Future of Crofting Conference

27 January 2010

Brian InksterBrian Inkster was in Stornoway yesterday for the Future of Crofting Conference organised by Western Isles Council (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar). 120 delegates listened to a keynote address from the Minister for the Environment, Roseanna Cunningham on the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill. 

The Minister advised that the focus of the Bill was to tackle absenteeism and neglect. A crofter’s responsibilities were to reside on or near a croft and put it to some form of productive use. An unused croft was an empty space that does no good to anyone. It was all about healthy communities and keeping those communities alive.

There was a panel session chaired by Derek Flyn (retired solicitor and legal adviser to the Bill Team) with questions being answered by Drew Ratter (Convener of the Crofters Commission), Murdo MacLennan (Area Commissioner of the Crofters Commission for the Western Isles), Patrick Krause (Chief Executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation) and Bruce Beveridge (Deputy Director, Rural Communities Division of the Scottish Government).

Highland & Islands Enterprise gave a talk on the delivery of crofting community support. The work of Crofting Connections was explained: a programme of activities and events that seeks to inspire over 1,000 young people aged 5-16 living in remote rural communities throughout the Highlands & Islands about crofting past, present and future. Breakout workshop sessions were held on Housing, Common Agricultural Policy and Community Ownership.

Brian Inkster has provided a full account of the proceedings in a blog post published by The Firm Online today: Is the Future of Crofting Law Bright?

We are tweeting about the progress of the Bill at www.twitter.com/CroftingLaw

For crofting law advice or assistance contact Brian Inkster on 0141 229 0880 or send Brian an e-mail.