Sir – I was pleased to see Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell, assuring readers that an independent vote by the county council cabinet would be made on incinerator proposals for Oxfordshire.

Residents of the large area which would be affected — up to 12 miles from the incinerator chimney — have been greatly concerned at some procedures adopted by OCC. The council left the decision on technology to the market rather than seeking ‘best technology’ as required under EC waste directives, and consequently received and encouraged bids for incineration, and from incinerator operators who have a questionable record of operating other incinerators safely.

One OCC-selected site proposal still did not have a Human Health Hazard Risk Assessment included almost four months after receipt at OCC. Nor have OCC commissioned any Independent Technical Assessment to assess many flaws found in the proposal by parish councils and by the Vale of White Horse District Council, who have all raised strong objections.

Several OCC councillors have responded to objections by referring to safety reports prepared by the Waste Incinerator Industry (rather than independent reports).

Other councillors have mentioned their site visits to incinerators, taking superficial appearances and the PR messages put across from their visitor centres as relevant safety authority.

David Mckenzie, Sutton Courtenay