Aileen McLeod MSP

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Aileen McLeod MSP

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  • Member for: South Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Aileen is a member of the following Committees:

Aileen is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Aileen McLeod

Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

We are happy to do so.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

I reassure the committee that we are considering all of that right now to see how we can broaden the definition. The Government’s response to the committee’s stage 1 report was sent this morning, so the committee should have received it.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

That is set out in the draft regulations, which list the matters to which we must have regard in deciding whether land is eligible. They fall into three broad categories. The first is

“the physical condition of the land and its effect on the surrounding area, public safety and the environment”.

The second is

“the use of the land, or lack of use as the case may be, including whether the land is a nature reserve, held for conservation purposes or used for public recreation”.

The third refers to

“any designation or classification of the land, such as land which has been classed as contaminated land, or buildings which are listed buildings or scheduled monuments.”



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

Yes.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

Yes.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

We appreciate the committee’s support and its work in the area, and we are actively considering what is possible from the Government’s side. The consultation on the draft land reform bill asks the question:

“Do you agree that there should be powers given to Scottish Ministers or another public body to direct private landowners to take action to overcome barriers to sustainable development in an area?”

The responses to the consultation are currently being analysed, but we are considering right now what other amendments could be lodged.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

I will ask Stephen Pathirana to come in on that.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

Perhaps I can first make some general points on the draft regulations. At the moment, the draft regulations illustrate the sort of thing that could be put into the regulations. We are trying to bring clarity to neglected and abandoned land, and we have tried to take on board the committee’s concerns. If the committee has any suggestions or ideas about what else could be put into the regulations, I will be very happy for you to feed them into the Government at this stage.

The introduction of proposed part 3A of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which relates to the right of communities to buy land that is abandoned or neglected, even against the wishes of its current owner, is a very important step. It will allow land that is neglected or abandoned to be brought back into productive use while ensuring that it is developed in a sustainable way for the benefit of the community. I accept that that is not as big a step as some would hope for, but it is an important one, as it will allow communities with clear plans for neglected or abandoned land to make a case for community ownership.

There is the example of the Cuningar loop. That is not exactly the same thing, but it provides an example of the sort of opportunity there can be from the change that can be made to the land. The Forestry Commission has brought into use a derelict site at the heart of the Clyde gateway area, where it has created an inspiring and accessible riverside woodland park on the boundary between South Lanarkshire Council and Glasgow City Council.

As I said, that situation is not exactly the same, but it is an example of the kind of opportunity that communities could have to change land for the better by using the proposed power in relation to abandoned or neglected land. The proposal is not only a demonstration of the Government’s ambition to further community empowerment; it is another step in Scotland’s land reform agenda.

10:15  

We have listened carefully to the committee’s concerns and those that have been raised by stakeholders. We have taken legal advice on whether amendments could be made to the bill to address the concerns that the committee raised in its stage 1 report. There are several aspects that we must take into account in deciding what appears in the bill. We must ensure that the amendments to the bill are within the competence of the Scottish Parliament. That includes ensuring that they comply with the European convention on human rights, which provides a right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions. We must also ensure that the right to buy will be compatible and concordant with the law in pursuing a legitimate aim in a proportionate way.

I want to be as helpful as I can in helping the committee to understand the legal context. We will actively consider whether amendments can be made to the definition of eligible land to include land that is not neglected or abandoned but which is still causing problems.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

It is recognised that the majority of crofting community purchases have taken place outwith the 2003 act, using a negotiated settlement between the parties. As we know, those negotiations can often be difficult and it is recognised that there may be a need for support.

The Scottish Government is forming a short-life working group as part of the work on achieving the target of 1 million acres for community ownership. That work will inform the potential functions and role of a community land agency, which was one of the recommendations of the LRRG, and one of the agency’s functions could be to assist with mediation. Mediation is voluntary and it is thought that investigating the options through that route would allow for much better consideration of the issues and the best solution.

On Mr Thompson’s point about legal powers, I will be honest and say that I am not sure what the answer is. We will check and get back to the committee on that point.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Aileen McLeod

I do not have that information with me, but I am happy to take that question away, ask officials to look into it and write to the committee with a response.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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YesCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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YesCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
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YesCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
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NoDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Aileen McLeod
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12318: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11703: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11529: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11479: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11207: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11091: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10677: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10663: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10639: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10521: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03710: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23008: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03660: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03573: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03550: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03504: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02243: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22137: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22136: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22139: Aileen McLeod, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/07/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

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