This week there is a theme of bridges in the podcast. Whether it is the land owners offering land to communities, Jeremy Corbyn needing to build some, the Forth Road and that Nordic TV series; bridges seem to be the idea of the week. We also manage to weave in the regeneration of South West Norway, The Last Kingdom and the usual banter.
This week we manage to talk about the proposed bombing in Syria, more Labour problems, tax credits , the Scottish Climate Chaos march, Mary Barbour, Andrew Stoddart and Shooglenifty.
If you are looking for the link to the live streaming of the Nordic Horizons event on Tuesday - it's here.
At long last there's a settlement for East Lothian tenant farmer Andrew Stoddart. It's not a total victory but Andrew leaves with some compensation and two more months to sell stock and farm equipment. There's a full statement below from the Our Land campaign. We've called off this weekend's action in Haddington and want to thank everyone who signed the 38 degrees petition, lobbied MSPs and particularly those who pitched up at very little notice for the Holyrood demo, including members of the Holyrood Rural Affairs (RACCE) Committee who also lobbied for Andrew behind the scenes.The Our Land campaign will be active again before Christmas I suspect if the RACCE Committee report on the Land Reform Bill is published quickly prompting a debate in Holyrood before the Christmas recess on Dec 19th. So watch this space folks and/or follow @lesleyriddoch or #OurLand on twitter.
The Our Land campaign for land reform in Scotland has given a guarded welcome to the announcement that Andrew Stoddart, the tenant farmer who faces eviction from his East Lothian farm, has reached a settlement with landlords the Coulson Trust. The agreement was signed yesterday and will allow the family to remain in the house until the end of January 2016. The other details of the agreement cannot be revealed. This follows a campaign by Our Land and 38 Degrees which involved a series of protests outside the Scottish Parliament and in Andrew Stoddart’s home town and a petition in which 20,000 called for action to be taken.
Andrew Stoddart made the following statement:
"Following eleventh hour mediation, we have come to a settlement with the Colstoun Trust. This has been done to protect my family from further anxiety. A short period of occupancy has been agreed to allow us to remove our animals and dispose of our equipment to better advantage.
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This week we follow up on Lesley's National column on the BBC and the pool of talent; including Nick Robinson. We stray into Alex Bell's comments about the White Paper.
There is a lot of good news from Applecross and the success of the fund raising for their hydro scheme. We obviously touch on some of the lessons learnt and the challenges which now face every community scheme.
This week, it is difficult to see beyond the events in Paris. But we try to make sense of it all and make our own observations about what has to happen next. The Lallands Peat Worrier blog mentioned is here.
To change the mood, we also report on the news from the LibDems and then update the Andrew Stoddart campaign.
The Coulson Trust issued a statement this morning regarding the situation of tenant farmer Andrew Stoddart who faces eviction on the 28th of November.
The Trust, which owns the land Andrew has farmed for 22 years suggest they have offered him compensation and will let him and his family stay beyond the eviction date. Andrew Stoddart would like iti to be known that the compensation offer is ‘derisory’, that the offer to stay applies only to the house not the farm land and the extension is only intended for a short period.
Andrew only found out about the Coulston Trust offer when a member of the press told him about it this morning. There has been no direct communication. Finally, the Trust suggests there was no need for today’s rally outside Holyrood and consider it a distraction while mediation is taking place. The Our Land campaign is delighted that the land owners have finally agreed to talk – 18 days before the scheduled eviction – and observe that no public statements had been forthcoming from the land owners until the day of our rally.
We expect coverage of today’s rally on teatime news on the BBC and STV and Angus McCall of the Scottish Tenants Farmers Association will be on Scotland Tonight .
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This week Lesley talks about the sale of Channel 4, the Swedish Union of Tenants and updates everyone on the status of the current campaign about the eviction of East Lothian tenant farmer Andrew Stoddart and family.
Channel 4 seems to pose lots of questions about what you can sell. In the mid week event , speaking to a packed audience, Mariell Juhlin of the Swedish Union of Tenants explained a different model of 'renting' which was challenging and different. And finally, things are starting to move in respect of the campaign to oppose Andrew Stoddart's eviction. And here are the links to all the relevant materials - please feel free to share widely - thanks.
The Living Rent Campaign - for details - click here.
The Nordic Horizons - Mariell Juhlin's presentation material - click here.
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If anyone wants a signed copy of the post indyref version of Blossom (White Blossom) for a Christmas present, please send £13 to me at Jamesfield Farmhouse, Newburgh, Fife, KY14 6EW with details of the inscription and address. I should be able to send back within a few days. Sadly the Wee White Blossom update book for those with the first pre indyref edition has sold out.
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