The Scottish Government has launched a consultation programme to gather views on new legislation and reform being proposed for crofting in the 21st century. A series of public meetings are being held to help with any issues or questions on responding to the consultation. Including Kirkwall on Tuesday 26 September at Kirkwall & St Ola Community Centre (doors 19:00, presentation to start at approximately 19:30).
The consultation on the priorities for future crofting law was launched on 28 August by Rural Affairs Secretary in the Scottish Government Fergus Ewing.
The public consultation seeks opinions on the form of new legislation and priorities for legislative change to ensure crofting law is fit for the 21st century. It runs for 12 weeks and will end on 20 November.
Mr Ewing said:
“Crofting delivers valuable local benefits and a successful crofting sector helps our rural communities to thrive. It is therefore vital the law that governs it is fit for purpose.
“Initial discussions have shown while there is plenty of agreement that the current law needs to change, there are many views on what should replace it.
“I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in the future of crofting – whether they be crofters, landowners, those living in a crofting communities or in other parts of Scotland – to take part in this consultation and help us improve future legislation.”
There are currently around 20,500 crofts across the crofting counties of Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Orkney and Shetland, Ross & Cromarty and Sutherland (15,000 tenanted crofts and 5,500 owned). Crofters make up around 10% of the Highlands and Islands population, with over 33,000 people live in crofting households.
“The first Crofting Law Act was passed in 1886, and there have been several instances of subsequent legislative reform and other amendments made in the resulting years. Key pieces of recent crofting legislation are: the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993, which consolidated legislation made between 1955 and 1993, the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010; and the Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2013. Consequently, Crofting Law has been deemed vastly complex, difficult to implement into practice, and often open to dispute or other interpretation.” Crofting Consultation.
There are considerable variations in the sizes of crofts ranging from as little as 0.5 hectares to 50 hectares.
Click here to download the Crofting Consultation document
A list of supporting documents are available here
You can respond online here
You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open.
If you are unable to respond online you can complete the Respondent Information
Form (see ‘Handling your Response’ ) at the end of Crofting Consultation and send it with your written response
The Scottish Government
Crofting Bill Team
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
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