Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has written to Crofting Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, regarding the ongoing issues between the Grazings Committees at Mangersta and Upper Coll and the Crofting Commission, where both committees have been put out of office.

Mr MacNeil said: “Having met with some of the people that have been involved in this dispute, I am astonished at the way that the Commission have handled  these matters, and it also sends out the wrong message for all the active Grazings Committees in the Crofting Areas. Both voluntary Grazings committees at Mangersta and Upper Coll were very active and were involved in a number of schemes that were of benefit to their respective villages and the individual shareholders.

“Along with many others I feel that the Crofting Commission have handled these issues badly, and if Grazings Committees that were active can be treated like this, then there are huge issues to deal with as regards the rules and regulations currently in place for Grazings Committees.

“The issues surrounding the removal from office of the Grazings Committees at Mangersta and Upper Coll should be investigated to see if a resolution can be found to try and resolve these disputes.

“The fear among many in the crofting community is that there are serious questions about the role of the Crofting Commission and the future role of Grazings Committees if the matters that have arisen from this are not looked at and resolved as  a matter of urgency.”