The Dept. of Agriculture have published the list of approved commonage advisors. Just under 1,600 commonages now have an advisor. These advisors can now start walking commonages, talking to farmers and developing plans. This is a huge step forward, commonage planning can now finally get out of the traps.
There are about another 1,000 commonages involving at least one GLAS applicant that have not yet had an advisor appointed. The bulk of these (c 800) are commonages where more than one person applied for the Commonage Advisor role, a smaller number are commonages where no advisor applied. In the case of multiple applications, the Dept. of Agriculture will have to make a decision on who to appoint. The method for selecting an advisor in such cases is as follows. First the advisor with the support of the greater number of farmers will get selected, if two or more advisors have the support of an equal number of farmers, than the advisor with the support of the farmers with the greatest number of shares will be selected. If this also results in a draw than the advisor who has the support of the farmers owning the greater number of sheep will get the nod. This will be adequate to break the deadlock in the vast bulk of cases.
In the case of commonages where no advisor has applied, the Dept. of Agriculture briefly reopened the application period and I am sure at least some of these sites will get an advisor to apply. The remainder will have an Advisor assigned by the Dept. of Agriculture. The farmers will have no say in this process.
The Dept. of Agriculture are also writing to farmers, officially informing them of who the Commonage Advisor is. The farmers on a given commonage must sign up to this advisor, even if they had previously signed up with someone else. Inevitably this means that some farmers will have to deal with a Commonage Advisor who is not their own Farm Advisor. In some cases, farmers with multiple commonages will have to deal with a number of different advisors. This may make the process a little more complicated but it is unavoidable. If this applies to you, than make sure the two advisors are aware that you are involved in a second commonage and ensure that commitments made in each plan do not conflict with each other.
A full list of Advisors linked to each commonage can be found by following the link below.