23rd January 2009: Glasgow City Council now has a a documented policy for the governance, budget and investment strategies of the Common Good Fund.
Thanks to work from Scottish land campaigner and author Andy Wightman, local governments across Scotland have been persuaded to set up proper controls over the common good funds and properties they manage.
Much of the funds had been lost or stolen since the merger of truly local burgh governments into the big – and largely unaccountable – unitary local authorities we have now.
Glasgow was one of the last councils to rectify this, but local campaigners with help from Green Party councillors have finally succeeded.
One disquieting issue is that just £11m has been identified as being left in the common good fund today – a scant amount leftover from the gigantic donations to the old church institutions in medieval Glasgow, and to the various burgh funds and wealth thereafter. Glasgow Green alone must be worth far more. Hopefully Glasgow City Council will manage to identify more properties and wealth belonging to the common good funds as time goes on.
Details on Scottish Commons and Common Good Funds here.