The Great Gadget Giveaway: Councillors receive £32,000 worth of hi-tech equipment including iPads

iPads are being given to councillors
iPads are being given to councillors
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More than £30,000 has been spent providing county councillors with iPads and computers so they can work out of the office.

Councillors could choose between an iPad 2, a laptop, desktop or their own personal equipment, with some having more than one.

A total of 40 iPads, 13 laptops and 17 desktops have been given out to the 49 members.

Councillors had previously been offered a blackberry, laptop or desktop, but the Bucks County Council says introducing iPads will save money on printing costs.

However, the Taxpayers’ Alliance criticised the purchasing of ‘premium products’ such as iPads with public money. Eleanor McGrath, the alliance’s campaign manager, said: “Taxpayers expect the council to deliver value for money, not spend their cash on buying expensive gadgets when more cost effective alternatives are available.”

The estimated cost of equipment that has been issued is £31,913, including the iPads, which cost £10,000.

Peter Hardy, cabinet member for finance, said the iPads are a ‘cheap, effective and efficient’ way to keep councillors connected to the authority and their constituents.

He said: “We spend thousands and thousands of pounds each year on producing papers for meetings, and we could make a reduction in that by using iPads, so eventually paper records including council and cabinet meeting agendas and filing all become a thing of the past.”

The council said if all members were given desktops with broadband and printers it would cost around £60,129.