Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today welcomed an acceptance from Crofting Minister Fergus Ewing that crofting regulation should help and not hinder Orkney’s crofters.
The acceptance, delivered in Holyrood following the announcement of the new Chairman of the Crofting Commission, follows a long campaign from Northern Isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott to urge the Scottish Government to recognise the difference of island crofting in any regulations.
In a survey conducted by the two MSPs in 2014, the most prominent request by crofters across the isles was for an end to one-size-fits-all crofting regulation.
Speaking after the statement Liam McArthur said: “It is widely accepted that each the crofting counties are different. All the evidence shows that the needs and aspirations of crofters in Orkney and Shetland, for example, are different from those in other parts of the Highlands.
"Tavish Scott and I have been making this case over a number of years, having surveyed the views of crofters in the Northern Isles. Ministers have expressed some sympathy but to date we have seen no action.
“I welcome Fergus Ewing's acceptance today that the current one-size-fits-all approach to crofting regulation is not appropriate or working in the best interests of crofters and crofting communities. However, we now need to see the government's warm words translated into meaningful action.
“I will continue to work constructively with Mr Ewing and others to ensure a new direction and tailored approach is taken.”