Scottish land reform updates

(both updates via the excellent Senscot weekly briefing)

When the Community Empowerment Act extended the right to buy to all of Scotland – there was an optimism about what this could mean for communities in our cities. However, news this week that the community buy-out of Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital has been thwarted is a further dent to this optimism – and not the first example of this in the city. Once again property developers have won the day. Questions need to be asked about whether or not the Act – in urban areas – has bitten off more than it can chew.

More info at

Andy Wightman, Scotland’s intrepid land reform campaigner, claims in a report published this week that there are almost 4000 derelict sites in Scotland; the Scottish Greens want to give local councils the power to tax them – a ‘vacant site levy’. According to their research, 70% of this land is suitable for development – and taxing it would generate £200m a year to build affordable homes. In Jan 2016, the Greens tried to amend the land reform bill to tax vacant land – but the SNP rejected it. The worsening shortage of affordable housing suggests that this report will get some serious consideration.

Guide to adding events to the Land Justice Network website events page

  • If you don’t already have one, request a wordpress website login from one of the administrators.
  • Please enter the venue location information first through:
    menu/My Calendar/Manage Locations
    Note – please add website URL and if able, information about wheelchair access and other accessibility info.
  • Next add the event information via
    menu/My Calendar/Add New Event
  • Choose a suitable event title. Please look at previous event titles to try and keep continuity, for example: ‘Land for What? at a Festival’ or ‘Brighton Land for What?’
  • We haven’t set up the event listing to show preview text so there is no need to put anything into the big box
  • You don’t need to add an image
  • Choose whoever you think is most appropriate as a host and use Ivor Mansion otherwise.
  • Choose a category – there is one for each working group (Land for What? is considered to be the education and outreach name) plus a category for members meetings. Please consult with others before adding more as we don’t want this to get out of hand.
  • Add a URL for the event. This is what people will click through to and can be a page or post on our site, a link to another website and even take people straight to the eventbrite page. I would recommend not sending people straight to event brite pages first as this will not work well after the event has happened, and I imagine that some people will still want to learn about past events after they have happened. Again, look at how things are currently set up to get an idea of best practice.
  • Add date and time – if the event is a two (or more) day event the use the recurring section. For example a two day weekend event ‘Repeats 1 times, every 1 Days’.
  • Event access – we have not managed any of these things yet, something to consider for the future. Please note that the location management section has the wheelchair and disability access information not the event.
  • Event Location – choose the venue you already entered
  • Click ‘Save Event’, then go and have a cup of tea/biscuit to celebrate.

Next network meeting and Leicester Land for What? information

Saturday 11th November @ Graceworks, Leicester
(Wycliffe URC, The Common, Evington, Leicester, LE5 6EA)

10.00am – Land for What?
An introduction to land as a common ground social justice issue
11.45am – Biscuits and tea
12.00am – Understanding the housing crisis in song and pie charts
1.00pm – Shared pot-luck lunch
(Bring a dish if you can… there will be plenty of food provided if you can’t)
2.00pm – Land Justice Network meeting (2-3 hrs)
Agenda to be participatory agendered soon

Please reserve your place here –

There is the possibility of a minibus coming up from Brighton via London. Please email if you are interested, letting us know whether you’d prefer to go up Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Also worth dropping us a line if you can offer a car share or need assistance with travel costs (we have some budget to support expenses).

There’s a Three Acres And A Cow show at the same venue on the evening before if you fancy – – Friday 10th November.

99% Invisible podcast – Making Up Ground

On May 3rd, 1978, construction workers in San Francisco were digging a foundation for a new building on Sansome Street, right next to the Transamerica Pyramid in the heart of the financial district. About 20 feet below street-level their shovels hit something totally unexpected. It was the hull of an old boat.

This podcast is about manufacturing land.


Celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest

Network member the New Putney Debates have put together a fine line up to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest.

They kick off with an event this Sunday 17th September which involves a boat trip from London out to Runnymede with more amazing speakers and contributors than you can shake a stick at:

Continue reading Celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest

Towards a Land Reform Bill workshop

Workshop One: Land taxation to benefit the many, not the few

This will run from 13:00 – 16:30 at UCL on Saturday 16th September 2017
(University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT)

Please sign up here –

Continue reading Towards a Land Reform Bill workshop