Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing announced today that Rod Mackenzie has been appointed as Convener.
Crofting Commission CEO Bill Barron said: “I give my best wishes to Mr Mackenzie as he takes on his role as Convener. We have had several meetings of the Board since the elections in March and I have been impressed at each by Rod’s enthusiasm and good sense. Along with the staff of the Commission, I am looking forward to the work ahead, promoting and regulating crofting with a very able group of Commissioners, headed now by Mr Mackenzie. This now allows us to implement our Action Plan with Mr Mackenzie leading the organisation. This will ensure that the Board is able to function as a collective unit, while respecting each Commissioner’s individual perspective and views.
Commenting on his appointment as Convener, Rod Mackenzie states: “I’m delighted to have been selected to be the new Convener of the Crofting Commission. Though based in Beauly, my role with the Auction Marts has taken me to many more remote crofting communities, particularly in the Northern Isles, so I know that crofting is a jigsaw made up of many different pieces.
Mr Mackenzie said we must continue to promote the interests of crofting
“Somehow, as the regulator for the whole of crofting, the Commission has to make the pieces fit together and administer fairly and openly and within the constraints placed on us a public regulator. We must continue promoting the interests of crofting, to help sustain this unique land management system for future generations. And of course, it is not only about the land – crofting is about people and communities. So, I want to get out and about to meet those people in their communities as much as possible, to listen to what our network of almost 90 Assessors has to say about the future of crofting in their areas and to look at what people are telling us in response to Commission consultations on a new grazings regulations template and the Commission Policy Plan.”
There are many uncertainties out there at the present time; we know that. So it is all the more important that we pull together and that is how I see my role as Convener, working with the staff and my fellow Commissioners, pulling together for the good of crofting.”
Sutherland crofter Sandy Murray, Chairman of the NFUS Crofting, Highlands & Islands Committee said:
“NFU Scotland would like to extend our congratulations to Mr Mackenzie on his appointment as the new Convenor of the Crofting Commission.
“We will meet Mr Mackenzie and Bill Barron, Crofting Commission Chief Executive, in July and then welcome him to the next meeting of our Crofting Highlands & Islands committee on 25 August.
“With a new Board of Commissioners now in place and the publication yesterday (20 June) of the Crofting Commission Action Plan, produced in response to the Scottish Government review into the Governance of the Crofting Commission, this is an exciting time for crofting.
“On behalf of our 850 crofting members, I welcome the opportunity to work with Mr Mackenzie and his fellow Commissioners in order to fully support crofters and sustain crofting into the future.”