Tuesday, 29 September 2009




The SNP MSP for the Western Isles has hailed the decision by the Crofting Minister to heed advice from crofters in the constituency to remove draft plans for a residency requirement on decrofted houses.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

"This is a very welcome sign that the Scottish Government is listening to crofters, and ensuring we get a crofting bill that reflects their genuine needs.

"The SNP has always said we will listen to what communities need. Nobody disputes the need to tackle the speculation of croft land, and it is now for everyone with an interest in crofting to produce measures that are workable.

"After much lobbying, not just from me, but from the Crofting Foundation and others, the Minister has indicated that the residency requirement in the draft bill will not appear in the Bill itself. That is the occupancy requirement, widely criticised for placing an unworkable role on local authorities, who would have to assess whether those living on decrofted land were doing so for 184 days a year.

"As Roseanna Cunningham has said, doing nothing about the problem of speculation is not an option. However, her willingness to go back to the drawing board about this measure reflects well both on her, and on the many crofters and others who made their feelings known to her throughout the consultation on the draft Bill.

"I will continue to meet with the Minister and officials about other aspects of the Draft Bill. I want to see a Bill, when it is put to Parliament, that tackles the real problems in crofting, and heeds the evidence received from crofters."

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