Just when you think it’s safe to relax and concentrate on weeding the plot another political challenge comes along.
The Community Empowerment Act has just passed through the Scottish Parliament. SAGS is as confident as possible that Section 7 of the act will help to protect allotments into the future. Now we must turn our attention to the Land Reform Act that was published in June of this year and is now going through a consultation process. The publicity surrounding this bill has concentrated on its possible effect on Scotland’s sporting estates and the emphasis has been very much on rural land. However the bill is about ‘widening the ownership of Land’ in general, about transparency of ownership and about the protection of Common Good land. These issues apply to urban land just as much as to rural land. Since the bulk of Scotland’s population lives in urban settlements it is vital that access to underused or derelict urban land is taken as seriously as that to rural land if increasing urban food production and ‘grow your own’ is to be supported.
Sags committee members have been looking at the bill and have created a response to be submitted to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee which is currently considering the act. The response can be downloaded and viewed by clicking here.