The Member of Parliament for St James North, Edmund Hinkson, says the Democratic Labour Party has been absent from the constituency for nine years.
Hinkson spoke with members of the media while on the campaign trail on Sunday.
When asked about his chances come election day, Hinkson said he was more than confident in his ability to retain his seat, not just because of the work he’s done since gaining office, but with the lack of attention seen for some time from the DLP in the area. He expects nothing different this time around.
“I feel confident, I’ve been a member of parliament for nine years, and I think I stand on my record. There is only one other candidate against me unlike some other constituencies,” he said.
“The reality of the situation is that the Democratic Labour Party has had absolutely no presence in this constituency since I was elected as its Parliamentary Representative nine years ago. It’s as if they do not care about St James North — never had anyone in the field, never any operational branch, and essentially that is where it is for the other side.”
Hinkson also added that unemployment, due to slowdowns in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, has hit his constituency severely over the past two years, with more than 85 per cent of the households having at least one person working within these industries.
Given the situation, a diversification of job skills is being pushed heavily by the MP.
“This is a constituency where 85 per cent of the households would have been adversely affected in terms of employment with the advent of COVID because we are plum in a tourist belt — so many persons working in tourism, hospitality, and entertainment, it has been horrendous [for them].
“We have to create a situation where people are able to employ themselves and have that confidence that they are able to gain skills to make themselves more marketable. Of course that has to do with our education and training structure.”
Residents in St James North can expect to see members of Hinkson’s team in the area over the next few days, as spot meetings and other important meetings are scheduled to take place.
“I found a way even during COVID to keep in touch with the constituents, even when we had restrictions in terms of movement and lockdowns. So, it’s going quite well, we are where we want to be at this stage, we have a mass canvass going on today in areas along the coast, we had one yesterday in areas above in Sion Hill and Upper Carlton,” Hinkson said.
“We have our teams in place, and we are preparing for the actual day itself, with our spot meeting starting tomorrow night.” (SB)