Newcheck oncouncil officials
Parents will be able to pay for their child’s school meals online in a new system which is to be rolled out across West Dunbartonshire.
A cashless system will allow online payments for meals and other transactions, such as school trips.
Currently revaluation machines are used in all of West Dunbartonshire Council’s secondary schools.
Pupils put cash into the machine, which puts credit on a card which they present at lunchtime in exchange for school meals.
A report to the council’s tendering committee reads: “While this system provides a small degree of cashless operation at the point of sale, the cash generated has to be removed by courier from the school office on a regular basis.
“It is envisaged that a parentto-bank payment option would reduce and eventually remove the requirement for the machines and would provide cost savings on their rental, maintenance and updating to accommodate changes to coins or notes.”
The committee is expected to award Parentpay Limited a 30-month contract to deliver the service during a meeting today (Wednesday).
That would include a six-month pilot, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
It will cost the council £100,000 over three-and-a-half years, excluding VAT.
The council’s long-term plan is to phase out the machines as uptake of the online school payments system increases.
Parents will still be able to pay using Paypoint and at the school office. A committee could be formed to keep a tight reign on decisions being made by council officers without input from elected members.
West Dunbartonshire Community Party member Jim Bollan suggested at a meeting of the council that a group of members should be tasked with compiling a list of decisions unelected officials are able to make.
The councillor also expressed concern about the number of meetings held between officers and members with no written agenda and which exclude the press and members of the public from attending.
Councillor Bollan said: “There should be a cross party subcommittee of the council to specifically look at the delegated powers senior officers are able to implement without coming back to the democratic process.
“I think one way to deal with this is to set up a sub-committee that reflects the political make-up of the council and let the sub-committee go away and seek a detailed list of all delegated powers officers are able to implement at the moment.”
Council leader Jonathan McColl responded: “It’s something I am happy to look at and we will find the best way going forward.”
Plans are for the committee to be made up of three members of the administration, two Labour members and two others.
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