Justice for tenant farmers rally planned for parliament this week


Our Land campaign to rally this Thursday for eviction-threatened tenant farmers

A FAMILY THREATENED with eviction from a farm they have worked for decades will be represented by campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament this Thursday [17 November].

John Paterson, aged 34, has been the tenant of Glenree farm on the Isle of Arran for 15 years – following on from his father Jim, who took on the 5,000-acre livestock farm in 1996. 

Paterson and his family face eviction on 28 November due to the decision of wealthy landowner Charles Fforde, who owns a massive 16,300 acres on the small island. 

The latest attack on vulnerable tenant farmers – who are denied full right to buy powers available elsewhere is Europe – follows last year’s shameful eviction of the Stoddart family from the Colstoun Mains estate in the Lothians. 

2015: News timeline of the Colstoun Mains eviction scandal 

Campaigners will meet outside parliament at 1pm on Thursday to support the Paterson family. 

The Our Land campaign said: “John Paterson and his brother have been farmers on the Isle of Arran for more than 20 years and their livelihood is under threat.

“They now face eviction because of poorly written legislation, allowing landlords to take back land promised to tenant farming families, forcing the tenants onto the streets with no compensation, nowhere to go, with nothing, completely alone.

“Last year Our Land and our partners led protests outside the Scottish parliament to campaign for justice in the case of Andrew Stoddart. This year we must do it again to show that landlords should not be able to use such loopholes and that the Scottish Government has to act.

“25,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the Scottish Government to step in and we'll be at the parliament this Thursday at 1pm to demand that they do.”

James McEnaney: How the Isle of Arran's communities are under threat because of private land ownership

The Scottish Government passed a Land Reform Act in 2016, which is yet to be implemented. However, it did not include full right-to-buy powers for tenant farmers – or sort the ongoing eviction mess as a result of aggressive landowners and the 2003 Agricultural Tenancies Act fall-out.

Picture courtesy of Our Land

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