National Development Plan for Crofting: Island Communities Impact Assessment
3. Consultation

3. Consultation

Identify people and organisations that need to be involved or require consultation.

The National Development Plan will build upon the work undertaken by the Crofting Stakeholder Forum and its six priority papers.

The Plan also builds upon the responses received to the 'Stability and Simplicity' consultation, the public consultation on Crofting Legislation and the Future Priorities for Crofting, and the survey results to the 'Economic Conditions of Crofting Report', and the Law Society's consultation on Crofting Law Reform, together with the various published reports that have either been carried out on the subject of crofting, or affect crofting.

Crofting policy officials have engaged with members of the Crofting Stakeholder Forum, which represents crofting interests, during the development of the Plan.

Membership of the Forum includes the Crofting Commission, Scottish Crofting Federation, NFUS, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, SAC Consulting, NatureScot, and Scottish Land & Estates, Woodland Trust Scotland and Croft Woodlands Project.

The crofting policy team has also worked closely with other Scottish Government departments such as RPID; Housing; Environment and Biodiversity; and Scottish Forestry.

As part of its engagement in the development of the Plan, the Crofting Commission provided a contribution, and feedback at various stages throughout the drafting process. Updates were provided to the Commission's Board at Board Meetings, and Commissioners provided comment and feedback. The Commission's Board comprises 6 elected Commissioners and 3 appointed by the Scottish Ministers. Of those elected, three are from the islands, representing island interests.

The Scottish Ministers, as Landlord, own Barra; part of Benbecula; part of North Uist; part of Skye; an area of Lewis; an area of Islay; and some common grazings in Shetland. As Agent for the Scottish Minister's Estates, RPID has a unique understanding of crofting and the islands.

More broadly, in the public sector, crofting policy officials have engaged with Highlands and Islands Enterprise; NatureScot; the Farm Advisory Service: Woodland Crofts Partnership; and the Scottish Crofting Federation in the early engagement and discussion stages, to ensure that the Plan captures the salient points of interest.

As part of their own engagement processes, NFUS engaged with its own Highlands and Islands Committee and the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) did likewise with its Board.

The Highlands and Islands Committee has 18 members, 9 of whom are from the islands, including Skye, Mull, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. The SCF Board comprises 6 members, four of whom are from the islands, including the current Chair, residing in Shetland, Lewis and Skye.

In November/December 2020, crofting officials met with the NFUS Highlands and Islands Committee and the SCF Board, separately, to discuss the draft Plan, and provide opportunity for these key crofting stakeholders to feedback any comments and suggestions.

Consider the most effective way to consult

As detailed above.

Consider the questions to be used in the consultation when considering how to accommodate island realities.

No external formal consultation/survey was undertaken. Matters of interest to the islands were fully considered through ongoing engagement with stakeholders throughout the preparatory stages of the plan.

Review information gathered through consultations and what concerns have been raised

Crofting policy officials have considered the responses from previous consultations and surveys in forming the content of the Plan. This included engagement with key stakeholders on matters relating to the future of crofting and developing solutions to concerns raised, all of which have been fully considered and incorporated as appropriate within the Plan.

The Crofting Commission, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) and National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) have engaged closely during the development of the Plan. The SCF and NFUS represents crofting members from across the crofting counties. NFUS liaised internally with their Highlands and Islands Committee to ensure the needs of the islands were met and SCF engaged with its Board.

Did the screening assessment identify any unique impact on island communities?

No unique impact identified.


Contact

Email: aileen.rore@gov.scot