This evening (17 June 2015) the Scottish Parliament passed the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, with 101 votes in favour, 0 against and 15 abstentions. (The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party abstained.)
This is a piece of legislation I have been following for some time. It will make changes to a number of areas of law, including the right to buy provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the regulation of allotments. Perhaps more eye-catchingly (at least for a certain demographic of Scottish society) it contains provisions for fans to acquire a stake in a football club in certain circumstances, which were championed by the Scottish Green Party (and previously covered in this blog).
In terms of late (Stage 3) amendments, Mike Russell MSP welcomed a new right of acquisition which will allow communities to acquire land when “the use or management of the land is such that it results in or causes harm, directly or indirectly, to the environmental wellbeing of a relevant community“. He cited the specific example of Castle Toward, in South Cowal, as a possible beneficiary of this provision. There were also amendments to the fitba provisions from Stage 2, with the removal of the prospect of loan or grant funding for fan acquisitions (tweeted about by James Mackenzie, who was heavily involved in the background for the Greens).
What next? Implementation is yet to come, as is often the style with modern legislation. No doubt further analysis will also follow. There will also be further legislation on land reform, with a separate Holyrood bill in the pipeline. With so much to come, I am reticent to write much more in this blog, so I will leave it at that for now (but comments, as always, are welcome).