Councillors’ £4,000 IT strategy heavily criticised as ‘wanton waste of money’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:00 13 January 2014

Woman's hands typing

Woman's hands typing

Archant

Finance bosses at the town hall have been criticised for earmarking £4,000 for laptops and tablets while simultaneously increasing council tax.

But the town clerk said that, if taken up, it could be a viable ‘cost-cutting’ measure because of the soaring increases in posting and the printing of council documents.

On the draft budget papers for 2014-2015 the figures allow for a one-off £4,000 cost to buy councillors laptops or tablets.

Lib Dem councillor Eileen Wragg said: “I do think that it is extravagant.

“I believe that the purchase of these items for town councillors is a wanton waste of money at a time when councils are faced with difficult decisions in making cuts to their funding.

“After all, our only statutory responsibility is for allotments.

“Why on earth do we need extra IT equipment? East Devon has just gone paperless, and councillors have to purchase their own devices.”

By law, councils have to provide documents to councillors in a paper format – but there are moves to allow these documents to be sent electronically.

Town clerk Colin Poole said that the cost of printing, postage and telephones totalled £9,000 during the last financial year.

He said: “We have been looking at opportunities to make savings.

“The cost of postage and printing is going up and up and up.

“It is conceivable that if we purchase electronic devices for the councillors, in two years we would be better off.”

He added: “This may enable those councillors willing and able to sit at meetings with their papers electronically before them to avoid printing costs.

“For others it may be that by contributing towards the cost of print cartridges and paper we save the cost of postage by councillors printing out their own paperwork. For some, it will remain necessary for the council to print off the paperwork and post it. However, if only half the councillors took steps to facilitate cost reduction, then the taxpayer would be better off within a few years.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:28

The council has teamed up with South West Ambulance and will invest £5,000 in the life saving equipment.

Read more

Chris Wright, whose family used to run Exmouth Fun Park before eviction in September last year, has critised EDDC over a planned £150,000 temporary play park on the site in Queen’s Drive.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44

Aaron Mills, of Capel Lane, pleaded guilty at Exeter Magistrates Court to criminal damage at Fever and Boutiqpue Nightclub, in The Parade.

Read more
Tue, 17:52

Christopher Jackson, 23, of Staple Mews, was caught with a Glock pistol-styled BB gun by door staff outside Fever and Boutique Nightclub, magistrates told.

Read more
Tue, 17:29

Nathaniel Darby, 23, of Nelson Drive, admitted possession of the controlled drug at Exeter Magistrates Court.

Read more
Tue, 17:21

More than 1,200 tonnes of rubbish was recycled in East Devon over Christmas and New Year - the equivalent of six blue whales.

Read more
Tue, 15:39

“With a very kind donation like this, it will help us to get our minibus sooner, which will not only help out the members of Exmouth Gateway and their football team, Exmouth Tigers, but also other charities around Exmouth.” - Exmouth Gateway Club

Read more
Tue, 15:03

Exmouth Air Cadets new HQ, near the top of Phear Park, includes a 25metre range for target shooting. The building has a drill hall and several classrooms for practical and academic lessons.

Read more
Tue, 12:37

EDDC awards contract to playground equipment specialists for a Jurassic-themed play park ‘for all ages’.

Read more
Tue, 12:00

The amount of money households have to pay towards the work of the town council is set to remain the same for 2018-19.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications