CONSULTATION ON COMMON GRAZING REGULATIONS DRAFT TEMPLATE

The Crofting Commission has examined its approach to the management of common grazings in recent months with the help of a number of others with an interest in and knowledge of crofting[1] Part of this process has been to consider the current format of grazings regulations and their compliance with crofting legislation.  This has resulted in a redrafting of the template that the Commission provides for grazings committees and prospective grazings committees to reflect what is required by the Act.  It may be noted that the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993, essentially states what must be in common grazing regulations.  These have altered little since being updated in 1955.

The Working Group has recommended that at this stage the Commission should consult on the redrafted common grazing regulations template before it is finalised.  The Commission is pleased to do so and would welcome the views of others on this draft template.

CHANGES BEING CONSIDERED TO COMMON GRAZINGS REGULATIONS

The draft regulations are not as detailed as those previously provided.  The view is that there have been requirements stipulated in regulations that have not been specifically provided for in the Act.  Such provision may have been good practice, but strictly speaking need not have been included in regulations.  It is intended that a good practice guide will be provided for grazings committees that will give such guidance rather than have it set down in regulations.  For instance, many common grazing regulations had references to finances and state that a committee should have audited accounts.  While that may be good practice, it is not a requirement of the Crofting Act.

[1] The Crofting Common Grazings Working Group consists of Commissioners and officials of the Crofting Commission, crofting lawyers, Commission assessors and representatives from the Scottish Crofting Federation, The National Farmers Union of Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, Western Isles Council, Highlands and Island Enterprise, Rural Payments and Inspections Division and the Scottish Agricultural College

* 1. Do you consider that separating what is legally required in regulations from what may be suggested good practice is the right approach?

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