CROFT­ING SPE­CIAL: Meet the can­di­dates stand­ing for elec­tion

Cather­ine MacK­in­non

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

It is time for change. South West High­lands needs a Croft­ing Com­mis­sioner whose first pri­or­ity is the greater good of croft­ing, not just for to­day but for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. We need some­one who is able to lis­ten, to me­di­ate, to in­spire con­fi­dence and to de­liver pos­i­tive out­comes.

We need a Croft­ing Com­mis­sion that works for crofters, not against, and that rep­re­sents croft­ing in­ter­ests at Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and in­ter-agency level, set­tling for noth­ing less than the best deal for crofters. With Brexit loom­ing, this is im­per­a­tive.

We don’t need an ivory tower or a one-man band. Some 62 staff at the com­mis­sion can do much for croft­ing with the right guid­ance.

Born in 1966, Cather­ine MacDon­ald, raised on the fam­ily croft in Bo­huntin, daugh­ter, grand- daugh­ter and great­grand- daugh­ter (mar sin air ad­hart) of Bo­huntin crofters and shepherds, I am now con­tin­u­ing the tra­di­tions with my own fam­ily.

Through pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ment with HIE/Lochaber Ltd/LEADER and UHI/Lochaber Col­lege, I have li­aised widely with com­mu­ni­ties, agen­cies and in­di­vid­u­als fa­cil­i­tat­ing de­vel­op­ments and ne­go­ti­at­ing fund­ing. Suc­cess I have found comes from work­ing with peo­ple at grass­roots level.

If you lis­ten care­fully and re­spond to the knowl­edge and as­pi­ra­tions of those liv­ing and work­ing on the ground, then you achieve pos­i­tive out­comes.

I am mar­ried to an ex­iled Isle of Barra crofter and, through him, and nu­mer­ous is­land hol­i­days, I have gained an un­der­stand­ing of is­land croft life and its unique chal­lenges. I want to make a strong and pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the Croft­ing Com­mis­sion and of croft­ing on be­half of South West High­lands crofters.

I’m sure we all agree, the Croft­ing Com­mis­sion needs to move away from red tape and con­tro­versy and to move for­ward into a new era.

Con­tact me on 07881 603069 or by at cather­inemack­in­non@bt­in­ter­

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