A radical review of land reform will deliver a more successful Scotland with stronger
communities and economic growth, First Minister Alex Salmond said today.
Speaking in Skye where a summer cabinet meeting was convened, Mr Salmond revealed
details of a new Land Reform Review Group that will oversee a wide ranging review
of land reform in Scotland.
Dr Alison Elliot, who has extensive experience working in the community and voluntary
sector, will chair the group. She will be joined by Professor James Hunter and Dr
Sarah Skerratt as vice chairpeople, who have experience of the Highlands and Islands
and rural development.
A further 10 advisers – with expertise in areas such as property and land issues,
economics, legal issues, community-led organisations, landownership, forestry and
access – will also be appointed to the group shortly.
It is anticipated that the Land Reform Review Group will report in a series of stages
to Scottish Ministers, providing consideration of what the outcomes of land reform
should be and what reforms are required. By the end of 2013 the Scottish Government
would expect a report on any legislative changes that are required to allow this
to be taken forward.
Mr Salmond said: "Land reform is an important part of Scotland’s story. From the
Crofting Acts of the 1880s and 1890s to the more recent right-to-buy legislation
and support for community land purchase, significant progress has been made.
"We cannot underestimate the crucial part land reform will play in contributing to
the future success of Scotland for the next generation. By improving the relationship
between our land and people, we can create stronger communities and deliver the economic
growth and fairer society that the people of Scotland quite rightly expect.
"I want this review to deliver radical change for both rural and urban areas, developing
new ideas which will improve current legislation as well as generating even more
innovative proposals. The expertise and experience of those on the group will be
key to its success and that’s why I’m delighted Alison, James and Sarah have agreed
to take forward this important project."