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Section 31 — Obtaining Commission approval or consent

Part of Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:30 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat 10:30 am, 1st July 2010

The committee debated the issue in some detail at stages 1 and 2. In many respects, the practical implications of the Government's proposal had perhaps a superficial appeal, with ministers seemingly trying to avoid a situation in which a croft was passed to a family member who was quite clearly absent and, more pertinent, had no intention of rectifying the situation by moving back to or near the crofting township. However, the significance of Government being seen to interfere with the assignation of a croft to a family member was perhaps underestimated. Whatever the well-intentioned motives, I suggest that such a move was likely to set alarm bells ringing. Amendments 190 and 191 are, as Peter Peacock admitted, modest, but they strike the right balance and will help ministers to avoid falling into the trap—or, more relevant, avoid placing the commission in the invidious position—of second-guessing what a crofter should do with regard to assigning his or her croft to a family member.