Monday, 17 December 2012

Stòras Uibhist

In the 16 years that I have taken a more than passive interest in community land buy-outs, starting with the Isle of Eigg in 1996/7, I have never seen such a ludicrous situation as what has arisen in South Uist in recent times.

I refer to the article on Hebrides News for details.

The purpose of this blogpost is to question the use (and I have difficulty not prefixing “use” with the letters M, I and S) of the staggering amount of two hundred thousand pounds in legal fees to resolve a dispute between Stòras and a crofting tenant.
Rather than come to a private, amicable settlement, things had to go to court. That happens, also in Lewis, where I am based. Even close relatives take each other to court over land issues, and senior law practitioners get involved in those too. However, Stòras is a landowner, who had a dispute with one of its tenants.

Nonetheless, I question the use of this vast sum of money in legal fees, in spite of a local petition (which went round the estate in 2010) to drop the action.
This sordid episode marks a low point in the modern history of community buy-outs, in my opinion.

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