Local campaign groups highlight need for national action on land injustice
SCOTLAND’S UNJUST land system must be overhauled by the government to tackle the continuous local disputes over assets and developments, according to campaigners at SNP conference.
Local campaign groups from various land conflict hotspots highlighted the difficulties of empowering people to control the land in the public interest.
The cases highlighted were the Wanlockhead community buyout plan in the South of Scotland; the Kelvin Meadow community project in Glasgow; and ‘Project Damhead Greenbelt’.
Speakers were supported by chair, journalist Lesley Riddoch, and Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman.
CommonSpace spoke to Nicky Loudon MacCrimmon (SNP activist), Mac Blewer (Wanlockhead community buyout) and Riddoch about the continuing movement for land reform in Scotland following the event.
Riddoch told CommonSpace: “These situation are very common. [We want to] change a system that makes this happen. That’s what we’re looking for your party [the SNP] to do. We need systemic change rather than each community trying to drag itself up by its bootstraps.”
Wightman added: “Lesley said ‘Land reform is not over.’ I would say it is hardly started.”
MacCrimmon led a SNP membership rebellion at the party’s 2015 conference, rejecting its land reform stance for failing to go far enough on tackling the concentration of land wealth and ownership.
A moderate, yet strengthen, 2016 Land Reform Act was then delivered - but the SNP remains under pressure from its membership to go further in tackling the centuries of archaic, aristocratic land structures.
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