Elected Crofting Commission consultation now open

1 September 2011

Consultation has opened on the draft election regulations for the Crofting Commission, as it will be known from April 2012. The move is part of a wider shift in crofting law following the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.
The new act seeks to make crofting fit for the 21st century by introducing a range of reforms to the law, including the provision that up to six members should be directly elected by crofters. The consultation seeks feedback on issues such as constituency boundaries and eligibility of candidates.
Under the draft proposals, only crofting tenants and owner-occupiers who meet the residence requirements will be eligible to vote. There will be one vote per croft, which could inevitably lead to issues where crofts are jointly owned and there is no consensus amongst the household over who should vote and for whom. The proposals ask joint occupiers to nominate one person per household to cast a vote. This is to ensure owner occupiers do not gain more votes that tenanted crofts, where only the tenant will have a vote (as crofts cannot be jointly tenanted). Perhaps controversial too is the suggestion that non-crofters could be nominated to stand for election. Two options have been given for constituency boundaries.
The recently appointed minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said: ' I am optimistic that this injection of democracy into crofting will re-invigorate debate on crofting and on how it can become a model for the sustainable development of Scotland's remote and rural communities…through having directly elected voices within the Commission, I am sure that we can build a strong partnership to deliver the growing, prosperous, inclusive and sustainable crofting communities we all want to see.'
The consultation runs until the 5th of October.

Bookmark and Share



blog comments powered by Disqus