The former tenant in the crofting village of Mangersta, whose activities led to the disbandment of the Common Grazings Committee, has withdrawn all of his financial claims.
The committee was shut down by the Crofting Commission after months of dispute about these claims after which it was asserted that the grazings committee had failed to organise their finances properly. During the dispute, payments were made on two occasions to the tenant but the cheques were returned.
Following recent publicity and calls from several quarters for a public inquiry into the workings of the Crofting Commission, the individual – who had sought a personal share of grants paid to the village while he was an absentee tenant between 1994 and 2012 – said in a letter to the former Grazings Clerk that he was withdrawing “any and all claims … with immediate effect”.
Crofting law expert, Brian Inkster, has now written to the Crofting Commission informing them of the development and asking them to reinstate the Grazings Committee and clerk without delay. Mr Inkster had previously described the Commission’s conduct in replacing the Committee with a Grazings Constable as “unreasonable” and “illegal”.
Members of the former Grazings Committee said in a statement: “We welcome the withdrawal of these demands and sincerely hope it will bring all of this to an end.
“We repeat our call for an inquiry into the workings of the Crofting Commission and particularly the guidance they have sent out, in response to events in Mangersta and Upper Coll, on financial management by Grazings Committees. As is now widely appreciated, these have extremely damaging implications for the whole crofting system”.