The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) submitted its response to the Crofting Commission consultation on the ‘Duty to Report’ with a resounding “no, we will not report on our neighbours’ crofts” from its members.
“SCF members have said that they do not think it is within the remit of grazings committees to comment on croft in-bye at all” said Patrick Krause, Chief Executive of the SCF. “The grazings committees' responsibility is the management of common grazings. They are voluntary bodies and the Crofting Commission do not have the resources to provide training or support for them. It is difficult enough to get grazings committees together without extra duties being laden upon them, and it is feared that this duty could further discourage crofters from forming grazings committees. If the Crofting Commission needs to know about crofts, they have at their disposal a panel of assessors whose job it is to bring to the notice of the Crofting Commission any relevant local matter concerning the state of crofting in their area. There is also within law the provision to ask crofters to fill in an annual return declaring their residency status and use of the croft. Furthermore, Scottish Government carries out inspections from their local offices. There seems no reason to burden hard-pressed grazings committees further when there is abundant provision to gather information about crofts already.”