Ian Cooke has been appointed as vice-chairperson on the Land Reform Review Group, following the decision of Professor James Hunter to step down for personal reasons.
The Review Group, chaired by Dr Alison Elliot, is overseeing a wide ranging review of land reform in Scotland with the key aim of delivering a more successful Scotland with stronger communities and economic growth.
Mr Cooke will bring to the group excellent knowledge and experience in community regeneration and development.
Dr Elliot said: “It’s been a privilege working with Jim on the Land Reform Review Group. He’s kept our eyes firmly on the challenges of land reform and reminded us continually of our heritage. He has brought a unique kind of insight to our task and we are grateful for the abiding contribution he has made to our investigations.
“We now look forward to carrying on our work with Ian, who has already made an impact as an adviser to the group and whose experience in community development in urban and rural contexts will enrich the scope of our review.”
Professor Hunter said: “Due to personal reasons, I regret I am having to stand back from the land review group but wish it well with its deliberations given the importance of the land reform agenda to Scotland. I was pleased to be able to contribute to its work to date.
“I very much welcome Ian’s appointment which will ensure the community sector’s voice is heard loud and clear in the context of providing the radical ideas the Scottish Government is looking to get from the Land Reform Review Group.”
Ian Cooke said: “I am delighted to be asked to join the Land Reform Review Group and to be able to build on my role to date as an Advisor. The review presents an exciting opportunity to build on previous land reform, and the work of the LRRG can potentially make a crucial contribution to a future, successful Scotland. I look forward to being part of the Land Reform Review Group and contributing to the challenge of getting land reform right.”
It is anticipated that the Land Reform Review Group will report in a series of stages to Scottish Ministers, providing consideration of what the outcomes of land reform should be and what reforms are required. By the end of 2013 the Scottish Government would expect a report on any legislative changes that are required to allow this to be taken forward.