2. OVERVIEW OF RESPONSES
2.1 This section of the report provides an overview of the responses received to the Call for Evidence. It considers who the responses came from, who was not represented in the response, and provides general comments on the responses.
Who replied to the Call for Evidence?
2.2 The Call for Evidence was publicised through the Scottish Government website and issued to a broad range of stakeholders with an interest in the issues covered. The Call for Evidence was issued on 4 October 2012 and the closing date for submissions was 11 January 2013.
2.3 In total, 475 responses were received to the Call for Evidence. The response was split equally between organisations and private individuals. There were 237 from organisations and 238 responses from individuals.
2.4 The Call for Evidence drew a relatively high proportion of responses from individuals. In some cases, responses came from individuals employed by or associated with an organisation that also made a response.
2.5 In order to identify common and divergent views among respondents, we split them into stakeholder groups as follows:
- Community ownership organisations and their representative bodies
- Deer management groups and their representative bodies
- Estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives
- Tenant farmers, crofters and their representatives
- Local authorities, public bodies and their representative bodies
- Fishery boards and their representative bodies
- Local community organisations
- National voluntary organisations and charities
- Other representative bodies
2.6 Table 2.1 provides a breakdown of respondents by stakeholder group.
|Estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives||110||46|
|National voluntary organisations and charities||31||13|
|Local community organisations||19||8|
|Other representative bodies||17||7|
|Community ownership organisations and their representative bodies||15||6|
|Local authorities, public bodies and their representative bodies||15||6|
|Tenant farmers, crofters and their representative bodies||7||3|
|Fishery boards and their representative bodies||6||3|
|Deer management groups and their representative bodies||5||2|
|Estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives||102||43|
|Tenant farmers, crofters and their representative bodies||27||11|
|Local community organisations||7||3|
|Community ownership organisations and their representative bodies||1||0.5|
|Local authorities, public bodies and their representative bodies||1||0.5|
|Deer management groups and their representative bodies||-||-|
|Fishery boards and their representative bodies||-||-|
|National voluntary organisations and charities||-||-|
|Other representative bodies||-||-|
|Total number of respondents||475|
*Percentages have been rounded.
2.7 The largest group of organisational responses came from 'estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives' (110 - 46%). We analysed this group further to identify whether it was possible to break into smaller groupings. However, based on the content of the responses, we were only able to identify eight responses from farms which were owner managed and farmed. In a number of cases, it was not possible to distinguish between a farm and estate. When analysing the responses, we have sought to identify any divergent views from these eight owner managed farms and other respondents within this grouping.
2.8 In the case of the 'estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives' and 'tenant farmers, crofters and their representative bodies', we have included their representative bodies. However, as the NFUS and its two branches which responded represent organisations in both groupings, we have included them as an 'other representative body' and highlighted their views where appropriate.
2.9 'National voluntary organisations and charities' include a wide range of groups including conservation bodies, sports and outdoor organisations, grant distributing bodies and housing organisations.
2.10 'Community ownership organisations and their representative bodies' include a number of organisations that have been unsuccessful with community ownership bids or are developing prospective bids.
2.11 A small number of responses were received from 'fishery boards and their representative bodies' and 'deer management groups and their representative bodies. Their views have been analysed separately. Some of these boards and bodies were also estates or landowners, or coalitions of these.
2.12 Although individual respondents were not asked to identify any stakeholder group they belonged to, a number of respondents made this clear (for instance, by indicating their current employment and referring to their current role and employer) and we have allocated their response to a particular grouping.
2.13 In the case of 100 individual responses (42%), we were not able to identify if they belonged to a particular grouping and have classified them as 'other individuals'.
2.14 The largest identifiable grouping of individuals came from 'estates, farm owners, landowners and their representatives' (102 - 43%), followed by 'tenant farmers, crofters and their representative bodies' (27 - 11%).
2.15 Based on the responses received, the Call for Evidence was seen as being primarily a 'rural issue'. The overwhelming majority of respondents live or work in, or represent rural communities or interests. There was only one response from a predominately urban local authority, and one from a local community organisation in an urban area. Urban interests were largely restricted to national voluntary, representative or other organisations. This is in contrast to the Scottish Government's consultation on the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (which sought views, among other things, on extending the Community Right to Buy to urban areas http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/01/9545/0) and elicited a much greater proportion of responses from individuals and organisations with urban interests.
2.16 Just over half of the organisational respondents did not return a Respondent Information Forms (RIFs) or requested that their details were not shared with others. In addition we have followed the Scottish Government's practice of not identifying individual respondents. As a consequence, while taking account of the views of these 80 per cent of respondents, we have reported on them anonymously.
The interpretation of quantitative and qualitative information
2.17 Given the lack of prescribed structure required for responses, the focus of our analysis has been primarily qualitative. Where a quantitative analysis of the response to a particular theme has been provided, this should be treated with some caution given that respondents were not specifically requested to respond to any particular issue.
Email: Liz Hawkins
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