Big job for croft commissioners

The recent election of crofting commissioners might have resulted in a fairly major change in personnel on the board of the government agency, but the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has warned that they will have ”their work cut out” to effectively regulate the sector.

Speaking this week, chair of the SCF, Donald MacKinnon, said, that crofting was a unique system of regulated land tenure and the regulator, the Crofting Commission, had an unusual board for such an agency in that the majority of commissioners were elected.

Welcoming the fact that all six seats had been contested and that over 3500 crofters voted in the election, McDonald said that it was now essential that the new intake and returning commissioners were given a proper induction, with their responsibilities and remit clarified.

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“Crofting cannot afford to have a dysfunctional regulatory body. We know that lessons need to be learnt and every effort will be made to avoid a repeat of the past. SCF looks forward to working with the new Crofting Commission.”

He said that the SCF had been pressing the Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, to better support the Crofting Commission and welcomed its recent increase in budget.

“The reform of crofting legislation has been in the pipeline for many years and we are assured by the Cabinet Secretary that a bill will be written during this parliament.

“So we aim to see consolidation of the crofting acts before 2026,” he said, adding that his membership wanted to see more unused crofts freed up for new entrants.

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