"In February this year I employed four interns to help me lay the groundwork of my Agenda for Change, a programme of priorities I co-produced  for this parliamentary term in conjunction with the people of Glasgow North East. 

"One of the priorities was to change the image of Glasgow North East; to raising the profile of the area and recognising the opportunities that exist here."

"I want Glasgow North East to lead the way on meaningful urban land reform. The possibilities to improve people's lives are enormous." Anne McLaughlin MP

The Community Empowerment Act passed by the Scottish Government in 2015, along with the Land Reform Act passed this year, extended communities’ right to buy land, increased the likelihood of transferring decision making rights and resources from public bodies to communities and enshrined new rights for local communities to participate in decision-making of local councils and other public bodies.

McLaughlin went on: "I think the Community Empowerment Act provides a huge opportunity for the area. There's already so much grassroots activism and entrepreneurship happening, and I think the potential is there to turn derelict parts of the constituency into something very special indeed.

"Another priority for my parliamentary term is the development of additional green spaces in the area, alongside improving the ones that already exist. It goes without saying that having the power to improve land has huge potential in this area, and the possible benefits to communities are huge; outdoor space, community gardens and food growing all have related positive health and social benefits.

"Currently, my office is working on a joint project with the Common Weal to explore the economic benefits of the Community Empowerment Act, and to produce a map of my constituency to show areas which could be developed with this legislation. 

"Land reform has been historically focused on rural areas, righting longstanding wrongs which is fantastic for people in those communities, and Scotland. But I want Glasgow North East to lead the way on meaningful urban land reform. The possibilities to improve people's lives are enormous."

For more information about our coverage of the Our Land festival, click here

Speakers in attendance will include Jim Hope from Barmulloch Community Development Company, which was the first urban organisation to achieve a community buyout under the Scottish Land Fund.

Also at the event will be Dr Cristian Suau from Studio Pop, a group of educators and eco-designers who run a social enterprise in Glasgow.

Soil City, an initiative begun by Open Jar Collective in Glasgow a collective which assess green spaces and soil quality around the city will host a cycle tour of the East End 

Details of the event and the whole day can be found here

Picture courtesy of Soil City

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