MSP presides as community votes overwhelmingly in favour of community buyout
SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod yesterday (Saturday) presided over the counting of ballots in Drummore as the community voted overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing a community buyout of the iconic lighthouse and associated buildings.
The Community, through the South Rhins Community Development Trust, have a strong track record of involvement in developing the Mull of Galloway as a tourist destination and have formed a new Trust to take forward the community buyout.
Dr McLeod will also be tabling a motion in the Scottish Parliament celebrating Saturday’s vote and highlighting the community’s efforts to buy the Mull. Dr McLeod hopes to lead a Member’s Business debate on her motion if it secures sufficient cross-party support.
Commenting after the votes had been counted, Dr McLeod said:
“A little bit of history was made at the Mull of Galloway yesterday. I am delighted that the community has voted so overwhelmingly in favour of community ownership of this iconic site.
“The Mull of Galloway is by definition totally unique and a great deal of work has been done over the past twelve years to create a high quality visitor attraction which has been of considerable benefit to the local economy.
“In fact, given the track record of the South Rhins Community Development Trust in helping to develop the Mull of Galloway as a tourist destination, I am not really surprised at the level of support. The new Mull of Galloway Trust will be building on firm foundations and I think there is something right about the community owning the most southerly point in Scotland.
“I will be tabling a motion in the Scottish Parliament this week celebrating the vote in favour of community buyout and reflecting on the work that the community has already done to put the Mull of Galloway on the map as a tourist destination.
“I also hope that the motion will gain the cross party support it will need to be taken for a Member’s Business debate. I want to showcase in Holyrood the hard work that is being done by the community to turn the buyout proposal into a reality and create a sustainable community-owned visitor attraction for the future.
“Today was a great step forward, but there will also be a lot of hard work to come. I think it will be important for the Mull of Galloway Trust to know that there is wider support out there for their efforts.”
Notes to editors:
A photo of Dr McLeod at the community buyout ballot count is attached.
The text of the motion Dr McLeod will table in Parliament this week is below:
Short title: History is made at the Mull
The Parliament notes the decisive result of the ballot of the community of Kirkmaiden on a community buyout of the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, with more than 98% in favour of plans to operate this iconic landmark on the most southerly point in Scotland as a visitor attraction, recognises that the South Rhins Community Development Trust has a strong track record in helping to develop the Mull as a visitor attraction over the past twelve years, considers this a strong foundation on which to build future successes which will bring more economic benefit to a remote rural economy, and offers its collective best wishes to the community for their future as the owners of the most southerly part of this country.