The first crofting election took place in 2012 with the next due in March 2017. The election is for appointments to the Crofting Commission's Board which provides leadership and support to the Crofting Commission, the public body which regulates crofting.
Six people from the six constituencies that make up the crofting counties and areas will be elected to the Board. Most of the Board members are elected by the people regulated by the Crofting Commission; the remainder are appointed by the Scottish Government.
Board members need to hold the required skills and have relevant experience to undertake their role in addition to having knowledge and understanding of crofting. In 2012 there was a 41.5% participation rate in the postal vote for the election with 29 candidates put forward for election. The importance of having a range of suitable candidates emerged as key, with diversity in candidates a central aim. A particular emphasis was given to encouraging more women and young people to stand for election.
The Scottish Government wishes to raise awareness of the forthcoming crofting election and also ensure that the election is transparent and fair. To this end they issued a consultation paper seeking wider views on key aspects of the election: the boundaries for the six constituency areas; who should be able to vote in the election; and who should be able to stand for election; the process of appointing a new Commissioner should a vacancy arise before the 2022 crofting election; and how to encourage a diverse range of candidates to stand for election.
The consultation contained 13 questions and was published on 18 March 2016 with views invited by 22 June 2016.
The Scottish Government received fifteen responses to the consultation. Ten of these were from individuals; five were from organisations. The organisations which responded represented a range of stakeholder categories. Table 2.1 overleaf lists the respondents to the consultation by their category.
Table 2.1: Respondents to the consultation
|Respondent||Category of respondent|
|Community Land Scotland||Representative body|
|National Farmers' Union Scotland||Representative body|
|Scottish Crofting Federation||Representative body|
|Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||Local Government|
|Storas Uibhist||Community Company|
|Individual respondents||10 individuals|
Analysis of responses
The analysis of responses is presented in the following eight chapters which follow the order of the topics raised in the consultation paper. 13 questions were posed by the consultation inviting a mix of closed and open responses. The analysis of responses to these is based on the views of those who responded to the consultation which are not necessarily representative of the wider population and cannot be extrapolated further.
All respondents used Citizen Space, the online system established to receive consultation responses, to submit their views. This database was exported by the analyst to an Excel database for detailed analysis.
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