MADAM – I have asked, along with other Labour councillors, the same questions about the incinerator that the Greens and the Liberal Democrats say they are going to ask the administration at the next county council meeting.

They are referring to the costs to the council if the appeal by Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) fails.

On every occasion the Conservative administration has refused to provide detailed costs.

All county councillors are aware that the amount UBB will claim from the county council if the appeal fails will possibly be in the region of £15 million.

However, the Conservative administration, which initially set the project in motion, has refused to give us any information about the costs on the grounds of ‘commercial sensitivity’.

It is not only the Greens and the Liberal Democrats who want the answers.

The Labour group in Shire Hall have badgered the administration since 2005 for some information about costs and also about alternatives to the incinerator, which is now out-of-date technology.

Every appeal has fallen on deaf ears and every response to the Labour group in those early years, long before the Greens had a county councillor, did not answer satisfactorily any of the crucial questions we asked.

So I welcome this initiative by the Greens and the Liberal Democrats, although I feel it is a pity we could not all be involved in the process.

Providing a united opposition which would outnumber the Conservative group, would have given a stronger message.

Brian Oosthuysen