Council spends £12k on tablets
Move to offset rising printing costs
BUCKS County Council spent more than £12,000 buying tablet computers for councillors last year.
The council has bought 41 iPads at a cost of £12,638, which includes accessories and apps. It also includes £513.94 to replace two broken screens.
The council bought 38 tablets in May and June 2013, citing bringing down printing costs as one of the reasons for purchasing them.
In 2012/13 it spent £6,000 on printing for councillors and £1,500 on postage.
In 2013/14, it spent £7,200 on printing and £1,600 on postage.
The figures are from Freedom of Information Act requests asking for the cost of tablet computers, as well as the expenditure on accessories and repairs.
The council was asked how much money it spent on printing and distributing council documents to councillors before and after purchasing tablets.
Bucks County Council’s cabinet member for finance Peter Hardy said: “It’s a key part of our digital strategy to reduce costs and give our residents improved services – and that includes being better connected with them.
“We’re doing just that by developing new ways for residents to do business with us, so that our online service and mobile apps are so good everyone uses them as their first choice for getting in touch.
“In the same way, it’s important that county councillors have effective and efficient ways to stay connected, which allows them to be more easily and quickly available to their residents, and to progress issues on their behalf with the county council.”
But spokesman for the Taxpayers Alliance, Andy Silvester, said: “If the council spends money on tablets – and why it has to be an iPad, the most expensive model, is beyond us – then surely the cost of printing should be going down?
“Authorities often justify spending on technology by saying it will save money in the long term, but that’s been shown by these figures to be a lie.
“The cost of government in Buckinghamshire has to come down, so that council tax is spent on essential services not administration.”
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