The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has written to the cabinet secretary for crofting, Fergus Ewing MSP, expressing their deep concern that crofters’ democratic rights are being flouted following the appointment of a constable by the Crofting Commission.
“The majority of shareholders of the Upper Coll grazings have voted,” said SCF chair Fiona Mandeville, “yet this constable, whose legality of appointment is refuted by lawyers, is completely ignoring them.
“The shareholders have demanded that the constable, Colin Souter, who was appointed by the Crofting Commission, stands down so that they can reinstate a democratically elected grazings committee. Why is he still there?”
She continued: ““Democracy is the very foundation of grazings committees.
“A lack of democratic procedure by the removed Upper Coll committee is something that the constable has been trying, unsuccessfully, to find evidence of.
Call for government to do the right thing now
Ms Mandeville concluded: “This incredible situation is extremely harmful, not only to the crofting community of Upper Coll, but to crofting itself.
“We can understand that the Scottish Government is reluctant to interfere with a democratically elected Commission, but this constable is not democratically elected, claims to be independent of the Crofting Commission who appointed him, and is flouting democracy.
“There is nothing to stop the Scottish Government from doing the right thing, and it must do it now.”