The Land Reform Review Group, whose recommendations will help shape the next phase of land reform in Scotland, will visit Islay on Wednesday 20th February to meet with farmers, crofters, landowning representatives and the wider community. The group, established by the Scottish Government last summer, is headed by Dr Alison Elliot. Her colleagues are Dr Sarah Skerratt and Professor Jim Hunter. The group is supported by twelve advisers from a range of backgrounds.
When setting up the Review Group, the Government made clear that they are committed, as the groupâ€™s remit from Government puts it, â€˜to generating innovative and radical proposals on land reformâ€™, thus building on the â€˜firm foundationâ€™ provided, as Ministers see it, by earlier legislation such as the Scottish Parliamentâ€™s Land Reform Act of 2003. While the Land Reform Review Group are expected to assist with this process, the group are independent of Government and are free to reach their own conclusions as to what further land reforms might or might not be needed. These conclusions will be set out in a series of reports to Government over the next fifteen months. Continue reading.....
Alison Elliot said: â€œOur Islay visit is one of a number weâ€™ve made since the autumn to different parts of Scotland, from the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway to Lewis, Harris and the Uists. We issued a call for evidence some months ago and weâ€™ve received several hundred often highly detailed submissions. While itâ€™s good to have received lots of material, itâ€™s equally important that we meet with people in their own localities and give them a chance to put their views to us first-hand. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™ll be aiming to do in Islay.â€
During their day on Islay, Dr Elliot and her colleagues will meet separately and privately with farming and landowning interests prior to attending an open public meeting organised with the help of the Islay, Jura and Colonsay branch of the National Farmers Union of Scotland. This will be held at Ionad Chaluim Chille ÃŒle, Islayâ€™s Gaelic College, at 7.30 on the evening of Wednesday 20th February.
Dr Elliot said: â€œWeâ€™re very keen that as many people as possible will attend our public meeting. Landowners and farmers have their own particular points to put to us and we need to hear these. But on issues like whether or not communities should have a bigger stake in land management and greater rights to buy land, everyone is entitled to have an opinion. What Islay people and those from surrounding areas think about these and other potential reforms, I donâ€™t know, but Iâ€™m hoping that by the time we leave, weâ€™ll have found out.â€ Further information about the Land Reform Review Group can be found on the groupâ€™s website at www.landreformreview.org. To arrange to speak with or interview Dr Elliot, contact DaveThomson, Tel: 0131 244 9435, email: email@example.com
Published with kind permission of the Ileach