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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Moray Greens to Host Follow-up Meeting on Common Good Land

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Moray Greens will host a second open meeting to discuss the use of Common Good Land from 7·30pm on Wednesday 2 February at Applegrove School, Orchard Road, Forres.

Eleanor Scott, Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, who will chair the meeting said: “Well over a hundred people turned up to hear writer and researcher Andy Wightman give an extremely informative and entertaining talk on the history and current status of Common Good Land in Scotland on 11 October.  On that occasion, we had planned to follow the talk with group discussions on how to ensure greater community influence on decisions regarding Common Good Land, but participants raised so many questions that we ran out of time.  This is the follow-up meeting we promised, and will give participants the opportunity to discuss their ideas for the future of Common Good Land in Forres, including current proposals regarding the use and possible sale of land at Bogton Road.”

Fabio Villani, Andy Wightman and audience at the Common Good Land meeting

The meeting in October 2010.

Local campaigner and Moray Greens convenor Fabio Villani, who led the successful bid to buy back former Common Good Land at Muirywood in 2000, said: “Last October we heard from Andy Wightman about the origins of Common Good Land, and how Scotland’s vast commons were converted into private ownership.  We also saw examples of how some of the Forres Common Good Land is managed by local groups for the benefit of the community.  We will now have the opportunity to discuss how we, as a community, could take greater control over this great community asset.”

“Given the current controversial proposals for a retail development on Common Good Land at Bogton Road, and a much criticised public consultation on the proposals, the meeting should attract a good deal of interest.  The official consultation will end on the 2nd of February, so people should return their completed questionnaires to Craigforth before the meeting.  However, we hope the Forres Councillors will attend the meeting and hear for themselves what people think of the proposals.  In any case, we will collate people’s views and pass them on to Moray Council, whether they are prepared to accept them as an official response to the consultation or not.”

“But the meeting is not just about Bogton Road; we will look for views about the longer term future of Common Good Land, whether the community should have more influence on how it is used and, if so, how we can make this happen.”

The meeting is open to all, and refreshments will be available.  Anyone wanting more information or interested in helping to organise the meeting can email commongood@moray.scottishgreens.org.uk or call Fabio Villani on 07900 614927.