Tractor in the outer Isles

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Consultation on the Draft Crofting Reform Bill

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Minister for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, published a draft Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill, for consultation on 19 May 2009. It sets out proposals for changes in crofting legislation that would implement the proposals set out in the Government’s response to the final report of the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting.
The areas of the Government’s reform programme that require changes to legislation are as follows:
• Changes to the governance arrangements for crofting;
• Arrangements for a new Register of Crofts;
• Better enforcement of requirement of crofters and owner-occupiers to reside on or near the croft and to work the land;
• Powers to enable crofters to grant standard securities over their crofts;
• An occupancy requirement on housing built on land taken out of crofting tenure in order to tackle speculation on croft land;

A 12 week consultation is taking place on the draft Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill, which will close on 12 August 2009. The following link will take you to the consultation document. Details of the address to send written responses are included in the consultation document.
www.scotland.gov.uk/CroftingReformConsultation
www.scotland.gov.uk/CroftingReformConsultation-Gaelic

In addition to the written consultation, the Government has arranged a series of public meetings where there will be an opportunity to hear a presentation on the draft Bill and the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the proposed Bill. The public meetings will take place at the following venues on the following dates.

Public Meetings (7.30pm – 9.00PM):

1 June – Kirkwall, Orkney (Picaquoy Centre - Skerries Meeting Room, Muddiesfield Rd)
2 June – Lerwick, Shetland (The Town Hall, Hillhead)
3 June – Mid Yell, Shetland (Mid Yell Community Hall)
8 June – Inverness (Craigmonie Hotel, 3 Annefield Rd)
9 June – Lairg (Lairg Community Association Hall, Main St)
10 June – Durness (Durness Village Hall)
11 June – Poolewe (Poolewe Village Hall – 8pm start)
15 June – Grantown-on-Spey (Ben Mhor Hotel, 53-57 High St)
16 June – Broadford, Skye (Broadford Village Hall)
17 June – Fort William (Lochabra Hall, High St)
18 June – Connel, Nr Oban (Falls of Lora Hotel, Connel Ferry)
22 June – Tiree Rural Centre (Crospol, Isle of Tiree)
24 June – Brodick, Isle of Arran (Brodick Community Hall)
25 June – Bowmore, Isle of Islay (Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle, Gartnatra)
29 June – Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (Cabarfeidh Hotel, 11 James St)
30 June – Tarbert, Isle of Harris (Harris Hotel)
1 July – Lioncleit, Isle of Benbecula (Dark Island Hotel)

Crofters must speak up on proposed crofting reforms

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF), the only member-led organisation dedicated to promoting crofting has greeted the Draft Crofting reform Bill consultation paper released today with enthusiasm tempered with caution.

SCF Chairman Neil MacLeod said “we are all aware that there needs to be an overhaul of crofting legislation, regulation and, critically, the support for crofting. We are looking at this consultation with optimism and at first glance it is a thorough document which attempts to address issues that came out of the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting. There are positive aspects such as the welcome move towards a more democratic governing body, but there are areas over which we will be examining possible consequences and which may need recommendation for modification. We will be widely consulting our membership on their views to inform our position.”

The consultation released today lays out a draft crofting reform bill that will address the governance of crofting, the formation and maintenance of an accurate register of crofts, the possibility of standard security on tenanted crofts to raise loans without de-crofting, an occupancy requirement for houses on de-crofted land and effective regulation concerning absenteeism and neglect.

Crofters-Views.pdf

Euro- Candidates Evening

Friday, May 08, 2009

In anticipation of next month’s European Parliament Elections on the 4th of June, The Scottish Crofting Foundation has arranged an evening with prospective candidates. This is your opportunity to put your views forward and to question the very people who have such a strong role in modern agriculture. There is no shortage of prominent issues such as electronic and individual sheep identification, Less Favoured Area support reforms and the CAP. European legislation has a prominent place in modern crofting, and is up to us as a Foundation and as individuals to make our views known and also to vote on June 4th.

Venue: Dingwall Community Centre
Date and Time: Friday, May 15th, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
The event is open to all, and it is hoped that the central venue, across the road from the old mart, will attract an audience from a wide area.