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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 Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party 10:30 am, 1st July 2010

Amendments 190 and 191 seek to require the commission to consult the crofter if it proposes to refuse an application to assign a croft to a member of the crofter's family and to allow the crofter 28 days to submit further representations on the proposed decision. Of course, such a decision would be made because the commission was not satisfied that the absenteeism issue would be dealt with.

In effect, the amendments seek to create an additional procedural step for the commission in dealing with family assignation at a time when Peter Peacock has also been arguing about commission resources. They also seek to ensure that crofting legislation continues to contain the kind of inequalities among crofters that this Government is attempting to remove. This Government believes that all regulatory applications to the commission—assignation or otherwise—should be treated equally, fairly and reasonably, whether they are family or non-family transfers. The amendments would not add much to the existing commission policy, which is to allow assignations to be made to either family or non-family members, even if they are unable to comply with the duties immediately, so long as they undertake to comply within a reasonable timeframe and put interim arrangements in place to ensure that the croft is worked.

I therefore urge Parliament to reject amendments 190 and 191.