Land reform proposals that could have a wide-ranging effect in rural areas of Moray are to be discussed at a meeting in Elgin next week.
Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative Councillor for Fochabers-Lhanbryde and a candidate in the forthcoming General Election, has organised the meeting to discuss the Scottish Government’s Land Reform proposals.
The Scottish Government published their ‘The Land of Scotland and Common Good’ report in May last year, followed by an announcement from the First Minister that they would be consulting on a vision that “Scotland’s land must be an asset that benefits the many, not the few”.
Now Councillor Ross has said that a common question he is being asked by people in Moray’s rural communities is what exactly the SNP Government are proposing to change through the Land Reform agenda.
Councillor Ross said: “The Scottish Government are currently considering the responses they received to the consultation on this Bill.
“If passed it could see the introduction of rights of minister’s to interfere in land management, the creation of a new land commission, changes to succession law, proposed changes in agricultural tenancies, the proposal in the land review group to bring in rates on land and the introduction of sporting rates even on land where sport is not practised but could be.
“These are all going to impact on the lives of everyone in rural parts of Moray whether they farm, manage, tenant, or simply live in the country, these reforms will effect them.
“As with the referendum, when it was difficult to get to the truth of some of the arguments, I thought I would ask some experts in the field to give a talk on what is proposed and what the outcomes could be.
“I’m delighted we will have James Whittle of R&R Urquhart Solicitors and Murdo Fraser MSP, who is leading on this issue for the Scottish Conservatives.
“Both of these speakers will be able to explain more of the details of what is proposed and we will be there to listen to any comments or concerns people in Moray have about the Land Reform agenda.”
The meeting will take place at the Laichmoray Hotel in Elgin on Monday, March 23 beginning at 6.30pm. Anyone interested in attending they would be most welcome and are asked to contact Douglas on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01343 550048.
Also standing for the Moray seat at May’s election is Angus Robertson MP (SNP), Sean Morton (Scottish Labour) and James MacKessack-Leitch (Greens).