After a fortnight of heavy criticism - and demands for a public inquiry – the Crofting Commission met today and issues a defiant media release, refusing to accept that there was any valid criticism of its actions.
Following the dismissals of the Grazings Committees of Upper Coll and Mangersta Common Grazings, the Commission issued the following statement at its Board meeting:
"The Commission wishes to reassure shareholders that it is committed to assisting all common grazings committees and clerks to self-regulate within the provisions of crofting legislation and will work with them to do so." The commission had earlier been accused of being heavy-handed and bureaucratic.
The statement went on to add that in order to support this self-regulation, "it is important that all shareholders have the fullest information about the differing roles and duties of the grazings committee and the grazings clerk.
"The committee are responsible for managing the rights of all crofters within the common grazings in accordance with their own, approved regulations.
"The role of the clerk is to receive and pay-out all shareholders monies in accordance with their approved regulations as set out in the Crofting Act 1993.
"With this in mind the Commission has arranged to meet with the shareholders in both Upper Coll and Mangersta Common Grazings in mid-May to advance the process which has already begun in these townships."