Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

15:00 13 January 2014

Woman

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.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

16:06
The Range is now open at Exmouth's Liverton Park much to Captain Range's delight. Ref exe 25-16SH 9725. Picture: Simon Horn.

Pictures of the new store

Read more

Fly tippers could face fixed penalties of £400 under new powers approved by East Devon District Council.

Read more
15:21
Item stolen from a home in Exton.

Police are appealing for information after a burglary at a property in Exton.

Read more
13:50
Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8104-47-11AW

The chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce says businesses will want to see market stability and political clarity, after the vote by the UK to leave the EU.

Read more
08:52
The EU Referendum results are in. Picture: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Hugo Swire MP said people must work together to secure the best deal for Britain, following David Cameron’s announcement that he will step down as PM.

Read more
12:30
Active Mums Cycling project

Mums in Exmouth are jumping on their bikes in order to encourage women to increase the amount they cycle for leisure and active travel.

Read more
13:22

The chairman of Budleigh Salterton Chamber of Commerce has called on residents to support local shops, following the Leave vote in the EU referendum.

Read more
The EU Referendum results are in. Picture: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

In the wake of Britain voting to leave the European Union this morning, the leader of East Devon District Council (EDDC) says he ‘trusts the electorate’.

Read more
08:56
MEP Julie Girling.

Julie Girling and Molly Scott-Cato both released statements following the EU referendum result.

Read more
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

David Cameron has announced he will quit as Prime Minister by October after a humiliating defeat in the referendum which ended with a vote for Britain to leave the European Union.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications