Decc are currently carrying out a survey in our area.
Only to be completed by people who have very little knowledge and no opinions on Fracking. They are being invited to participate in workshops and will be paid £180.
This is our MP’s answer to our question regarding this survey.
Thank you for contacting Mark about the survey that, you informed him, was conducted in Wesham yesterday afternoon by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Mark was entirely unaware of this and as he wanted to get back to you immediately with any information we could garner, he asked me to call DECC this afternoon. I have now received a response from DECC, which Mark has asked me to pass onto you.
I have been informed that DECC were indeed carrying out this survey. They provided me with the following information, which I have copied below for your convenience.
*”The aim of the research, which will be published in full, is not to influence but to understand how people form their views on shale gas extraction. For this reason participants were sought who have not already formed an opinion, positive or negative
*The research has been procured through competitive tender. This is standard practice for government research to ensure it is transparent and accountable.
*Previous externally commissioned research suggested that focus group dynamics were undermined when participants had strongly held views, either in support or opposition to shale gas.
*Our latest tracking survey showed that 44% of the public neither support not oppose shale gas.
*The research is taking place where the development of shale exploration is at different stages of the planning process: Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and North Yorkshire, and also Peterborough where there is no shale prospectivity.
*Participants in the research are being recruited via ‘free-find’ methods. In ‘free-finding’, recruiters randomly select people in central hubs of activity within a specified area, such as high streets and shopping centres.
*Financial incentives are a standard part of social research. People participating in this research project will spend approximately 12 hours, spread over two Saturdays, in workshops. For many, this is a considerable time investment. (DECC response, 01/03/2015)”
All of the above comes directly from the department. I hope that it helps to answer your very understandable concerns about the manner in which this focus group work is being conducted.
Thank you again for making Mark aware that this survey was being conducted in this manner.
Senior Parliamentary Assistant | The Office of Mark Menzies MP