Since it was announced in October that residents of the Isle of Ulva, along with those on neighbouring Mull, would be given the opportunity to attempt a community buyout of the island, there has been a great deal of interest from all over the globe. Articles have featured in newspapers and online in the likes of Australia, France, Singapore and the UAE. There has been great support for the project, but also a certain amount of criticism - land reform can be a divisive topic.
To read this article in full, please see The Huffington Post website.
At this time of year, loneliness, that scourge of the modern era, tends to attract more attention than usual. Latest research suggests nine million people in the UK feel lonely most of the time and while older people are most vulnerable, this is something that can beset anyone at any age. And it carries a serious health warning. Loneliness kills. The fact that it has reached such epidemic proportions suggests that its root causes are now systemic, reflecting some deep-seated malaise within society. Scottish Government is committed to take action - a national strategy on loneliness is expected soon.
The proposed community buyout of Ulva has taken a major step forward after nearly two thirds of residents who voted on the future of the island backed the proposals.
Just six people, including the landowner, live on Ulva but the ballot included residents of Mull who fall under the membership area of the North West Mull Community Woodland Company (NWMCWC) who are leading the buyout plan.
By Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform
Last year was a landmark year for Scotland’s land reform agenda. Our progressive community land ownership policies have delivered huge benefits to communities across the country, and have set us on an ambitious process to transform the relationship between the land and the people of Scotland. Community right to buy, which we expanded through the Community Empowerment Act in 2015 and Land Reform legislation in 2016, has unlocked potential in our urban, rural and island communities giving people a say in their future. Communities now have the right to be involved in community planning and participation requests, and our urban communities have the same rights to buy land as rural communities have enjoyed for the previous 14 years.