Lacklustre response by Crofting Commission

Lacklustre response from Crofting CommissionThe Crofting Commission eventually got around, on 24 August 2016, to issuing a public written statement regarding the letter from Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for crofting, to Colin Kennedy, Convener of the Crofting Commission. It states:-

A special meeting was held by the Board on the 21 July to consider the Cabinet Secretary’s letter to the Convener. The Board unanimously agreed that the Crofting Commission support the Scottish Government’s position on CAP funding and disbursal of funds by common grazings committees.

The Convener, Colin Kennedy, has written to the Cabinet Secretary confirming the Board’s agreement.  At the Commission’s Board meeting on Wednesday 17 August, draft guidance for grazings committees was considered and the Commission is planning to engage with stakeholders to discuss the guidance.

The Crofting Commission continues to work constructively with the Scottish Government and is committed to securing the future of crofting.

So nothing there we didn’t know already! And nothing to clarify the confusing mixed messages issued on the Commission’s behalf by Commissioner Murdo Maclennan in English and in Gaelic immediately following the board meeting on 17 August.

Or does this clarify the position without explicitly saying so?

With no add-ons like we got from Murdo Maclennan does this mean there is no qualification to the support given to the letter from Fergus Ewing (i.e. the Crofting Commission are not actually saying that they think they did the right thing but are still supporting his letter – instead they are simply unequivocally supporting his letter and therefore admitting that they got it wrong completely?)

However, we shouldn’t have to be drawing inferences from statements issued by the Crofting Commission.

They knew there was confusion caused by Colin Kennedy’s statement to Jackie O’Brien on 16 August and Murdo Maclennan’s statement to the media on 17 August. In both cases the message was in effect  that “we’ve done nothing wrong but we support the letter from Fergus Ewing”. Is this or is this not the position of the Board of the Crofting Commission? Or are they split on this point?

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission, Catriona Maclean, to clarify the matter, for the avoidance of any doubt, for readers of this blog. I will let you know her response should I receive one and am not simply ignored again.

5 thoughts on “Lacklustre response by Crofting Commission

  1. Linda Brackenbury

    God forbid there should be complacency in the workplace, though within the commission there appears to be at least some,
    lacklustre responses to such as yourselves come about because no-one within quite knows the differences between what is or isn’t,
    just the way a certain individual likes it to be,

    Fergus Ewing MSP a man who really is in the firing line so to speak needs to research the past to find the answers he seeks because he won’t get those questions answered by anyone in the present who are in effect just as confused as he.

  2. Kenny Maciver

    Our constable has awoken. Is he for beating a retreat ? Not a chance. He is going to sort us out. He knows everything. He is going to tell us how wrong we have been in all that we have been doing. He seems to be unaware that his untenable position is that and is determined to plough on.
    We await with interest finding out how much of his work has been attempted muck raking on behalf of his real masters and what proportion has been to sort out matters which were already in the process of being done by the summarily dismissed committee.
    We await with interest hearing how he thinks he has a right to ride rough shod over shareholders wishes and take over our bank account and what is left of the money ….after most of it was distributed as per the Commission’s instructions.

    The only matter over which there was any dispute was their dissatisfaction over the professionally prepared accounts, in spite them being prepared to their exact prescription. Anything else he has involved himself with has been furthering investigations on behalf of the real masters as they seek to justify the unjustifiable.

    Everything in our village has been totally transparent, minuted , and recorded. All shareholders who bothered attended were given a full accounting of the finances every year. We all knew what was done with every penny, and we agreed.

    Now a constable with no previous knowledge of the dynamics of a village grazings committee, but much knowledge of police investigations is ruling the roost and in spite of all the evidence that his appointment was illegal seems determined to push on.

    We ordinary shareholders, who were not on the committee, and are not led by the nose by them have decided enough is enough.

    We have had enough of Kennedy led shenanigans. We want the democracy which made our village a model village returned to the shareholders. A local disagreement, which should have been left to shareholders to sort as has always been the case, has been escalated to a ridiculous extent by the body who should have sought to give guidance, advice, even mediation.

    Kennedy came with an agenda , now totally discredited at the highest level. It is high time his lieutenants got the message. You were wrong. You acted wrongly. You continue to act wrongly , without our support, and we will continue to oppose you until we have our village back in our hands.

    None of us wanted this fight. We are not being difficult. But neither are we going to put up with any more of this nonsense.

    We are not lawyers but we can read and we thank this blog for continuously and clearly pointing out the wrong that has been perpetrated on us in Upper Coll.

    We are not perfect but we don’t deserve what we have been put through over the last few months.

    1. Linda Brackenbury

      Quite right Kenny Maciver! Stand your ground as we did some years ago, every case in every court we won but he would not let go,
      he’s good at appealing on points of law..and all the while he’s there on the ground grinding everyone and everything to a halt..and on the days he ought to have been in court ..he suddenly has a cold and cannot attend and so he manages to string things along for another while..we lost everything, through his shenanigans..I pray your village does not follow suit!

  3. Roy Pentland

    “To all intents and purposes, Mr Ewing has admitted privately that Mr Kennedy is a complete loose cannon, making up crofting law as he goes along, casting aspersions on decent people and creating chaos in some crofting communities.”

    so, we now have a loose cannon rolling amongst us good and decent folk. And that’s with the constraints of the position he holds.

    Imagine the damage this loose cannon could do if those constraints were severed and he was booted out of this powerful position he somehow? acquired. Stories out of Coll and Tiree are worrying and disturbing, so the only thing I can say, is if this loose cannon starts rolling after you, you’re in for a rough ride.

    1. Linda Brackenbury

      In a nutshell yes, a very rough ride..our rough ride went on for seven years and the two previous landowners suffered similiarly over a period eleven years,
      The sad thing about all of this is that had the government bothered to read or acknowledge my many letters to them or rather individuals within the government, many years ago then they would not be having to deal with it now, simply he would not be in the position he now enjoys, at the expense of all concerned.


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