Tag Archives: Crofting Acts

Inspector Constable

 

Inspector Constable

I think I have found a typographical error in the accounts!

The letter from Colin Souter, the purported Grazings ‘Constable’ at Upper Coll, to the shareholders of the Upper Coll Common Grazings demonstrated once more the mistaken belief that he is under that his role is an investigative one.

He states in the letter:-

It has been necessary to research records to establish the facts and finances from historical records in order to ensure shareholders’ interests are properly protected.

Had he been legally appointed he may have required to do that to get up to speed with what went on in the township to then carry out his appointment to:-

administer the Upper Coll Grazings Regulations for a period of six months… with the like powers and duties of a Grazings Committee.

That role does not involve investigating the past eight or more year history of up to four or more grazings committees  with a view to castigating them for minor misdemeanours and accusing them of illegalities with no evidence in fact or law to justify such action.

He may be a retired Chief Inspector of Police but the title of Grazings ‘Constable’ does not give him the same powers and responsibilities he once had when a boy in blue. The Convener of the Crofting Commission, Colin Kennedy, possibly mistakenly believes that it does.

Colin Souter was specifically advised by the Crofting Commission that his:-

principle responsibility as Constable will be to discharge any outstanding actions required to ensure the duties imposed under the Crofting Acts and the grazings regulations are fulfilled.

This was to “be a short term measure” until “any outstanding actions are discharged“.

It would appear that he has not actually sought to discharge those outstanding actions but instead has gone on a fishing expedition to try and justify for his masters his illegal appointment. Did someone in the Crofting Commission give him this illegal remit? If so who and why?

Mr Souter is certainly firmly of the view that this is his role: boldly stating on his LinkedIn profile that his current appointment, via Colin Souter Consulting, is that he is:-

Engaged to support Scottish Government NDPB Crofting Commission, in investigative and reporting activity.

Hmm… He is not appointed to support the Crofting Commission: He is appointed to support the shareholders in the Upper Coll Common Grazings. He is not appointed “in investigative and reporting activity”: He is appointed to “administer the Upper Coll Grazings Regulations”.

So even if he was legally appointed he is acting illegally!

In my next post I will look at the very cosy relationship between Mr Souter and the Crofting Commission and/or their Convener which makes this sorry story all the worse.

Brian Inkster

Image Credit: Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther Films © United Artists

Who pays the Grazings Constables?

Who pays the Grazings ConstablesWhen the Crofting Commission removed from office members of the Mangersta Common Grazings Committee they undertook to pay the costs of the (illegally appointed, in my opinion and in the opinion of others, including the Crofting Commission itself) Grazings Constable.

When the Crofting Commission removed from office members of the Upper Coll Common Grazings Committee they stated that the shareholders must pay the costs of the (illegally appointed, in my opinion and in the opinion of others, including the Crofting Commission itself) Grazings Constable.

Colin Kennedy, the current Convener of the Crofting Commission, originally stood for election to the board of the Crofting Commission after becoming disillusioned with its management. He said, at the time, that the eight crofters on the Isle of Coll had been treated ‘appallingly’ by the Commission, accusing the organisation of applying the legislation differently in one part of the country to another. If elected, he said he would strive to ensure Scotland’s Crofting Acts would be applied evenly across the board.

The opposite appears to be his actual practice.

However, as Donald Rennie has pointed out, no one should be paying illegally appointed grazings constables.

Brian Inkster