Peter Peacock sets out opposition to key aspects of Crofting Bill

13 May 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Peter Peacock, together with other Labour colleagues, has set out opposition to key aspects of the Crofting Bill before Parliament.

Speaking today (Thursday) in the debate at the end of the first stage of the Parliamentary process scrutinising the Bill, he made clear he thought the proposals for a new and second register of crofters simply added bureaucracy and cost on crofters, and had the potential to cause division and unnecessary dispute about croft boundaries locally.

He also made clear that the Labour party in parliament would continue to oppose this proposal and a further proposal to charge crofters for regulatory applications to the Crofters Commission.

Labour moved an amendment to the motion to allow the Bill to progress, urging that major changes be made to it.

He said, "I disagree with a map based register of crofts.

"Such a register is not essential to the regulation of crofting and it will cause unnecessary cost to crofters.

"The proposals will cause disputes where non exist at present and cause local division which is unnecessary."

Speaking after the debate he said, "It is very disappointing that the Scottish Government have made clear their intention to continue with this unnecessary and controversial proposal and in the face of opposition from the Crofting Federation.

"The government tried to soften their proposal by offering a tiny concession to delay the start of the register by just a year, but that goes nowhere near far enough.

"We will be moving amendments at Stage 2 of the Bill to try and get this matter taken out or delayed for a good lot longer time.

"We want to eliminate the positively damaging things for crofting the present Scottish Government are trying to push through, while saving the one or two things that may offer some limited benefits.

"Labour MSPs will continue to stand up for the interests of crofters throughout the Bill's passage."


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