Debate over decision to scrap funded IT equipment for Huntingdonshire District Council members

08:00 03 May 2014

Huntingdonshire District Council.

Huntingdonshire District Council.

Archant

The withdrawal of council-funded laptops and broadband connections for councillors has been delayed after three members challenged the decision.

The Tory-controlled cabinet agreed on April 10 to a proposal that anyone elected onto Huntingdonshire District Council would have to buy iPads or similar tablet computers, paid for out of their £4,000 annual allowances.

It also approved scrapping printed agendas and reports for meetings and using electronic versions instead.

The use of non-HDC email addresses by members was given the go-ahead, as was the ruling that from May 1 all newly-elected councillors would have to take part in the iPad scheme.

The changes would save £50,000 –the cost of updating the current IT systems used – members were told.

But the cabinet’s decision has been called in, delaying its implementation.

Lib Dem Councillor Mike Shellens warned the new policy could “harm the eyesight of councillors” and “dramatically increase the costs of printing at home”. He said the decision needed to be scrutinised by the whole council, rather than a group from a single party.

Fellow Lib Dem Councillor Ste Greenall was also concerned about increased costs for members. “There has not been enough time to consider this item,” he said. “Having a hard copy is more useful.”

UKIP councillor Ken Churchill said the change had “far reaching implications” for councillors and the decision had been taken “contrary to normal decision-making requirements”.

As a result of being called in, cabinet member Councillor Barry Chapman will have to attend the economic wellbeing overview 
and scrutiny meeting on Tuesday, May 6.

The matter could be sent back to the cabinet for reconsideration or referred to full council.

Should no further action be deemed necessary, the original decision will be implemented from May 6.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hunts Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hunts Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hunts Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 14:45
Police Stock, Huntingdon pcso's

Police officers on patrol in Kimbolton managed to prevent a burglary when they came across three masked men attempted to break into a business.

Yesterday, 14:31
Greggs refurbishment, Huntingdon, (l-r) Area Manager Penny Cornwell, and Manager Wendy Morris,

After a two week closure Greggs, in High Street, Huntingdon, is set to re-open its doors tomorrow (August 1).

Yesterday, 12:04

Drivers are warned to expect delays on the A1123 Huntingdon Road at Banks End, Wyton after warnings of a crash involving two cars.

Yesterday, 09:05
Pointless duo

Being able to recall obscure facts and knowledge proved to be a winning formula for St Neots man Kris Griffiths who won a share of the jackpot on the TV show Pointless which aired last Thursday.

With the new academic year fast approaching, Huntingdonshire Regional College can help you to progress your career with a range of part-time adult courses.

Read more

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition today E-edition