In 2020, Community Land Scotland published their Manifesto for a Sustainable Scotland, titled ‘Land for the Common Good’. The manifesto calls for a “renewed focus on land reform”, and presents bold new proposals that place communities’ relationship with land at the heart of Scotland’s journey towards resilience and sustainability.
The manifesto focuses on the following themes:
- Controlling land monopolies to protect the public interest.
- Empowering communities to build local resilience.
- Tackling the climate emergency while ensuring a just transition to net zero carbon emissions.
- Repopulating our rural places to help them thrive.
- Developing a fiscal framework for a fair and sustainable Scotland.
The manifesto recognises the significant role that community land and asset ownership has played in empowering communities across rural and urban Scotland. Over the past year, the critical role of community land trusts, social enterprises, and development associations in supporting local people has highlighted their value in building resilience locally.
Proposals focus on continuing support for communities to build resilience, and scale up community land and asset ownership. Community Land Scotland has called for changes including:
- Retention of the Scottish Land Fund for the duration of the next Parliament with an increased annual budget of £20 million.
- Review and amendment of the existing suite of Community Rights to Buy and the Community Asset Transfer Scheme to ensure they are fit for purpose.
- Increased support from Scotland’s Enterprise Agencies for a more skilled and sustainable community landowning sector via Community Trust development staff and Board training, business planning support and continuing capital funding to enable communities to purchase and develop land and other assets.