Friday 16 March 2012
28 candidates put themselves forward and 10,877 postal ballot papers were issued to eligible voters. During today’s count all returned valid ballot papers were counted under the Alternative Vote System.
The results are as follows;
1. Shetland Constituency
Kathleen Ann Sinclair, Firva, Scousburgh, Shetland
2. Orkney and Caithness
Arnie Pirie has been elected unopposed.
3. East Highlands Constituency (East Sutherland, Easter Ross, East Inverness & Moray)
Donnie Ross, Strone Croft, Leault, Kincraig, Kingussie
4. Western Isles Constituency
Murdo MacLennan, 5 Aignis, Stornoway
5. West Highlands Constituency (West Sutherland, Wester Ross, Skye and Lochalsh)
I.G. Macdonald, Grianan, 1 Lower Ollach, Braes, Portree, Isle of Skye
6. South West Highlands Constituency (Lochaber, Argyll & Bute, Arran & Cumbrae, Small Isles)
Colin Niall Kennedy, Highland Corrie, Arinagour, Isle of Coll, Argyll
This is the first time people have been democratically elected by Scotland's crofting community to represent their interests. The official change from the current Crofters Commission to the Crofting Commission will now come into effect on April 1, 2012.
The Returning Officer was Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Alistair Dodds. Speaking after he had announced the results he said:
“It was encouraging to see 28 candidates from the crofting communities put themselves forward for this landmark election. It highlights the importance of this opportunity for people who are actively involved and making a living through crofting . I’d like to congratulate the successfully elected Board Members and wish them all well in their new roles.”
Full details of the results can be found on the home page of The Highland Council’s website - www.highland.gov.uk and the Crofters Commission website - http://www.crofterscommission.org.uk
In January 2012 three further places on the Commission Board were filled by Ministerial appointment. Successfully appointed were Susan Walker and William Swann from the Isle of Skye and Sandy Cross who divides his time between Edinburgh and Shetland
The Scottish Government provides financial support to crofters through the Croft House Grant Scheme, the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme, and the Crofter Cattle Improvement Scheme.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
“I'd like to thank everyone who took part in this historic election, the calibre of candidates was extremely high and I'm sure those elected will represent the interests of crofting and crofters with commitment and enthusiasm.
“The Scottish Government is committed to the support and survival of crofting. The new Crofting Commission will effectively regulate crofting towards that end, reflecting and responding to the needs of diverse crofting areas in order to deliver sustainable growth and build stronger communities, contributing to the development of a thriving rural Scotland.”
For more information on the Crofting Reform Act, visit www.scotland.gov.uk/topics/farmingrural/rural/crofting-policy/Act