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Hebrides News

A Holyrood report is calling on the Scottish Government to produce a new crofting bill - which fully meets the needs of modern crofting communities - before the 2021 elections.


The report, by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, comes in the light of the Scottish Government’s plans for a new Crofting Act.


The committee said the new legislation needs to fit with the reality of modern crofting practices.


It should be relevant to the needs and aspirations of crofters and those who wish to be involved in crofting.


In addition, the bill should be comprehensive and seek to address as many of the issues identified within the crofting community requiring action as is possible.


MSPs said the  role and responsibilities of elected Crofting Commission commissioners should be carefully considered and defined as part of the crofting law reform process.


Committee convener, Edward Mountain,  said: “Several crofting acts have been passed in recent years, making some useful changes but without fully dealing with all of the issues the crofting communities are keen to see addressed.”


He said the Scottish Government needs to develop a clear policy setting out the role crofting is expected to play in the 21st century.


“In the months and years to come, the Committee expects to see development of policy and legislation which is fully fit for purpose, allowing crofting to flourish and to continue to make an important and sustainable contribution to the rural economy in Scotland.”


The committee highlights legislation and guidance covering grazings committees needs to be updated to reflect modern circumstances and practices.



New “fit for purpose” law required for reality of modern crofting practices

12 March 2017