12 October 1998
Land reformer heads Highlands and Islands Enterprise

THE new chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is Dr James Hunter, a well-known campaigner for land reform in Scotland.

Dr Hunters appointment is a radical break from the traditionally cautious Scottish Office approach to development in the Highlands and Islands.

It also marks the latest step in the Governments agenda on land reform.

Scottish Office Minister Brian Wilson set up the Community Land Unit under Highlands and Islands Enterprise only weeks after the general election last year. The unit offers advice and support to communities wishing to buy their own land.

Donald Dewar, the Scottish secretary, published a document on land reform in August. This was followed two weeks ago by his announcement at the Labour Party conference of a multi-million pound plan to earmark lottery money to support community land acquisitions.