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

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.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

A former Exmouth nurse is hoping a book of poems she has written over her lifetime will raise funds for a blood cancer charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:41

It’s ‘Flashback Friday’ and we found these pictures of Topsham station in the Exmouth Journal archives.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Mindless vandals sprayed graffiti on a live animal on a farm near Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Devon saw an increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants during December – with East Devon recording the highest increase of any district.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son’s life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 15:46

The number of recorded crimes in three out of four Exmouth neighbourhoods rose year-on-year in 2016, according to figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Thu, 11:26

County planners have been asked to approve the long-awaited completion of Dinan Way at a meeting next Wednesday (January 25).

Read more
Thu, 06:30

The amount claimed in expenses by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire during the last financial year has been revealed.

Read more
Wed, 13:52

This stunning view will become the outdoor ‘office’ for the new East Devon Pebblebed Heaths’ conservation manager

Read more
Wed, 12:30

The hunt is on to recruit two new local youths to sign up for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) course.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°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

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

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications