Diary - reassurance from oil company Perenco

Away from the madhouse and back in Dorset's clean air. A busy day, beginning in County Hall, Dorchester, where I attended one of my regular catch-ups with the senior management team of the new unitary authority. This is always a fascinating session and today proved no different as our conversation ranged far and wide on local matters. Then it was to Association HQs for a meeting I had arranged with Sandbanks ferry MD Mike Kean and a handful of local people who have expressed particular concern about the closure of this service due to a breakdown. It lasted an hour and was useful, I felt. Everyone got whatever was on their chest off and many points were clarified. One constituent has been working on a plan to provide a temporary foot-passenger service should the ferry break down again, and this was taken away by Mr Kean, who will see if its workable. In the meantime, I have requested a meeting with the Transport Secretary to see whether the 1926 Act is still appropriate today, amongst other matters. Then the RCN's area representative, the delightful Julia Connelly, came for one our regular get-togethers to chat about all things nursing. This was following by a meeting with my local team and then I headed to Perenco's Furzebrook offices to chat about concerns over oil exploration. Perenco runs Wytch Farm, just down the road, and the company is now taking geophysical surveys of a large area nearby to see what oil deposits, if any, are underground. They use a large pad on the surface of the ground that causes minor vibrations which in turn send a signal to seismic sensors on the ground. From these soundings, they can see, from the shape of them, where oil might be. They have to close roads for a short period as the pad is mounted on a lorry, but local residents are not prevented from getting to their homes and closures are not for a long period of time. All this information is then collated and further work is then done to see where oil might be. Exploration of these likely sites will follow, but not for a long time. And they do not know at this time whether it's going to be worth their while to pursue extraction anyway. Importantly, they do respond to residents' concerns quickly, or so they told me, and that is important if people are to be kept informed and reassured. Then back to the office until c1900.