Harlow Council: New Tory administration set record straight on new laptops

General / Tue 25th May 2021 at 10:32am

THE new Conservative administration at Harlow Council has set the record straight win why they turned up to first council meeting with new laptops

Labour councillor Mike Danvers turned up to the first meeting of the civic year and spotted Conservative councillors working away on new laptops.

Councillor Mike Danvers said: ” Up until this week I had a perfectly good ipad to cope with council work, which has to be secure. Much to my surprise I was summoned in this week to find I had to exchange this device with another. Goodness knows what the Tories are thinking as their first act is to spend so much tax money on themselves. This is the kind of thing that brings local government into disrepute.”

A spokesperson for Harlow Council defended the decision.

The spokesperson said:

“As part of a planned upgrade to councillor IT equipment, new mobile devices were purchased in March 2021 in preparation for them to be ready  for use after the May elections. The cost of the new devices was £26,000, funded from existing budgets in the last financial year. The equipment replaced the six year old councillor Ipads which were originally due to be retired nearly two years ago as part of the council’s IT replacement programme. The operating system for the Ipads is heading towards the end of its life in terms of compatibility with the functions required to support certain applications that are critical to enable the council’s key IT systems, including emails, to be used securely. If the equipment is not replaced, it could end up restricting councillors ability to carry out their elected roles.

“The roll-out of the new devices has commenced and is expected to continue over the next two weeks. IT equipment is being provided to support all councillors in carrying out their roles efficiently and effectively and can be used at home, at a workplace and for council meetings. This means councillors can access emails and IT systems whenever they need to in order to support residents with casework or carrying out official council duties. The old Ipads will be reconditioned and donated to a local community group to help provide IT equipment for those who are most in need.”

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