The Scottish Crofting Federation have greeted the Crofting Reform Bill, voted through Parliament yesterday, as ‘a double edged sword’ but are confident that crofting will continue despite it.
Marina Dennis, convenor of the SCF crofting reform working group, said “We are pleased that the Bill has been voted through as parts of the existing legislation are not fit for purpose. Getting the Bill through means it can always be re-visited, but it is a double-edged sword. For example, we have always pressed for a map-based crofting register which has been voted through but the methods proposed by the government to implement this – the controversial compulsory ‘trigger’ system and the associated costs to crofters could have the effect of stagnating any movement of crofts. The government claim that this Bill is designed to free up crofts but this poorly thought out procedure could actually cause exactly the opposite. However, the SCF are working on a crofting community planning programme to help crofting communities to map their assets in a practical and empowering way. This will proceed despite the government’s intentions.”