On 25 May 2005 the Scottish Executive announced that the former mining community of Crossgates in Fife had become the first to secure land under the new community right to buy created by Part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (see previously Nos 48, 98, 205, 432).  Crossgates Community Woodland raised £150,000 to buy the Taft, a 15 hectare site near the village, and turn it into a community facility. On 3 June the Executive further announced that, with funding now in place, the Assynt Foundation had concluded the transfer of 44,400 acres comprising Glencanisp Lodge, Glancanisp Forest and Drumrunie Forest into community ownership under the legislation.  The Executive also confirmed on 27 May that the first applications to buy croft land under Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 had been received.  The applications are from The Pairc Trust and Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, and relate to the Pairc and Galson estates, both on Lewis.


Some interesting matter from the Scottish Parliamentary record on the above matters, not least comments from the Justice Minister about the possibility of the new Supreme Court getting out and about –

Written Answers Thursday 26 May 2005 <http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/pqa/wa-05/wa0526.htm>http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/pqa/wa-05/wa0526.htm Justice

Mr Frank McAveety (Glasgow Shettleston) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive whether the judicial appointments process is working satisfactorily. (S2O-6885)Cathy Jamieson: The independent Judicial Appointments Board makes recommendations to ministers for appointment of judges, sheriffs principal and sheriffs. I consider that so far the board is working very effectively in improving the transparency of this process. Mr Kenny MacAskill (Lothians) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on where the UK Supreme Court should be located.(S2W-16493)Cathy Jamieson: The UK Government’s preferred option is to locate the Supreme Court for the United Kingdom in Middlesex Guildhall, Parliament Square, London for the reasons set out by Lord Falconer in his statement to both Houses on 14 December 2004. The permanent siting of the Court in London would not preclude it from sitting elsewhere in the United Kingdom from time to time. 


On 12 May 2005 the Justice Minister announced that the maximum value of a surviving spouse’s prior right to the dwelling house owned by an intestate deceased and in which the survivor was ordinarily resident at the date of the death would rise from £130,000 to £300,000, reflecting the general rise in the value of  property.  The move followed lobbying from the Law Society of Scotland, and the change takes effect from 1 June.  Scots Law News seems to remember from student days in the 1970s when the figure was £30,000.  O tempora! O mores!