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5 January 2012

Crofting Commission Members Appointed

Minister for Environment and Climate Change today announced the appointment of three new members to the Crofting Commission.

The new members are:

Susan Walker - has been an active crofter for three decades, producing much of the family food on a two acre croft in Camuscross, Isle of Skye. She is the co-author of 'The State of Crofting in Camuscross', an academic report on crofting in her local township of Camuscross, and writes articles for the press on crofting matters. She is a Director of Camuscross and Duisdale Initiative, an ambitious community trust that is working in partnership with crofters and grazings shareholders on local food and community infrastructure projects. Ms Walker holds no other current Ministerial public appointments.

William Swann - is a veterinary surgeon with extensive international experience in community development. He was brought up on a small moorland hill farm and kept native Manx Laughton sheep on an upland croft on the Isle of Man. He is passionate about the survival and future development of crofting and lives with his wife on Skye. He is also a respected oil painter and often includes crofting landscapes in his work. Mr Swann is a current board member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, appointed until March 2014 with a remuneration of £10,065 per annum

Sandy Cross - is a qualified investment manager with a career background in financial services, including several posts at managerial level in private sector companies, and is author of numerous articles on finance. He is closely involved in the rural economy and currently divides his time between Edinburgh and Shetland, where he is involved in farming, shellfish farming and is the landlord of a 1,600 hectare crofting estate. He will bring governance experience to the board of the Crofting Commission and will represent the interests of landlords of crofts. Mr Cross holds no other current Ministerial public appointments.

All three of these appointments will be for five years and will run from April 1 2012 to March 31 2017.

Each appointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £7,440 for a time commitment of four days per month.The Crofting Commission will take over the functions of regulating, reorganising and promoting crofting from the Crofters Commission on 1 April 2012, in line with amendments made to the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 by the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. The Crofting Commission will contain a mixture of appointed and directly elected members, making it more transparent, democratic and accountable. There is also a statutory requirement for at least one of the members to be able to speak the Gaelic language and for at least one to appear to Ministers to represent the interests of landlords of crofts.

These Ministerial public appointments were made in accordance with the code of practice published by the Public Appointments Commissioner for Scotland.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. Mr Cross has declared activity with the Scottish Conservative Party. Ms Walker and Mr Swann have not declared any political activity.

Stewart Stevenson
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