Harrogate Borough Council approve £30k for tablets in paperless office push

Part of the council's move to its new Knapping Mount headquarters includes the objective of holding paperless member meetings
Part of the council's move to its new Knapping Mount headquarters includes the objective of holding paperless member meetings
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Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has given the nod for £30,000 to go towards the purchase of electronic tablets for councillors.

The decision means 38 of the district's 54 councillors will receive a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, valued at £750, although some savings could be made according council documents by buying in volume. Part of the council's move to its new Knapping Mount headquarters includes the objective of holding paperless member meetings.

Deputy Leader for HBC, Coun Graham Swift, says he believes the tablets will enable savings to be made with a reduction in the amount of paper, alongside the recycling and storage costs raised in reports.

Coun Swift said:"This is a decision made to move to a paperless office, it reduces cost because we have most of our reports on paper which will now disappear.

"We are not buying one for everybody either, as councillors who also service on North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) already have these devices.

"I think that everyone (NYCC councillors) have been pleased with the performances of them so far and members like them."

He added: "I do not think IT were as black and white as saying lets copy NYCC, they saw a good product and councillors like it and because not everyone needed one it meant a dozen did not have to be bought. It became a simple decision.

"Members (HBC) currently receive their paper reports by post, but this can add up. We will be able to make savings on the printing and posting costs because of this."

IT equipment for councillors was also reported as being due to be replaced, while also offering a secure way for them to access documents online.