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MOVES are underway to appoint a new independent chair of the Mossmorran Working Group.
Founders Lesley Laird, former MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; and Professor Wilson Sibbett, from St Andrews University, have stepped down as co-chairs.
Mossmorran Working Group, established in 2017, brought together all stakeholders – including ExxonMobil and Shell; safety regulators; and community and political representatives – for the very first time to address flaring at the Fife Ethylene Plant.
As the local MP of the day, and aware of the problems that were being raised by constituents, Ms Laird made the decision to try and put together a body that would bring all sides together.
Ms Laird said: “As the political lead of the group, I was always keen on having an independent co-chair to ensure a degree of continuity. Unfortunately, Professor Wilson Sibbett will be unable to continue in this role.
“I believe Mossmorran Working Group made real progress in representing the communities we are here to serve, by holding the companies and regulators to account whilst establishing a more open and productive dialogue, and I believe it is important that this relationship is continued under a new independent chair.
“The ongoing investigations, and the implementation of the BAT report, all remain critical issues to be followed through to ensure that the Mossmorran communities continue to have a meaningful voice going forward.”
At October’s meeting of the Mossmorran Working Group a number of key recommendations were made in relation to the future structure of the group, including the appointment of an independent chair.
“That action now resides with Fife Council,” said Ms Laird, “and I understand that a meeting will be convened in February and will be chaired by Linda Turner, of the local authority, to determine next steps for the Working Group.”
Ms Laird has stepped back from the Working Group following her loss of the seat in the December General Election and new MP Neale Hanvey is likely to be asked to join it and already he has shown a keen interest in Mossmorran as he is very aware of the impact the effects of flaring has on the communities of the area.