It has emerged that some of the local representatives (Community Councillors and Councillors) serving on the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Community Safety Committee are continuing to receive gifts of corporate hospitality from the operators of the Mossmorran Petrochemical Plant, with local representatives in the first quarter of the year (2013) enjoying an all expenses paid trip to the 6 Nations Rugby Match.
It originally came to light via the Courier in 2012 that Mossmorran firms offer hospitality to group set up to scrutinise safety performance and that Councillors enjoyed Murrayfield hospitality from firm responsible for unreported carbon emissions.
Contacting the ticket office responsible for hospitality informed us that there is several packages available from the Executive Suites, to the Thistle package, to the lower end costs of the Hospitality Village. The highest costs were £850 + VAT per person to £473 + VAT per person. All packages included; 3 course meal, all inclusive bar, and then relevant marketing materials such as the programme brochure, etc.
Data publicly released from our Mossmorran Perception Study has shown that the majority of respondents is against local representatives receiving gifts, and the updated data below of 178 responses, show that there is no change to this attitude:
Q. Accepting gifts compromises the integrity of representatives
Q. Representatives accepting gifts improves relations between the community and Mossmorran
For those that don’t know, the purpose of the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Community Safety Committee is to give the local communities surrounding the developments an opportunity to raise issues of concern to the plant operators.
The committee is made up of a local Community Councillor from each area, who has the duty to raise any concerns taken to them from their Community Council after consultation with the public. Any issue raised and how these are being addressed, should then be fed back into the Community Council and disseminated to the wider community.
However, this feedback and engagement mechanism, put in place as part of the planning conditions for Mossmorran, varies between Community Council areas. For instance, the latest minutes from the committee was not shared with the Lochgelly Community Council by their elected Community Council representative, leaving Community Councillors as much in the dark as the local community it is representing.
If we are to progress resolutions within the communities affected by Mossmorran, and build a network of trust and transparency between the communities and Mossmorran, then there needs to be clear communication from all the Community Councils, assuring the communities they represent, that information will be properly distributed within their localities, including full disclosure of the gifts and events, offered and accepted, for the sake of public transparency and public accountability, and if the assurances cannot be provided, then maybe it is a time for change, within the community liaison committee and it’s members.
For those that would like to read the latest minutes of the meeting from the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Community Safety Committee, please visit: http://btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net/site5822/Documents/Mossmorran%20and%20Braefoot%20Bay%20Community%20Safety%20Committee.pdf