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Section 2 — General functions of the Crofting Commission

Part of Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:15 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party 9:15 am, 1st July 2010

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I will take Peter Peacock's amendments first and then Karen Gillon's.

As members said, the Government has already transferred crofting development to Highlands and Islands Enterprise. That transfer took place on 1 April 2009. We considered that crofting communities would benefit more if the function became the responsibility of the agency whose primary responsibility is the social and economic development of the Highlands and Islands. We believe that the commission can best contribute to development by ensuring that crofting is properly regulated and that croft land is occupied and used. I therefore urge members to reject amendments 2 and 123.

Amendment 4 is pointless. There is nothing to prevent the commission from requesting a map and nothing to prevent a person from declining the commission's request, so I do not see how the amendment would take us forward. As for amendment 124, it would overburden the commission with a number of ancillary duties rather than focusing it on regulation.

On the other hand, I welcome Karen Gillon's amendment 144, which is a revised version of an amendment that she lodged at stage 2. It will ensure that the commission has explicit regard to supporting population retention in the crofting counties, which I believe we all support.