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

15:40
A rugby themed easter egg trail is taking place along the Exe Estuary

A special Easter egg hunt inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off along the Exe Estuary Trail on Saturday, March 28.

Read more
Ocean Blue. Ref exe 1212-33-14SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Leisure East Devon (LED) has announced it has agreed a 25-year lease to manage the Ocean Blue complex on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
09:13
Topsham Devon Air Ambulance Trust is open for business again after a recent shop refurbishment. Cutting the ribbon is Tom Robertson, Chrissie Peel, Nigel Hare, Martin Bell and Sarah Woolfenden. Ref ext 1296-13-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

One of Topsham’s two Devon Air Ambulance shops held its grand re-opening on Saturday, March 21.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:11
Bus service cuts have been opposed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council.

Cuts to bus services in Budleigh Salterton could leave the town ‘cut off’ and affect its young people, representatives have warned.

Read more
Tue, 11:20
Exeter Crown Court.

An ambulance driver based in Exmouth has admitted driving on a forged licence. Eion Crowley, who was sacked from his job by managers, was given a two-year conditional discharge at Exeter Crown Court.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
Ref exe rolle college

Rolle College will almost certainly re-open in May, seven years after it was mothballed, and host the Exmouth Festival .

Read more
Tue, 09:09
Bassetts Farm primary school year four pupil Abbie Clarke arranged a fund raising cake sale event for Red Nose Day at school this week and is pictured with her classmate Poppy Rowsell who helped her out  Ref exe 9431-11-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Brixington schoolgirl has raised £1,372.41 for the Red Nose Day appeal.

Read more
Mon, 14:51
Gun found in Littleham

An old sawn-off shotgun found in a garden in Littleham could have been used in a robbery, police said.

Read more
Mon, 12:37
Hugo Swire

East Devon’s Conservative MP, Hugo Swire, has welcomed ‘common sense’ measures to make sure drivers are treated more fairly when parking in the region.

Read more
Mon, 11:54
Claire Wright launched her manifesto this week. Ref exe 6325-05-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Independent parliamentary hopeful, Claire Wright, revealed this week the policies she hopes will see her voted in as East Devon’s MP in May.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder