Council insists leasing new tablet computers for councillors will help authority to save money

Huntingdon Town Hall

Huntingdon Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon Town Council members have voted to give themselves new electronic tablets – costing hundreds of pounds – in an attempt to save money.

The plans were approved at a meet-ing of the authority on January 12 – despite the fact some councillors admit-ting to already owning iPads and laptops.

The equipment will be bought for councillors who decide to take up the offer of a device, which, the council has said, will be used instead of paper copies of minutes and agendas for meetings.

According to documents released at the meeting, it is estimated that the tablets could cost as much as £950 but it was suggested by the council that, two months after purchase, a monthly saving of almost £400 will be made.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Brett Morrell, chairman of the finance committee, said: “The tablets will replace the paper copies of agendas so we have got everything right at our fingertips, so it saves paper.”

Despite the agreement some councillors decided that, because they already owned similar devices, another tablet would not be needed.

The mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Daryl Brown, told the meeting: “The council should have the right to say to members if they have their own then to use their own to save money.”

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It was initially proposed for the council to buy the electronic devices outright but, following a recommendation by Cllr Morrell, it was decided to lease them from a supplier instead.

“I don’t want to purchase them, so we could look at the ownership staying with the contractor. We can get away with 14, as people are using their own,” Cllr Morrell said.