In a move signalling some disquiet in the Falkland Islands’ Legislative Assembly, three-quarters of the elected members decide to remove the Hon Emma Edwards as the Tourism Representative. The portfolio was transferred to MLA Mike Summers who is currently overseas.
In what has been described as a reluctance to follow official policy, six of the eight elected members of the Legislative Assembly have decided to remove the Hon Emma Edwards as the portfolio holder for Falkland Islands tourism. Although invited to meet with the rest of the assembly to discuss the issue, she declined, and has left her colleagues with no other choice but to remove her from the post.
An FIG press statement released Wednesday explained that “The FIG has agreed a Tourism Development Strategy. This strategy document was formulated by a tourism strategy group, was consulted on and presented to, and agreed, by the Falkland Islands’ Tourist Board.”
It continued, “It is clear that the Hon Emma Edwards has always held deep reservations about certain aspects of the strategy and is quite clearly opposed to official policy in some areas”.
Describing her position as untenable, members agreed to transfer the post to fellow MLA the Hon Mike Summers who was voted in during this year’s by-election replacing Glen Ross whose resignation was caused by an overly-committed work schedule.
MLA Summers is currently in the Isle of Man, supporting the Falkland Islands representatives at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
This is one of our key industries, and it is important that MLAs, the FITB and all the tourism businesses have confidence in the direction that we are taking. I am happy to take up the strategy agreed by Executive Council and FITB, and to work with the industry to deliver the results to which we all aspire. They are ambitious and will not be easy to achieve, but to make progress we must all be working together said MLA Summers from the Isle of Man.
In an address to the Assembly earlier this year Miss Edwards stated “The tourism strategy is quite a challenge but with the support of the FITB Members I hope an achievable challenge.” She added “Tourism is a very and increasingly important industry in these Islands and I hope that this strategy will show the commitment the Islands’ Government has towards tourism.”
Miss Edwards, who also holds the portfolios for: Minerals, Environment & Heritage, Housing and the Public Accounts Committee, was elected during the “clean-sweep” of 2009, when the electorate voted out all eight serving members in favour of a new, more-open government.
Neil Russell - SeAled PR - Stanley