Ipsos MORI is a large research group based in the UK, who conduct surveys on behalf of other commercial companies, groups, and UK governing bodies as one aspect of their business.
Ipsos MORI are currently conducting a telephone survey in the Lochgelly area, as part of a survey looking at community issues and perceptions in Fife.
One of our volunteers were contacted today, and took the time to answer the survey. The initial opening questions were general questions about the local area, but once the survey started going more in-depth, the focus of the majority of the questions were about ExxonMobil and Shell operations at the Mossmorran plant.
Questions all relate to operations at the Mossmorran plant, and how effective are the operators in engaging with the local community, engaging with local representatives, supporting local communities, minimising flaring, noise and light pollution.
Another section of the survey deals with transparency, in trying to find out ways of how the plant operators can keep you up to date of developments at the plant, and what other information you would be interested in. Options included being kept informed of the voluntary work of staff, donations to local groups, safety issues, air quality, emergency plans, and would you like to be informed via a dedicated website, community sites, local news, television, radio, email, texts, and through local representatives.
Two of our volunteers were at a site visit organised by Benarty Community Council, who have also expressed health concerns about plant operations, whereby a representative of one of the companies did highlight the LoSW survey and that they intended to conduct a survey of their own. Although the Ipsos MORI survey did not disclose who they were conducting the survey for, it may be a possibility that it is being conducted on behalf of ExxonMobil and Shell.
However, if the survey is being conducted on behalf of ExxonMobil and Shell, it would have been more positive and conductive if representatives from ExxonMobil and Shell could hold regular public meetings in the areas affected to allow members of the public to ask questions and highlight issues, and get those questions and issues addressed, rather than a telephone survey which will only give a limited set of responses available, and once more not fully address local concerns and issues.
Once the survey has been completed, we fully expect the positive aspects of the survey to be published into the public domain through the local media. If we were of a more cynically minded nature, we would consider that this survey currently being undertaken, is perhaps an attempt to undermine our community based independent study, which is still ongoing, so please complete the survey, if you haven’t already.
We certainly hope that whoever is behind this survey, will publish the data collected in full to allow the local communities to do their own analysis of the results in comparison with the data we have collected, which we have already published early results from, and will continue to do so, until the survey is concluded, to ensure continued transparency, and seeking the addressing of issues being raised.