On the same day the Crofting Commission Chief Executive announced she was leaving there have now been suggestions that the whole organisation should go.
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) met last week with crofting representatives of Sleat to discuss proposals to replace the Crofting Commission.
“The ideas put forward by the Sleat General Grazings Committee on replacing the Crofting Commission with a more democratic and community-empowering model are valid and have a great deal of merit,” SCF chair Fiona Mandeville from Skye said. “We had a very open and constructive preliminary meeting and intend to take this further to get SCF members’ opinions and to explore options.
The ideas are akin to the suggestions made by the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting in 2008,” Ms Mandeville continued, “a very comprehensive study into crofting. The fact that there are significant similarities gives further credibility to the Sleat General Grazings Committee’s proposals.
“Whilst the ideas are good and need further exploration, I have to add that the Committee of Inquiry’s suggestion on winding up the Crofters Commission, as it was then, was rejected by our members. The main reason given was the need for an objective, arms-length third party to regulate crofting, which is addressed in the Sleat committee’s proposals.
“We are still getting feedback which supports this position but it is important to always have an open mind. Circumstances change and the present Commission certainly needs some reform, so we will collaborate with the Sleat General Grazings Committee whose proposal we will be publishing on our web site, and with other parties, stimulate the exploration of alternatives further and hope to find a workable solution to put forward”, Ms Mandeville concluded.