The Crofting Commission look forward to working with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to take forward crofting legislation reform.
The practical approach outlined by the Cabinet Secretary will enable the necessary improvements of phase one to be made in this Parliamentary Session, with more complex issues being held over to a second phase, it says
In particular the Commission welcome the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government in developing a New Entrants Scheme for crofting and to discuss a future promotional role for the Commission itself.
Rod Mackenzie, Convener of the Crofting Commission, said: “We support the Scottish Government’s decision to take a collaborative approach to rectifying and improving crofting legislation during this Parliament. The Commission will play a full part in this and will be particularly keen to consider with others what improvements can be made to the law on registration and on common grazings, among other key issues.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, put forward his plans for proceeding with the reform of crofting law, at a specially convened meeting of the Cross Party Group on Crofting.
He promised that there will be a bill in this parliamentary session which corrects the major anomalies in the current law and so enables it to work appropriately for crofters. This is the essential course of action needed and will pave the way to a consolidation bill in the next session. It is what the Scottish Crofting Federation and the Crofting Commission asked for in the consultation.
There will also be a fundamental review running in parallel which may enable more far‑reaching changes to crofting law, whilst maintaining crofters’ rights, in the future - should it be deemed necessary and beneficial to crofting.
Patrick Krause, Chief Executive of the SCF, said “This is a very pragmatic approach and good news for crofting. Get the current legislation fixed with minimal disruption, consolidate the legislation into one act and then in future, should it be deemed necessary, make bolder changes. We are confident that we can see real progress at last.”