Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Council spending on “top end” tablets and smartphones criticised

Post Thumbnail

A public spending watchdog has criticised Perth and Kinross Council for buying nearly £150,000 of iPads, smartphones and other “top end” tablets as part of a campaign to reduce paper waste.

The local authority has bought nearly 600 handheld devices and laptops in the last 18 months.

Managers hope using digital technology will reduce spending on paper print-outs, as well as helping elected members and staff work remotely.

Of the £146,048 total, just over £31,500 went on tablets and computers for councillors.

The outlay has been described as “totally unacceptable” by the Taxpayers Alliance, a national low tax pressure group.

Among the new machines are 20 Apple iPads and 142 Microsoft Surface Pro computers.

A total of 230 Samsung Galaxy J5 phones – last year’s model – were purchased for £23,407.

Last year, the council spent £67,662 on photocopying, printing and internal memos.

The total amount of confidential material shredded in 2017 came to around 31 tonnes, while 33,161 reams of paper was used up.

As part of the authority’s Transformation 2020 programme, officers identified significant savings can be made by reducing the volume of paper used across departments.

A spokesman said: “The council is investing in mobile technology such as smart phones and tablets to aid mobile working for elected members and staff.

“This gives users the functionality to be able to work remotely, reducing transport time and costs, and reducing the requirement for paper print outs.”

In a response to a Freedom of Information request on paper usage, the council stated: “A programme of work has been established to digitise council activity, significantly reduce paper, printing and storage costs through increased use of digital solutions and a digital record management system.

“Work will be undertaken over the period of the programme to measure the reduction in use of paper and ancillary costs.”

However, the move has been criticised by the Taypayers’ Alliance, a pressure group set up 14 years ago to campaign for a low tax society.

Campaign manager James Price said: “It’s just completely baffling that a local council thinks that it is appropriate to spend more than £140,000 on top end tablets for staff.

“This sort of spending is completely inappropriate in the wider context of overspending in Scotland.”

He added: “The amount spent on these fancy tablets cannot be repeated again, especially with council tax going up across the country.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in