The Scottish Farmer are not always on the ball when it comes to crofting news. This week they excelled themselves with the headline ‘New Crofting Commissioner announced’.
Well we had all been waiting patiently for the remaining vacant seat for an appointed commissioner to be filled. Only one of the two vacant posts was recently filled following the appointment of Malcolm Mathieson with a promise that the remaining appointment would “be made in due course“. Did The Scottish Farmer have an exclusive for us on this? Unfortunately not. They just had their CEOs mixed up with their commissioners.
The real news that the Scottish Farmer was trying to report was that Bill Barron has been appointed as Chief Executive at the Crofting Commission.
The Chief Executive and designated Accountable Officer is responsible for the strategic leadership and overall operation and management of the Crofting Commission, including financial controls. Bill Barron has assumed the role on a permanent basis after being appointed as interim CEO in October 2016 following the departure of Catriona Maclean.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said:-
I am pleased that Bill has accepted the position and will join the Commission as permanent Chief Executive.
We have achieved a number of important milestones since we established the Crofting Commission in 2012, and there is now an opportunity to build on successful developments in crofting, refocusing attention on being an effective regulator and delivering an excellent service to crofters.
I am sure that Bill will bring leadership skills and dedication to the role and I wish him every success.
Crofting Commission Chief Executive Bill Barron said:-
I am delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission. In my three months as Interim Chief Executive I have met regularly with Commissioners, staff, crofters and many other stakeholders to hear their views.
The work I have started will continue, giving the Commission a renewed focus on securing the future of crofting and preparing for the new Board following the crofting elections in March 2017.
Bill Barron – biography
Bill Barron was appointed interim CEO of the Crofting Commission in October 2016.
Before that he worked on housing policy and delivery for the Scottish Government for 8 years, covering a range of issues including homelessness, housing’s contribution to health and social care, housing-related social security, and the supply of affordable housing.
A former statistician, Bill has also worked for the UK and Scottish Governments in the fields of education, social security, health and justice.
The Commission’s board can have up to nine commissioners. A maximum of six are elected by crofters, with the remainder appointed by Scottish Ministers. The Commission is the only public body in Scotland with a majority of board members elected by the people they serve.