Harlow Council set the record straight over I-Pads for councillors

News / Thu 3rd Jul 2014 at 11:02am

ipadHARLOW’S ruling Labour group have detailed their reasons for splashing out on new i-pads for councillors.

A council spokesperson said: “Providing each Councillor with a tablet will not create any additional costs for the Council as the equipment is being supplied as part of an ongoing contract with O2. The Council is however spending £48,500 on IT equipment and software across the Council to meet the security requirements placed upon public organisations by Government rules. The Council is using allocated IT budgets and savings made on contracts to cover this. Had existing IT equipment for Councillors been upgraded or new laptops issued to meet the new rules it would have cost £56,500.

The Council prints more than 160,000 pieces of paper every year for Council meetings and the agenda and reports are posted or in some circumstances hand delivered to Councillors. By providing tablets the savings alone on printing has been estimated at £32,000 a year.

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Due to Government security rules, Councillors IT equipment, which had come to the end of its life, had to be upgraded. The cheapest way of doing this was to issue tablets, rather than buy new laptops. For Councillors this will also enable them to not have printed copies of reports/meeting minutes, both saving thousands of pounds in printing, paper, postage and energy, and reducing the impact on the environment.

“Essentially tablets mean Councillors can access Council information and documents and respond to residents at any time of the day. As always the Council is seeking to minimise costs, and take the right long term decisions. We are always asking for Officers and services to work more efficiently and that is the same for Councillors. These tablets are not a luxury for Councillors they will simply help all Councillors meet the demands of their role.”

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