Questions still remain over the future of the commission's controversial convener,
Colin Kennedy, who effectively received a vote of no confidence from his colleagues
when they demanded he quit.
But doubt arose over the lawfulness of the commission holding such a special meeting
without due notice, a move which could have invalidate any decisions made, including
the call for Mr Kennedy’s departure.
Eleven weeks later, it decided there was no such second meeting with its “special”
status being newly redefined as the “continuation of the scheduled board meeting.”
Despite previously strongly defending its controversial actions, an apology was dragged
out of the Crofters' Commission.
On the instructions of crofting secretary, Fergus Ewing, it finally admitted acting
wrongly and harshly over sacking grazing committees.
In turn, Colin Kennedy lodged a complaint against Fergus Ewing.
The commission’s chief executive, Catriona Maclean, also left the organisation to
take up a post within the Scottish Government.
More controversy engulfed the commission after appointed member, David Campbell,
walked out of its board meeting in December after his colleagues refused to hold
the discussion in public.
Two senior commission officials refused to attend the same statutory board meeting
with suggestions of a fractured relationship between staff and Colin Kennedy.
Calls by politicians for Fergus Ewing to sack Mr Kennedy proved fruitless and with
just one official meeting to go the healing process has no chance of commencing until
after the spring.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, urged crofters to participate
in the election process.
He said: “It is vital to have a commission made up of people who represent and reflect
the interests and diversity of Scotland’s crofting community.
“To achieve that, we need people with a commitment to ensuring a long term future
for crofting to stand for election or to nominate people they believe have the qualities
to be an effective commissioner. It’s also important all crofters make their voices
heard by voting in March’s election.”
Nominations sought for crofting regulator
8 January 2017
Fresh blood is sought for the controversial crofting body which has rarely been out
of the headlines in 2016 for infighting and bad decisions.
Elections take place in March to select six commissioners to the Crofting Commission
and the process for nominations for candidates is now open.
Introducing democracy onto the commission’s board was supposed to be an invigorating
force. In 2012, the organisation became the only public body in Scotland where majority
of board members were elected, not by government appointment, but by the people it
The inglorious end of its first term sees a probe into governance arrangements at
the Crofting Commission, following the body’s chaotic decisions to sack three grazings
committees - Upper Coll and Mangersta in Lewis plus another group in Lochaber.