Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Crofting Reform etc (Scotland) Bill

Crofting reform was one of the first issues to be tackled by the Scottish Office back in 1886, so it's interesting to note that the Scottish Parliament is still debating the same issue 120 years later. The Scottish Executive's Crofting Reform Etc (Scotland) Bill was debated this afternoon at Holyrood, and included an engaging contribution from Ted Brocklebank, a Conservative list MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife. He obviously knows his history, as the speech refers to the Napier Commission, which reported in 1884 and recommended that crofters be given security of tenure and fair rents. This was enshrined in the Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Act of June 1886, the first substantial piece of Scottish Office legislation passed since the department was created the year before.

Brocklebank's speech also refers to Willie Ross's Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act of 1976, which allowed crofters to purchase their properties, something this new Executive Bill encourages. You can read the full text of Ted's speech by clicking here.


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