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Crofters Commission, 1955-2012

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Authorized form of name

Crofters Commission, 1955-2012

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  • The Crofters Commission

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In 1883, the Government set up a Royal Commission to find out more about crofting. The Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886 which established rights for crofters was passed as a result. The Act gave crofters the rights to a reasonable rent, to pass their croft on to their families and if the crofter decided to give up the tenancy of his croft, the Act also stated that they would have to be paid for any improvements made to it. It also set up a Crofters Commission as a forerunner of the modern organisation, which administered the Crofters Acts until it was superseded by the Scottish Land Court in 1912 (under the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911).

The present day Crofters Commission was reconstituted under the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1955 following on the recommendations of the Taylor Commission of Enquiry into crofting conditions in Scotland, to reorganise, develop and regulate crofting in the seven crofting counties of Scotland (Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Orkney and Zetland). The Act restored the statutory meaning of a croft (roughly a holding of less than 50 acres in extent or with a rental of less than £50) and conferred on the Commission specific powers to control the reletting of crofts, to terminate the tenancies of absentee crofters, to authorise the granting of feus to aged and infirm crofters who wished to give up their land but to retain their houses, to frame and implement schemes of reorganisation of crofting Townships which had fallen into a state of disorganisation and decay, to supervise Common Grazings Regulations and the standards of husbandry on crofts, and to administer Schemes of Assistance and Grants for aiding and developing agricultural production on crofts. Under Section 2(2) of the Act, persons of good standing and with a knowledge of crofting conditions were appointed in Panels of Assessors for the Mainland and Island areas, to assist and advise the Commission in their dealings with crofters.

The Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 repealed the 1955 Act, reconstituted the Commission, and makes the Commission responsible for overseeing legislation and for developing crofting. The Crofters Commission, whose nine members were to be appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland, advises Scottish Ministers to ensure that the Government is aware of issues relating to crofting.

In 1 April 2012, the Commission was replaced by The Crofting Commission.


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