The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill will be debated at Stage 2 in the Rural Affairs, Climate Change & Environment Committee on Wednesday. This Bill will change how we view land ownership in this country. Land ownership has long been an issue for the labour and co-operative movements.

The productive ownership of land is an issue right across Scotland in both rural and urban settings. The Land Reform Bill promotes Community Benefit Societies as a possible means of communities owning land. In the debate this week Johann Lamont MSP will be asking the Scottish Government what they will do to promote and support co-operative and mutual ownership of land in Scotland. There is no point in granting a theoretical right to mutual ownership of land if there is no support for communities who wish to go down the mutual ownership road.

Claudia Beamish MSP will be asking the Committee to amend the bill to make promoting co-operative development one of the tests of the Scottish Government’s decision on whether to allow community ownership or not.

Sarah Boyack MSP will be demanding that the SNP Government live up to their commitments to deliver radical land reform. It is important that there is clarity about ownership of land and where the ultimate ownership is so that communities can exercise the right to buy in practice.

The Scottish Co-operative Party is calling for radical land reform, support for mutual ownership and transparency about the ownership of Scotland’s land.

We are determined to promote co-operative and mutual ownership of land right across Scotland from the Highlands and Islands to our cities, and will continue the campaign to make the Land Reform Bill a radical piece of legislation which empowers communities and delivers Land for the People.