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Eastern Daily Press: Bacton: We need more information

ED FOSS

07 March 2008 18:58

Swifter communication with villagers in the event of any incident and more information about the day-to-day goings on at Bacton gas terminal are the key to improving relations between gas operators and their close neighbours.

That was the message delivered by Bacton Parish Council chairman David Gale during a one-to-one meeting with Shell plant manager Don Paulino.

Mr Paulino pledged to work hard to improve relations and stressed that a good relationship with villagers in Bacton was highly important to both him and the company.

Speaking after the meeting he said: “We have discussed how we can further improve the communication between the terminal and the parish council and we will continue to have regular contact.

“We are still looking into the terms of the overall content of the information shared but we are all very keen to engage more with the local community.”

The meeting was held following last week’s fire at the Shell plant.

After the incident, which saw nine fire engines and 74 firefighters called to a blaze in the plant’s waste water treatment system, some villagers said they were angry at the lack of information they received from officials. Mr Gale called for the meeting in response to the concerns.

He said the meeting had been productive and called it “a positive step forward”.

“The problem is that if you keep people in the dark they invent their own stories. It is the unknown that scares people,” he said. “It is a lot of simple issues and information that need to be relayed to the public.”

Mr Gale said he had suggested information could be made available through Bacton’s monthly newsletter and on the parish noticeboards.

He said he had received a pledge from Shell to look into this along with a promise to keep villagers better informed about the outcome of this incident and any others that may occur in the future.

An investigation into the causes of the blaze is still under way. Until the investigation is over Shell will not speculate on the cause of the blaze or give any idea as to the extent of the damage it caused.

On Monday the plant became operational again after being shut down for nearly five days.

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