I am also very surprised that the legal fees aren’t very much higher, given that a barrister represented the council for a whole day at the courts in August – and EDDC’s battle with the Information Commissioner has been rumbling on for ages.

My first question was:  “Please detail the total costs incurred so far by EDDC as a result of resisting the Information Commissioner`s ruling that EDDC should release information relating to the office relocation project.”

EDDC Conservative leader, Paul Diviani’s answer was: “It was not this Council’s desire to see this matter go to a tribunal and EDDC offered to resolve the matter by correspondence but the Information Commissioner decided otherwise resulting in time and expense.

“The legal expertise required by the Council has cost £7600 to date.”

My second question was:  “Please state the estimated figure before commencing the court action. Please state the expected final total of the cost to EDDC.”

The response was: “As has been previously said, this kind of tribunal is a new process. It is not EDDC that ‘commenced’ this action. The Council had sought to resolve the matter by correspondence rather than the more expensive and time consuming process of a hearing. As such we did not have a budget estimate for the activity.”