Over 250 crofters attended the recent Crofting Roadshows, organised by the Crofting Commission and working in partnership with SAC Consulting, Scottish Crofting Federation, NFU Scotland and Registers of Scotland.
Ten roadshows were held this year covering areas from Shetland to Argyll providing crofters with the opportunity to find out more about the Crofting Commission elections and discuss crofting issues. The Commission gave a short presentation on the up and coming elections encouraging crofters play their part in helping to secure the future of crofting by standing as candidates and using their votes. This included an overview of the work of a Commissioner; who can stand for election and how the election process will be carried out. The elections are being run by Scottish Government and administered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Bill Barron, Interim Chief Executive, Crofting Commission said:
“The roadshows have been a great opportunity for the Commission to meet with crofters and provide an overview of the election process and how they can get involved. This is only the second election of Commissioners to the Crofting Commission and we are urging crofters to stand as candidates and to use their votes. It’s important to have people on the Commission who have a belief in the crofting system and understand both the practical issues and the positive opportunities crofting brings.”
Patrick Krause, Chief Executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation commented:
“The roadshows were well attended, showing there is a strong interest in the crofting community to be involved. The mix of speakers were well received and provoked lively discussion. I think the meetings were well worth doing and my hope is that they will encourage crofters to stand for election as Commissioners or to vote in the March elections. The roadshow must continue as an annual event.”
Rhona Elrick, Senior Plans Advisor at Registers of Scotland (RoS) said:
“The roadshows provided RoS with an ideal opportunity to meet crofting communities and provide them with an update on the Crofting Register and answer any queries that they had pertaining to the Register.”
NFU Scotland’s Sandy Murray added:
“Given the turbulent year for crofting, many of NFU Scotland’s crofting members took the opportunity to engage with the Commission at the recent round of roadshows. Given the levels of uncertainty, particularly for those involved in common grazings, the roadshows provided an opportunity for the Commission to allay fears and provide reassurance to crofters on its priorities.
“Crofting is central to the well-being of some of Scotland’s more remote, rural and island communities. We firmly believe that it is in best interests of stakeholders that we continue to work with the Commission as we develop a crofting system that is productive and fit for purpose in the 21st century.
Siobhan Macdonald, Senior Agriculture Consultant said:
“SAC consulting was happy to be invited along to the crofting roadshows to promote the Scottish Government’s new Farm Advisory Service. Through this service SAC Consulting will be able to continue to offer discounted advice to our crofting clients for the next four years along with a suite of public meetings on a variety of topical issues. The upcoming crofting election gives crofters an opportunity to elect who represents them at the Commission and have their say in the future of crofting - make sure you utilise your vote!”