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22/05/15 14:55

Crofting Commission update

Minister meets Commissioners.

Options for choosing a new Convener of the Crofting Commission have been discussed at a meeting between Environment Minister Aileen McLeod and the Commissioners in Inverness.

It comes two weeks after Susan Walker resigned as Convener and as a Commissioner.

Dr McLeod said:

“This was a very constructive meeting with the Crofting Commissioners, where we discussed in detail the options for choosing a new Convener and filling the vacant Commissioner position, in line with crofting legislation.

“My priority now is to ensure that the Commission continues to operate effectively to the benefit of Scotland’s crofting communities and I am very encouraged by what I have heard about the work that is underway, for example to develop an industry-wide vision for crofting.

“Susan Walker achieved a great deal during her time in office and made a very positive contribution to the Commission and to crofting – highlighting just how important the role of Convener is in providing leadership to drive forward Commission’s work.

“At today’s meeting, the Commissioners had various suggestions about the best way forward for selecting the new Convener.

“I am keen to work constructively, collaboratively and consensually with the Commissioners and I am open to all ideas.

“Today’s meeting has given us all a lot to think about, and we agreed that the Commissioners and Scottish Government should give these options further careful consideration - and I look forward to receiving an update from the Commission in due course.”

Crofting Commission Chief Executive Catriona Maclean said:

“I would like to thank Dr McLeod for meeting with the Commissioners.

“We covered a lot of ground in this afternoon’s positive and constructive discussions, during which the Board reiterated its unwavering commitment to crofting and continuing the good work that is going on at the Commission

“The Commissioners are keen to find the best approach for the organisation and for crofting as a whole, and we look forward to working with the Minister on the next steps for appointing a Convener.”

Notes to editors

The Crofting Commission’s functions and process are governed by crofting legislation including the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993, as amended by the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Crofting legislation enables Ministers to appoint one of the Commissioners to fulfil the role of Convener, in line with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, or delegate the selection of the Convener to the Commission.

Susan Walker joined the new Crofting Commission as a Commissioner in April 2012 and was appointed as Convener by the then Minister for the Environment and Climate Change in September 2012.