5. Future Improvements
In order to improve the quality of the data held on community ownership all community groups, known to the Scottish Government to own land parcels/assets, have been contacted and asked to participate in a survey. The community groups were contacted by post as the Scottish Government only had postal addresses on record for the community groups. As well as being sent paper versions of the survey community groups were also given the option of completing the survey online.
As part of the survey the community groups have been asked to provide a contact email address, as well as the correct address that should be used for correspondence and a phone number where one is available. This will allow future contact with the community group to be carried out electronically. This should make any future correspondence with the community groups more efficient, thus reducing burden on the community groups themselves.
Primarily the survey is being carried out to fill gaps in the current data held by the Scottish Government on community ownership. In addition further details on the land parcels/assets in community ownership have also been requested.
Firstly, the community groups have been asked to confirm that the Scottish Government holds the correct information on the land parcels/assets that they own and if not, correct it as required. The community groups are being asked to confirm the number of land parcels/assets they own as well as the area and year of transfer or purchase of each of the land parcels/assets. When the records are currently not known, the community groups have been asked to provide the area and purchase or transfer dates for the land parcels/assets that they own.
The community groups have also been asked for information on the location of the land parcels/assets that they own. It is hoped that in all cases at least a postcode for the land parcel/asset can be provided. Community groups have been asked to provide Ordnance Survey grid references or geodata for their land parcels/assets if they have either. Geodata are information about geographic locations that are stored electronically. Geodata can be stored graphically as a map or as a database of geographical data such as grid references. Community groups have be asked to supply maps of their land parcels/assets if they have them.
Community groups have then been asked to provide information on what their land parcel/asset actually is and what it is used for. For example if the land parcel/asset is an area of land is it used as crofting land or is it woodland. Further information on the transfer or purchase of the different land parcels/assets has also been requested. If the land parcels/assets were purchased, as opposed to transferred or obtained as a gift or legacy, the price paid for the land parcels/assets has been requested.
Finally, the community groups will be asked to provide the relevant details on any land parcels/assets that they own that the Scottish Government does not currently have a record off.
The information collected as a result of the survey will then be added to the database help on community ownership. This will then enable a more accurate and fuller picture on the level and type of community ownership in Scotland to be known.