When is a radical plan not a radical plan? Perhaps when you've heard it on repeat for the best part of 10 years.

Susan Aitken, interviewed last week in The Herald, claims that Glasgow City Council is not asleep on the issue of unused, empty, eyesore real estate in the city centre. No indeed, it's an issue and it's an issue the local authority plans to tackle. Brilliant. How?

Er, well, we might use legislation that doesn't yet exist to help maybe resolve the issue at some unspecified point in the future. Or we might not. Colour me sceptical but are we really going to let the leader of the council off with that?

Ms Aitken says her officials could - in a "radical" move - take over unused and problematic properties using compulsory sales orders, which would be great except that there are no statutory powers to do so.

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And there are no statutory powers to do so because the SNP government hasn't bothered its socks to introduce it.

Currently legislation exists to allow compulsory purchase orders, it's been used to good effect to tackle slum housing in areas such as Govanhill and Govan. It's slow and painstaking work, implementing a CPO, but it has and continues to be done.

CSOs, however, pressure absentee landlords to gainfully use land or property or see the local authority force a sale at public auction. It would be an effective piece of kit in a local authority's toolbox so why my agitation? Because Ms Aitken is mentioning CSOs as if the idea just landed.

The reality? The SNP highlighted compulsory sales orders in its 2015 manifesto. Wannabe governments will tease with all sorts of things in an election run up but the SNP has not exactly been allowed to forget about the plan.

Here's former housing minister Kevin Stewart back in 2016: "This Government is committed to bringing forward provisions for compulsory sales orders as part of the ongoing programme of land reform measures."

This was in response to a report from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) that year calling on the government to enact powers for CSOs. It didn't follow through on Mr Stewart's professed commitment.

As the ex-minister says there, CSOs are not only about property, they are useful in taking back derelict land. When the Scottish Government introduced a new Land Reform Bill into the Parliament in June 2015, it disappointed those with a vested interest by saying almost nothing about urban vacant and derelict land.

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The Bill was predominantly based on a 2014 report from the Government's own Land Reform Review Group, which recommended - you've guessed it - compulsory sales orders. The government ignored the recommendation which, when mooted nearly 10 years ago, was also described as "radical".

Fast forward to May 2019 and we find local authorities giving evidence to a Holyrood committee on empty homes in Scotland and backing proposals for... compulsory sales orders.

This was after Rural Housing Scotland and the charity Shelter Scotland added their backing to the introduction of CSOs.

The Scottish Government then pledged to bring in the powers by 2021. You'll be amazed to learn it did not.

Now cut to the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce in 2020, which reported with a list of 13 recommendations to the government. I bet you'll never guess. Here's a quote from taskforce chair and Scottish Land Commissioner Andrew Thin, so as not to keep you in suspense: "The proposals ... recommend using planning guidelines, tax laws and other actions such as compulsory sales orders to halt the practice of leaving land unused."

In 2021 Christy Mearns, a Scottish Greens councillor, called for CSO powers to be introduced to help the derelict property issue in Glasgow city centre and her Anderston/City ward.

The following year, 2022, Scottish Labour councillor Soryia Siddique called on the Scottish Government to introduce CSOs.

In May this year the government said it was considering looking at CSOs but public finance minister Tom Arthur called it a "complex piece of work" that will "require time". Is 10 years not enough?

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Ms Aitken says the "mood music" she hears from the Scottish Government is that it's willing to look at CSOs now. If I was leading the charge for Scotland's largest city I'd be asking for more than mood music.

Her party's own councillor Angus Millar, the co-chairman of the City Centre Taskforce, told The Herald back in January this year that the council can't progress its aim of transforming the city centre without having extra powers in the form of CSOs.

In March he claimed a "crucial" element of the taskforce's Property Repurposing Action Plan is to "commit the council to advocating for new powers from national government around compulsory sales orders."

I'm not convinced apocalyptic tales of Glasgow's imminent demise hold much water but optimism is certainly dimmed when politicians grab one idea, call it radical, rinse any plans to do it, then repeat.