Date lodged: 21 June 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, what its position of the comments by the Minister of State for Scotland, Lord Kirkhill, in the House of Lords on 6 April 1976 regarding the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill that "there would seem to be nothing [in the bill] to prevent a voluntary arrangement being made whereby any crofter’s share would be diverted to the grazings committee" and that "[the bill would] not prevent a landlord...agreeing with shareholders in a common grazing that the money should be paid to the common grazing fund" and whether it has advised the Crofting Commission of the decisions of the (a) Scottish and (b) UK Parliament on such matters.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 8 July 2016
The Scottish Government is aware of these comments, which were made supplementary to a debate on an amendment. That amendment was not supported on the grounds that it would take what was a matter for the will of individual crofters out of their hands. The amendment was not voted on and was withdrawn.
The Scottish Government also notes that in the debate the Minister of State for Scotland, Lord Kirkhill, was of the view, separately from the statutory provisions on apportionment of shares in a common grazing forming part of land that is resumed, that individual crofters might agree voluntary arrangements regarding their share being mandated to the grazing committee and that this would be a matter for the individual crofters and subject to being acceptable to all parties concerned.