National Trust asks chairman to return

In September, Andrew Gibb resigned as chairman of the Council for the National Trust.

Now the organisation says it wants him back.

Gibb resigned at the annual general meeting after public concerns were voiced about his involvement as the local architect acting on behalf of the proposed Beach Bay property.

The trust has raised concerns about the proposed St. James Point Resort, a 125-unit hotel and condominium project planned for the site near Bodden Town, and the impact it might have on turtle nesting. The project is opposed by the Department of the Environment.

In a news release, the National Trust said it “reiterates its stance on the Beach Bay development. Regardless of Gibb remaining as chair, this in no way influences the trust’s position …. It remains concerned about the impact on the turtle nesting beach.”

At its first meeting since Gibb resigned, the 19-member board voted to ask him to serve out his final year as chairman.

Executive Director Nadia Hardie said adequate provisions to deal with the kinds of conflicts that led to Gibb resigning are in place.

“It is unrealistic to assume conflicts, apparent or otherwise, will never arise on our small islands,” Hardie said in the release. “The trust operates on the basis of good governance and complete transparency, requiring all members of the council to declare any direct conflicts of interest. If a conflict is disclosed, the member is required to recuse themselves from the discussion and decision-making process. However, the trust has further refined its conflict of interest disclosure processes as a result.”

Gibb has been on the council for eight years. He has a background in laws and regulations related to planning. He was originally with the Historic Advisory Committee, before being elected to the council.

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