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August 27, 2012


Christian Allard

From the fabulous French guy to Lesley
In fact it was when our wee community got together to respond to a Scottish Government consultation that I realised to what extent Scottish attitude to land ownership has to change.
The question was not if we wished to own some land:
Q21. Would you support a community right to buy for urban communities?
We were asked to support the idea for communities to have the right to buy and most around the table rejected the idea!
I would love to know how other communities answered.


Leslie due to the slowest train missed the first 15 mins (should've taken the bus ,maybe not )anyway, found the discussion really interesting,really thought provoking. Just a couple of points, this is the kind of debate that should have a national airing,looking outward but also allowing the public to envisage/ compare another way of life.
The only other point is when you spoke about the risk averse 'what if' culture.For a while now I've often thought McDonald or Campbell or similar would be the most popular name in Scotland -not so,there are so many abuts in Scotland.You could do this-abut.....

mike Vickers

I liked the session I went to.
Over the Festival Period I have listened to Lesley twice and Andy four times – including twice at FoP and one at SPIF. Yes they all involved Land. I particularly liked the FoP The Sound of Silence – Complacent Scotland with Andy and Gerry Hassan - for those who missed it I set down a few notes at derryvickers.com but I will also draw attention to SPIF – Property Taxation – Scottish Government LBTT Proposals where the Scottish Government is proposing the replacement of Stamp Duty with a Building and Land Tax – to me there looks little difference – may be a little fairer to the small land holder; they are both transactional tax – only coming into play when land changes hands. There was a general feeling in the open discussion at the end as to the benefit of an annual tax on land very much as Lesley said that land should pay a business rate. I felt motivated to respond along these lines to the Scottish Government consultation; the SPIF meeting took place on the 28th and the consultation was closing on the 30th – my response went in on the 29th and from the reference number I received there do not look to have been many responses! In this respect can readers please respond to the Consultation on the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal bill whose closing date has now been extended form the end of August to 26th September. As Andy said in the FoP on Huts – consultations are not ideal but they’re the only way we have in the present legal context to make our views officially known.
Incidentally Development Trusts are great but beefing up Community Councils would be better and more in line with the rest of Europe. If you agree respond to the Consultation.
Finally we went to a discussion on Nationhood at the Hub and inevitably the discussion moved to Independence. Christine Bell, a constitutional lawyer now at Edinburgh University who did time in Northern Ireland ,made two comments that have resonance: Form follows substance. The Northern Ireland Constitution has built in Constructive Ambiguity.

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