Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

I watched Roseanna Cunningham giving evidence to Rural Affairs Committee on 2 March in response to research that the Committee had commissioned into the operation of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. She was clearly up for radical change to the provisions in Part 2 and 3. I greatly welcome her comments. In my book, The Poor Had No Lawyers, I am quite critical of the SNP Government for having done so little on land reform over the past 4 years. If only Ministers had been saying in 2007 what Roseanna Cunningham was saying last Wednesday, we might have made some progress.

Importantly, she announced her intention to review the Act within the next year. Putting aside the small matter of an election on 5 May, it is also worth noting that previous Ministers have said the same thing. In June 2006, Rhona Brankin said there would be a review “later in the year”. In January 2007, Sarah Boyack said that there would be a review “during 2007”. Neither took place. Personally, I think Roseanna Cunningham is more committed to reform than previous Ministers, but I’m still not holding my breath.