Crofting Commission welcomes extra funding

Malcolm Mathieson, Convener of the Crofting Commission.

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The Crofting Commission has welcomed the announcement that their budget will be increased by £700,000 from the Scottish Government.

Of this extra cash, an estimated £140,000 is required to cover wage and other inflation, net of planned efficiency savings. This will leave up to £560,000 available for increases in staffing across vital roles within the Crofting Commission.

Malcolm Mathieson, Convener of the Crofting Commission said: ‘The Commission’s Board and management wish to grasp the opportunity to make demonstrable, measurable improvements in the following priority areas, all of which have been the subject of recent discussions between the Convener, the Board and the Cabinet Secretary…

  • Faster turnaround of regulatory applications (and avoiding future backlogs)
  • Better workforce planning, and actions to reduce the risk of staff turnover
  • Enforcement of duties
  • Crofting Development
  • Continued enhancement of our IS systems.

‘In order to fully support the remote rural economy and the vital role that crofting plays within it; it was absolutely essential for us as a commission to see this increase in funding.

‘We can now put into action the plans and aspirations we have; real progress must be made, and soon, to take proactive and positive steps to preserve and promote this unique form of land tenure.

‘The announcement is not only a reaffirmation of support for the Crofting Commission from government, but recognition that with proper resourcing and funding our regulatory body will be able to efficiently serve and regulate the crofting sector.’

Adding to Malcolm’s comments, Bill Barron, chief executive of the Crofting Commission said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that this announcement that our funding has been increased has been made.

‘We are well prepared to put our additional funding to good use. In order to achieve the strategic goals that have been set out by our Board, the Commission wishes to expand its staffing in the following seven ways…

  •  eight additional front line regulatory staff
  • Restructure of the Senior Management Team with new senior posts of Director of Crofting Regulation and Director of Corporate Services.
  • Reviews of grading of all A3 staff and the elevation of two regulatory B1 posts to become B2 senior regulators
  • An additional administrative post
  • A second developer for the Crofting Information System (CIS)
  • An additional Regulatory and Land Use Team post from October 202
  • A third development officer so that the team can deliver the equivalent of a Land

Matching Service for crofting, which we propose to call the Croft Availability Network.
‘We have already begun the process of employing more staff across the Commission, many of whom are now based remotely throughout the Crofting Counties.’