The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council – which routinely imposes inflation-busting council-tax increases on local residents every year and has just voted to again for 2016/17 – now wants to give free tablets or iPads to every councillor – but is worried about the potential “adverse publicity”.
The Vale Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ is due to discuss on Monday a report from the council’s Democratic Services Department which says “ Reference was made at the last meeting regarding the use of tablets for members and the cost of doing so and the potential for adverse publicity for spending money on these devices at a time of financial austerity.”
The report continues “However it had been confirmed that if the tablets were used by all Members and paper copies were no longer produced, the cost of the tablets would be covered by the savings in printing costs. As a result, a number of devices were being investigated as to their suitability for use by Members, including tablets, Chromebooks and touchscreen laptops that could be used as a tablet”.
Google Chromebooks retail in Curry’s for around £850 each. There are 47 Vale councillors so the total bill would be nearly £40,000.
In November last year the Vale Council reported that it was printing 1,000,000 pages of documents every single month and needs to save £400,000 a year. (See PDN http://tinyurl.com/hjcrxdl ).
The Vale Council’s ICT department is also looking to use “Cloud” computing using Microsoft Office 365 and Google for Work by which data could be uploaded and downloaded from servers located anywhere around the world .
In this week’s meeting of the full Vale of of Glamorgan Council, councillors formally approved an inflation-busting 3.9% increase in Council Tax on Vale residents. This is the fourth such increase the Labour-controlled authority has voted through since 2012 when it first came into power.