Northern councils spend over £600,000 on 'digital gadgets'
07 November 2012
Councils in the north of England have spent over £600,000 on "digital gadgets" for the use of their employees, a new Freedom of Information (FoI) request has found.
According to a report by the Northern Echo, local authorities in the North-East and North Yorkshire have spent hundreds of thousands on the purchase of gadgets including iPads and smartphones. Costs have also included ongoing running costs, including bills and line rentals.
Durham County Council has handed out over 900 smartphone handsets to its staff and a further 110 to its 126 councillors. North Yorkshire handed out over 400 smart phones but no tablet computers.
In response to the FoI request, Durham County Council said many of its officers needed smartphones as an "essential and vital" part of the communications system. This was especially the case for "those who may be called for out-of-hours work, such as emergency services, social workers and other first response professionals, such as street scene, planners and highway services".
Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "In order to have the moral authority to oversee necessary cuts in expenditure, councillors and council staff must ensure any spending on themselves is necessary and delivering taxpayer value for money."
Previously, Scarborough council chief executive Jim Dillon told Publicservice.co.uk
that its investment in iPads would help the authority with its democratic function and would also eventually pay off.
more council bashing digital gadjets !!
since when has a blackberry been classed as a gaddget more a neccesary working tool for many in the council as for the cost it is peanuts in the scheme of things especially when published elswhere in the press the lack of being able to contact council employees we could save a few pounds and make the service less accesible by returning to written communication which in the end would cost more ,
eddie reed - Bishop Auckland