The Scottish land question, eh? I mean, it keeps getting asked. This blog is a short but convoluted story about the land questions the Scottish Government keeps asking.
First, there came the exploratory consultation on the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. Embedded within the fifty page questionnaire and the consultation document, the word “allotment” featured 16 times.
As non-controversial statements go, it seems plausible that vibrant and properly used allotments can be part of community empowerment and renewal, so it seems proper allotments are part of this.
Then there came the Land Reform Review Group, In its Call for Evidence, a degree of overlap to with the above consultation was noted, as follows:
Where you have already made a relevant submission in connection with the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill consultation, you may wish to refer to these responses in your LRRG submissions and indeed copy your responses – with additional comments as appropriate – to LRRG.
Basically, the LRRG is not restricted to rural land. Urban land also matters. That would include the use of allotments, so again there is a certain logic in the overlap.
Now, we have a new consultation, on The Legislative Framework Governing Allotments. Here it is noted:
As part of our vision for strengthening Scotland’s communities, the Scottish Government brought forward a consultation (summer 2012) that explored the possible content of a Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (CERB). This consultation specifically sought views on whether, and how, current allotments legislation may need to be changed. A separate consultation is now being taken forward that is seeking to explore further the ways in which the legislation relating to allotments may be amended. Your views will help us define more clearly what shape any future legislation in this area may take.
More consultation? Is there such a things as consultation fatigue? If so, I wonder if the Scottish Government might ponder that when they get a low response rate (or some very familiar looking, re-hashed responses) to this specific allotment consultation.
Oh, and you will recall the original consultation was just an exploratory consultation. More consultation will follow on community empowerment and renewal.
Would it be unfair to infer that there seems to be a lot of focus on talking about doing things, rather than actually doing them? I do wonder when the actual proposals, never mind any reforming legislation, will finally be tabled.