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November 16, 2016

A clear signal

The Scottish Parliament’s early forays into land reform were met with a torrent of outrage from the right wing press and the land owning lobby. Although successful in bringing the system of feudal tenure to an end and introducing the community right to buy, it wasn’t long before the early momentum had stalled.  Perhaps learning from past mistakes, the most recent Land Reform legislation contains measures which seem designed to keep the pot boiling. The first appointments to the new Land Commission were always going to signal the seriousness of Scottish Government’s intent –  it looks like we have our answer.

The Journal - Law Society

Ministers have named the first members of the Scottish Land Commission, which will come into operation next April, based in Inverness.

Andrew Thin, currently the Government’s Independent Adviser on Tenant Farming, has been selected to chair the Commission. He has served as a non-executive chair of the Cairngorm National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage, and is currently chair at Scottish Canals and a non-executive director in the Scottish Government.

Other members are David Adams, Professor of Property and Urban Studies at Glasgow University, who was an adviser to the Land Reform Review Group; Lorne MacLeod, a chartered accountant, current chairman of Community Land Scotland and a board member of Storas Uibhist; Dr Sally Reynolds, a crofter, livestock keeper and agricultural consultant; and Megan MacInnes, a land adviser to Global Witness, a London-based NGO, who has expertise in land reform, community empowerment and human rights.

The Tenant Farming Comissioner will be Dr Bob McIntosh CBE, is a retired civil servant with extensive experience in public policy, in particular in land management and forestry, and currently a board member of Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

The appointments are subject to parliamentary approval.

It was previously announced that Hilary Pearce, a Scottish Government civil servant, has been appointed interim chief executive officer and will be on secondment to the Commission until summer 2017.