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Commonweal - Common Good

Identifying, documenting and restoring Scottish Commons

Common Good is the name given to the inherited property of the former burghs of Scotland and consists of a range of assets both moveable (furniture, paintings, regalia etc.) and heritable (land and buildings). 

With respect to the 196 burghs defined in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947 (and whose Town Councils were wound up in May 1975), these assets are held by Local Authorities (in other words they have legal title) on behalf of the inhabitants of the former burghs. Title transferred under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 because no provision was made for any community body to act as a successor to the Town Councils. 

Other classes of Common Good exist. These include land forming part of burghs not included in the 1947 Act and land owned by former Parish Councils and County Councils where it was purchased or gifted for the benefit of a defined group of people (in a village or town). Such other classes, however, are far less clearly defined in either statute of case law and further research is needed to determine their fate. 

The goal of the Common Good Campaign, is to 

* have an accurate public register of all Common Good assets (both heritable and moveable)

* have full and accurate accounts published for every Common Good Fund

* have a new Common Good Act which will define and stipulate how Common Good Funds should be managed and which will provide a statutory right for communities of burghs to have legal title to all Common Good assets.


For detailed reports, analysis and updates on how specific Local Authorities are responding to the demands for better stewardship of the Common Good, click here. (NA)

For a quick guide to Common Good and how to begin finding out more through research, download Common Good - A Quick Guide 

To download a copy of the 2005 Common Good Land report by Wightman & Perman, click here. 

To learn more about Common Good Law, order a copy of Andrew Ferguson's 2006 book, Common Good Law. Click on icon on right to download order form. (NA)



Common Good 

Other Commons


Working Papers

Links and Reseources

These are pages from the 'Scottish Commons' site 

(now unavailable). An amazing resource of common 

Good knowledge)