24 Nov 2016

Scottish farming families face eviction

Chief Correspondent

In Scotland, bad law and alleged broken promises have left seven farming families facing eviction. On the Isle of Arran, the Paterson brothers will be the first to go, leaving behind the farm they’d expected to hold for generations.

The Scottish government stands accused of abandoning tenant farmers, who – following a change in the law around tenancies – have felt the rug pulled from beneath them.

The Scottish Government said in a statement:

“The Scottish Government would like to make it clear that it supports fully Scotland’s tenant farmers. Contrary to assertions in the report regarding the case of the Patersons, the Scottish Government did commit to facilitate and fund mediation and is in fact providing funding to tenant farmers and their landlords for costs of the mediation up to £13,000 (inc of VAT) per party.

“The Scottish Government initially offered tri-partite mediation in this circumstance on the basis that, if any party wished to submit a compensation claim against it, it would consider liability independent of the mediation process. If liability was accepted, then the Scottish Government would engage fully in mediation.

“No parties took up this offer prior to the tenant farmers lodging their court case against Scottish Ministers, including their associated compensation claims. After the case was lodged, the claims for compensation were duly considered but, on the information submitted, there was no legal or factual basis to found liability. It was not possible for the Scottish Government to engage at that point in any mediation.

“The Scottish Government refutes liability in this case and, as is proper, is now waiting on the Court’s ruling.”