The Queen today visited Northern Ireland. Aside from the politics of the occasion, it is worth noting that Northern Ireland is the one part of the UK where the border is not yet agreed. Lough Foyle (red circle in the map below) remains disputed between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Slugger O’Toole covers the latest twists in the story here. A detailed map can be seen in this post.

 

29. March 2012 · Comments Off on King’s Park, Stirling · Categories: Common Good, Crown Estate, Democracy, Environment, Governance, Land Rights

Here is some additional background material on my previous blog about the sale of the King’s Park in Stirling.

1. An early paper from Stirling Council outlining the proposal. (Will get this properly referenced as soon as I can)

2. BBC report 8 October 2010

3. Stirling Council Special Agenda 17 November 2008 (Item 4)

4. Map of Crown lands at King’s Park

5. Right Future for King’s Park – alternative proposals published October 2008

6. King’s Park Community Council letter of 6 March 2012

7. Latest deal from Stirling Council Agenda 1 March 2012

it is interesting to note that in its 1 March 2012 meeting, Stirling Council decided to spend 78% of the reserves of the Stirling Common Good Fund.

King’s Park acquisition £567,649

Smith Musem £150,000

Repairs to Bruce & Wallace statutes £12,649

FInally, the report of the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into The Crown Estate in Scotland has this to say about the King’s Park.

157. The second historic site managed by the CEC as part of the Crown Estate is the King’s Park at Stirling Castle. The national historical and cultural importance of this ancient possession of the Crown in Scotland has been highlighted by the Scottish Government. Andy Wightman was very critical of the CEC’s record of managing the King’s Park:

“there has been a lot of controversy over it. That was one of the reasons I got very angry with the Crown Estate Commissioners. …. It is an incredibly important historic area which they just regard as a piece of farmland and a lease to a golf course. In 2001, they were going to sell the land to the golf course, and even the local authority did not know about that.”

158. He concluded that the Park should be the responsibility of Historic Scotland rather than the CEC with its commercial remit. Historic Scotland already manages Stirling Castle and a part of the King’s Park on behalf of Scottish Ministers as owners.

159. We recommend that the Secretary of State for Scotland directs the CEC to enter discussions with the Scottish Government, with a view to the CEC transferring the ownership of all of the King’s Park still held by the Crown to the Scottish Government.

19. March 2012 · Comments Off on Crown Estate Inquiry Report Published · Categories: Crown Estate, Democracy, Governance, Land Rights, Politics

(This is a quick blog written at launch of Crown Estate report).

The Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has published its report into the Crown Estate in Scotland.

The report is brief, concise and to the point. It recommends devolving the Crown Estate Commissioners’ (CEC) responsibilities to Scotland following agreement between the Secretary of State for Scotland and Scottish Government on scheme of further devolution to a local level.

Given that the Scottish Government is already committed to such a scheme, (see their paper here) this should be welcomed by Ministers in Edinburgh.

The Liberal Democrats Michael Moore and Danny Alexander have now been given a clear direction of travel and it is down to them now to engage in discussions with Scottish Ministers to implement the Committee’s recommendations.

One recommendation is worth highlighting in light of my previous post. The Committee recommend “that the Secretary of State for Scotland directs the CEC to enter discussions with the Scottish Government, with a view to the CEC transferring the ownership of all of the King’s Park still held by the Crown to the Scottish Government.” (para 159)

Amen to that.