Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pairc - the latest

I can see where this is all going, and it isn't going to be pleasant.

It does, however, underline one simple fact.

The legislation and it's subsequent amendments are incompetent and not fit for purpose, and the actions of the Government in making a last-minute decision demonstrates that this is the case.

If these legal actions are resolved before the end of the coming Holyrood Parliament then I will be surprised.  Two years for the Judicial Review and a couple of years for the most recent action to come to closure, through all the stages, and they are likely to run consequetively, rather than concurrently.

All the time the estate value will rise as the planning consents move forward and deals are done, until lo and behold at the other end Pairc Trust cannot afford the now vastly larger sums.

Cue more legal actions and shouting, but little success.

At which point the Minister will promise new legislation to stop this ever happening again.


Anonymous said...

What ever happens we the tax player will be picking up the bill for all this greed.

Anonymous said...

How would I feel if someone wanted to buy my property against my wishes?
Land ownership in Scotland is contentious at best and I am no fan of Landlords. The "public" buy outs so far have been funded by the tax payer and NOT those living on the estates. The smell from Pairc Trust is also pretty rotten. The lawyers will be rubbing their hands. Lomas will go to his grave fighting this - perhaps quite rightly. Think I'll send him a donation.


Dirt continues to flow from Pairc. At a recent meeting about a new playpark at Aline, the main mouth of Pairc Trust told how he had spent the entire budget for his own contracting firm on access, without leaving any money to build the playpark. Corrupt? Incompetent? Idiot? Take your pick, but certainly not the kind of character you want running your community.

Dr Evadne said...

Your Honour, if I may:

LBH - One of the issues here (apart from all the other issues) is that in what year were the Pairc Trust voted in as 'community' leaders? I thought it was about buying some land for themselves...sorry, the community. I resent and indeed 'deplore' the fact that they issue statements declaring that the 'community' want this and the 'community' want that. The community is not a homogeneous lump of people who allow the Pairc Trust to come up with unbelievable press statements that have been re-touched to suit themselves. The last time I looked my brain was still attached to the rest of my ailing frame and was not sitting in a box on a shelf in Kershader.

If the good fellow in the Uists is still following this; how come your Gatekeepers were re-elected by a huge majority, even though they are about as popular as Nick Clegg? It would be useful to know as the Pairc lot are going to 'stand down' once they have acquired the land in about 100 years time. Will they too, rise like a phoenix from the flames, solicitors at the ready to fight another day?

Thank you m'lud.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, my learned colleague.

The situation in Uist is a picture of what awaits the good folk in Pairc.
I'll start with the history of the Uist buyout which appear in some respects to be similar to that which you have experienced, differing only in that Uist was a 'friendly' buyout while Pairc is 'hostile'

The very first inkling that the locals had of the whole shenanigans was when it was announced that the 'community' were going to launch a buyout. However, behind the scenes there had alredy been a very long courtship between the selected gang of five (plus a well fed west coast lawyer) and the estate.
Uist, being a crofting estate , would have a nominal value of 15 times the croft rents. This would have valued the estate at well under £1m. The triumphalism which was in the press at the plucky islanders having the nous to secure the final price tag of £4.2m was both beyond the comprehension of locals and had the estate owners laughing all the way to Lichtenstein.

Naturally, the modesty of the negotiators meant that having brought the secretive negotiations to a grubby conclusion they announced that they were stepping down, only to promptly pop up again... and again. The fear that they would eventually have to stand down - as per the constitution - led to the infamous Mugabe clause being inserted into the constitution; effectively there would now be no be no need for the tiresome business of having to stand down at the end of each elected term.
The bitterly galling aspect to this being that it is condoned by WIE, the Comhairle through their development officer who is handmaid to Storas, Brian Wilson who regularly attends board meetings (never being recorded in the board minutes), and Big Lottery who have funded the buyout. Point being that there is neither check nor recourse for the locals when things are going wildly wrong.

Fast forward from the start point and you have Storas who regard themselves as a development company and not as representatives of the various locals and individuals.
Anyone who has had the temerity to stand up to them is subjected to the threat of "public humiliation and personal bankruptcy" (I quote Duncan Burd, Storas solicitor)

The level of sly corruption, backroom deals, and personal aggrandisement which is funded wholly from the public purse is fracturing the community.
You only have to look at the development which is proposed for Lochboisdale which would have the white elephants blushing.

Dr Evadne, you asked why these people get re-elected; look at Germany in the pre war years and the banana republics in Africa for your answer. There is an undercurrent of apprehension in the southern isles as the normal checks and balances appear to be absent, and it is self preservation that dissuades anyone from appearing to rock the boat.

Must stop now, the wife is shouting about some chap in a red jacket that has just got married.
Red??... probably from the thrift shop.

Anonymous said...

Having experienced the old regime in Uist - administered by factors who ranged from the very capable to the delusional - and now observing the degenerating shambles led by a very expensive and dangerously incompetent
ceo - I am struck by the thought that there is one simple observation which has never been aired.
Where there is a stable community under private ownership would it not be possible for the owner to access the same level of finance for community projects as is available to the bought out estates.

Uist has been regarded as suffering from benign neglect under the auspices of the old estate, yet it is never acknowledged that it was lack of capital that largely tied their hands in promoting development - combined with a perfectly sensible approach of not engaging in corrosive, expensive, and pointless disputes with the tenants.

Under the cloak of "community" all the old restraints have been cast aside. There appears to be a bottomless pit of funding to finance consultants, lawyers, and development officers.
If even a small fraction of that money had been available to the past regime how different would things now be?

The right to buy legislation was quite properly put on the statute book to bring an end the abuses by some landlords which have been well documented. I do not think it was enacted in order that the Highlands can be subjected to Mugabe style land appropriation, funded by the state. There has to be a recognition that some "community" owned estates can actually be a lot worse than one which is in competent, well funded private ownership.

Anonymous said...

You make a valid point re the established right to buy. It is amazing that no investigative journalist has not picked up on this. There are 208 crofts on Pairc estate, annual rents are what , no more than a tenner a year. Fifteen times 10 is £150 then times that by 208...hmm already we are looking at something very far short of the hundred (s?) of thousands of public funds that have been poured into the Pairc buy-out.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem to be a very cohesive community in pairc compared to other areas. Is there a lot of busybody incomers there?

Anonymous said...

Uh no 12.10 there's a gigantic windfarm looming which half the community wants, the other half doesn't. A few people who stand to get very rich, a lot of people who won't. A few people who will get some ideological satisfaction and a some more who just want it all to go away so they can get on with their lives. Stop being a racist retard!

Anonymous said...

Storas Uibhist is “secretive, arrogant and bullying” 10/5/11

"The South Uist community landlord has been described as secretive, arrogant and bullying in an independent review by the very people it represents according to an independent review."

Anonymous said...


The incomers you so sadly abuse in your racist comment are unrelated to the would be nu-landlords of Pairc.

If they serve one purpose it is the ability to speak out with out fear of threat to family and kin.

As is in the Uists silence is self preservation for many local folk.