Political activity post May 5 2011

A new government – a new page.

This page is another general archive of political activity involving MSPs or local councillors and related to allotments in Scotland of which SAGS members have become aware.  The majority of the content will be parliamentary questions, and answers to parliamentary questions. The page is in chronological order, and its contents depends crucially on the webmaster being informed by email (or other means – telepathy??).  Anyone who wishes something added to this page is very welcome to email the webmaster :

July 30, 2011:

Sarah Boyack’s written questions, lodged on June 29 have now been answered.  Sadly the answers amount to the usual handwashing referral to documents produced and held by bodies other than the Scottish Executive.
(S4W-1084)
Q – Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how many local authority allotment plots there are, broken down by local authority area.
A – Aileen Campbell MSP: This information is not held centrally. The Greenspace Scotland report Community Growing in Scotland – Towards a framework for action (April 2011) includes this information at Table 3.1. The report may be accessed online at: http://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/default.asp?page=578

(S4W-1085)
Q – Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how many people are on waiting lists for local authority allotment plots, broken down by local authority area.
A- Aileen Campbell MSP: This information is not held centrally. The Greenspace Scotland report Community Growing in Scotland – Towards a framework for action (April 2011) includes this information at Table 3.1. The report may be accessed online at: http://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/default.asp?page=578.

(S4W-1086)
Q – Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how many more (a) allotment and (b) community gardening plots it expects there to be by (i) 2013 and (ii) 2018.
A – Aileen Campbell MSP: These matters could be considered in local authorities’ development plans informed by the Open Space Audit and Strategy recommended in Planning Advice Note 65. The Planning Advice Note is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/05/30100623/0

(S4W-1089)
Q – Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how much publicly owned land is (a) unused and (b) underused, broken down by local authority.
A – Aileen Campbell MSP: Information is not held centrally on these particular categories. Selected data on vacant and derelict land is contained in Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2010, which is available online at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Planning/Publications

(S4W-1090)
Q – Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance is issued to public bodies regarding the release of (a) unused and (b) underused land for (i) community gardening and (ii) allotment projects.
A – Aileen Campbell MSP: Planning guidance is contained in Scottish Planning Policy http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/02/03132605/0 and Planning Advice Note 65 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/05/30100623/0

July Activity: Some of our elected representatives are working very hard on behalf of the allotment movement.  Here is another batch of questions posed to the Scottish Executive.  Some have been given oral answers, some are still awaiting a written answer. Note how the executive, in the person of Stewart Stevenson, distinguishes between allotments, for which it still refuses to acknowledge any responsibility, and community gardens in which it is prepared to express some sort of interest.
Q – (S4W-1022) Siobhan McMahon (Central Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how it will increase the number of (a) allotments and (b) other growing spaces.

Q – (S4W-1091) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive how it is considering increasing the amount of land available for (a) allotments and (b) community gardens.
A – Stewart Stevenson: (a) The responsibility of allotment provision is the responsibility of the local authorities under the Allotment (Scotland) Act 1892 (b) The Scottish Government will continue to support the work of the Grow Your Own Working Group whose action plan is looking at ways to extend the provision of land for community growing. This currently includes a land-matching service run through Landshare and the establishment of a Community Land Bank for communities interested in grow-your-own activities.

Q – (S4W-1088) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive whether the 2011 SNP manifesto commitment to “look at ways of extending the land available for allotments using unused or underused publicly-owned land” requires legislative change.
A – Stewart Stevenson: The Scottish Government is currently looking into a range of ways of addressing this manifesto commitment.

Q – (S4W-1092) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what assistance it gives local authorities on producing an allotments strategy.
A – Stewart Stevenson: Local authorities have access to information produced either by organisations commissioned by the Scottish Government or by organisations who have worked closely with local authorities and COSLA to help them formulate their strategies.

Q – (S4W-1093) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive when it will issue its response to the recommendations of the report of the Grow Your Own Working Group.

Q – (S4W-1094) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what role the Grow Your Own Working Group will have in implementing the recommendations of its report.

Q – (S4W-1095) Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive when it will issue its response to greenspace scotland’s report, Community growing in Scotland – Towards a Framework for action.
A – Stewart Stevenson: The Greenspace Scotland’s report Community Growing in Scotland – Towards a Framework for Action was commissioned by the Scottish Government to underpin the work of the Grow-Your-Own Working Group. The Working Group are using the Greenspace report to help them take the lead role in delivering their recommendations. The recommendations put forward by the Grow-Your-Own Working Group are to focus the group’s activities and the group remain open and inclusive to ensure that the recommendations can be implemented.
On 29 June Sarah Boyack MSP lodged the following written questions.  We await the answer with bated breath:

S4W-01084 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how many local authority allotment plots there are, broken down by local authority area.  See also S4W-01085 – S4W-01087

S4W-01088 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the 2011 SNP manifesto commitment to “look at ways of extending the land available for allotments using unused or underused publicly-owned land” requires legislative change.

S4W-01089 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how much publicly owned land is
(a) unused and
(b) underused, broken down by local authority.

S4W-01090 Sarah Boyack:To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance is issued to public bodies regarding the release of (a) unused and (b) underused land for (i) community gardening and (ii) allotment projects.

See also S4W-01901- S4W-01905.