We take our responsibilities to the local area very seriously and we are committed to taking an active and positive role in the local community. This means making a meaningful contribution to the social and economic well-being of the area, as well as keeping the community informed as the project develops.
It is hugely important to us that the local communities of North Yorkshire and Teesside benefit from the Project as much as possible, economically and socially.
This means not only making payments to local mineral rights holders and to the Sirius Minerals Foundation, but providing jobs, supporting local employment initiatives, working closely with local businesses, funding training schemes and developing education outreach programmes.
We intend to operate this Project for decades to come and want to make sure that we make a positive difference to the local community.
We continue to ensure that we keep the local community updated on the development of the Project and respond quickly to questions and concerns.
The Liaison Group Forum met three times in 2017. It was established to facilitate liaison between local stakeholders about construction, providing updates about progress and to enable any concerns to be raised and resolved.
Chaired by the Company, its membership includes representatives from the National Park Authority, local authorities, parish and town councils, and wider community stakeholder representation as appropriate. The meetings are open for the public to participate.
We make sure that we regularly update residents that live closest to the mine site. This includes individual visits to 50 households around the Woodsmith and Lockwood Beck sites. We have also hosted site visits for our closest neighbours.
Over the last year we have attended 20 Parish and town council meetings, focusing on those closest to the Project sites. We have held two site visits for parish and town councillors in 2017, one at Woodsmith and the other at Lockwood Beck.
In 2017 we held four public dropin events to update local residents on upcoming construction activities, gave presentations to a number of local interest groups, distributed a newsletter to over 10,000 households in the Whitby area, and maintained the Project’s 24-hour community helpline. We also produce regular social media updates and provide the latest Project information on the company’s website.
If people have concerns about the Project we encourage them to get in contact with us. We always make sure that we respond quickly and take action where necessary. In 2017 we received a total of 42 complaints about our construction activities.
Most of the complaints were related to traffic issues, with 22 about HGVs not using the approved transport route and a further eleven about highways signage or temporary traffic management measures.
Whilst the proportion of HGVs using prohibited routes is very small we have taken this very seriously. The enhancement of the delivery management system, together with measures taken against contractors and drivers, resulted in a significant reduction of complaints by the end of the year.
We have had six complaints about noise issues, which have largely related to site vehicles reverse beepers and have been quickly resolved.
Lighting at the site has also been raised as an issue and we continue to work very closely with the National Park Authority and our contractors to minimise light spill from the Woodsmith site, whilst maintaining a safe working environment.