Search

Havering Council saved £39,000 by buying councillors iPads

16:30 26 February 2013

Council leader Cllr Michael White

Council leader Cllr Michael White

Archant

When it invested more than £10,000 into trendy iPad computers two years ago Havering Council was the subject of national debate.

But the council says it has reaped the rewards of investment and saved £39,000 since their introduction.

Across the council, 194 of the gadgets have been rolled out, for use by councillors and officers.

Since 2011 the council has spent £27,000 on the tablets, but received 115 of them for free under the terms of its contract with phone company T-mobile.

Council leader Cllr Michael White said: “We know that the introduction of iPads was controversial, but they have really helped to make savings as well as improve the level of service to our residents.

He added: “Because of our contract with T-Mobile, the majority have been free.

“We want to drive out costs through cutting bureaucracy and making sure that our officers have the tools to do the job and iPads are just one way of doing that.”

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “If genuine savings have been made through the introduction of tablets in place of the automatic printing of documents, of course we welcome that. But residents will be wary of the claim that the council got over 100 ‘free’ iPads.

“There’s no such thing as a free iPad, and Havering Council Tax payers will be right to wonder if their cost has been passed on in another way.

“In any event, iPads are a top-of-the-range, premium product and there are much cheaper tablets available that would have saved local people yet more money.”

But Labour leader Cllr Keith Darvill said: “I was in favour of them when they were brought in and I think its made the job of a councillor more efficient, I print documents far less now.”

Residents’ Association leader Cllr Clarence Barrett said: “Whether it’s an i-pad, a laptop, a tablet, a PC or pen and paper, the important thing is to demonstrate value for money on any expenditure.”

Independent Residents’ Group leader Cllr Jeff Tucker said: “At first I was opposed to the plan because I didn’t want to risk the jobs of secretaries at the council, but I’ll hold my hands up and admit that it has improved the way I work.”

Despite the leaders’ praise, 17 councillors did not take up the offer for use of the device.

Several other councils across the country have also introduced iPads for staff and councillors since Havering’s pilot.

But neighbouring Redbridge Council decided against rolling them out to all its members in November of last year, following a trial.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Denis O'Flynn

Labour candidate Denis O’Flynn has won the Heaton by-election, doubling the number of councillors the party has in Havering.

10 minutes ago
Mayoral candidates: Sian Berry (Green), Zac Goldsmith (Tory), Sadiq Khan (Lab) and Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem)

Pollsters are tipping Labour’s Sadiq Khan to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London with more than 70 per cent of first preferences votes counted.

11:30
Voters went to the polls yesterday to elect a new Mayor of London and London Assembly members

Voters in Havering and Redbridge went to the polls yesterday to elect a new Mayor of London and London Assembly candidate.

John Brooker traced long-lost family members after reading the Recorder. Photo: John Brooker

A man’s 29 year search for long-lost relatives was brought to an end after he read the Recorder’s coverage of Havering’s worst war time air-raid.

43 minutes ago
Harold Hill mum Helena Stanley organises second-hand selling events. Photo: Helena Stanley

A first time mum found the cost of baby items so expensive she joined an organisation that specialises in organising second-hand selling events.

11:51
Shaheed Forde-Bryan, 15, was last seen in Romford on April 17.

Police are appealing for help to find a 15-year-old Romford boy, who has been missing for nearly three weeks.

Queen's Hospital, Romford, where most of BHR's staff work

Concerns have been raised that patients suffering from kidney diseases could face hour-long journeys to and from vital treatment sessions when the specialist renal care unit at Queen’s Hospital closes.

06:55
Town Hall

Voters will find out who will be crowned the next Heaton ward councillor as the results will be announced later today.

Breaking News

12:45
Denis O'Flynn

Labour candidate Denis O’Flynn has won the Heaton by-election, doubling the number of councillors the party has in Havering.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe