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November 21, 2012

Land Action Scotland – campaign is over

In September, we reported on the launch of a campaign which sought to open up the membership of two private companies who between them own around 90,000 acres on the Applecross Peninsula and the Isle of Bute.  Membership of these companies which are also registered charities was, in theory, open to anyone.   While theory is one thing, practice is something else. Both sets of landowners have moved quickly to close down any prospect of local people having a say in how their estates are run.


16th November was the deadline for receipt of completed application forms for membership of The Mount Stuart Trust. It has adopted new Articles of Association which cap membership at 12 and they are seeking to expand their Board from 7 to 12 Directors (all of whom have to be members). Membership is now by invitation only and the Marquess of Bute (who is not a member and who, we understand does not live in the UK) now has the power to appoint up to 4 Directors.
The Applecross Trust has now refused all applications for membership. We regret the disruption this has caused in Applecross. This was a campaign directed at the charitable company that owns the estate. Had it been successful, local people would today be in a position (if they so chose) to apply for membership of the Trust in the same way as they could do for many other charities. Instead, the company has taken over six weeks to respond and has itself been responsible for stirring matters up in the community. We will continue to work with any and all who seek a democratic future. Meanwhile, we look forward to finding out who the new Director of the company will be when Mr Bertie steps down at the AGM.
Our opening campaign to open up membership of The Mount Stuart Trust and The Applecross Trust is therefore now over and Land Actions Scotland will be making no further attempts to seek membership of these two organisations. What individuals who have had their applications rejected might do, however, is of course entirely up to them.
For more detail of the campaigns by Land Action Scotland click here