Parliamentary committee to look at priorities in crofting reform
IN A bid to address some of the challenges facing Scotland’s crofters, the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is to examine priorities for crofting law reform.
The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee scrutinises policy proposals relating to rural affairs, transport and connectivity.
Recognising that a significant amount of work has already been undertaken to identify improvements to crofting legislation, the committee will hear evidence from organisations representing crofters, crofting law experts and the Crofting Commission on action which may help accelerate progress in this area.
Convener of the committee Edward Mountain MSP said: ‘Crofting brings invaluable jobs, produce and income to our rural communities, and the committee understands the Scottish Government will bring forward a crofting bill in the next few years. Detailed work has already identified issues which the proposed legislation might cover, and the committee is working to complement this with its own review of priorities for change.’
Mr Mountain continued: ‘Crofting issues can be complex and often specific to a local area. The committee wants to hear views from those with direct, front-line experience of crofting issues, and those who have a detailed knowledge of the law in this area.
‘We have no desire to duplicate or go over old ground. Our objective is to identify the key priorities and establish whether there is any potential for delivering on some of these to quickly alleviate certain challenges faced by Scotland’s crofters.’
On completion of the review of crofting law priorities, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee will write to the Scottish Government with recommendations for action.
This month (November) the committee has been hearing evidence at the Scottish Parliament from a range of organisations, including the Scottish Crofting Federation, National Farmers’ Union Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, a range of crofting law experts and the Crofting Commission. It will hear final submissions on November 16 and, following this, will take evidence from the Scottish Government in early December.
Photograph: Andrew Cowan/ Scottish Parliament The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee will consider crofting law reform.