Dec 02 2014

Harrow Council Spends £37k of YOUR Money on iPads

ipadIt had to happen sooner or later. Harrow Council has, according to getwestondon, blown “£37,312 on buying iPads for all its councillors, including £9,839.60 for training. However, it cannot say whether the spending has cut printing costs, only that it spends about £15,800 a year.”

IPads, kicked out by Cllr Susan Hall during her time at the helm, have made a return, in efforts to shave the council’s printing bill – a bill increased by, according to sources, Paul Nasjarek’s – the current, and soon to be ex-Head of Paid Service – recent move to reintroduce colour printers at the Civic Centre.

Brent, on the other hand, has at least come up with a business case showing that they will save £308,000 over four years by introducing the devices, but it is hard to see how Harrow will come anywhere near that figure, since they don’t seem to have done the math. Still, at least it’ll while away those long hours sitting in the Council Chamber, and we look forward to reporting who managed the highest score on Candy Crush Saga next meeting. £8,000 allowance to play games? Nice work if you can get it.

Also unclear, and probably not even considered, is the security aspects around using iPads. For example, will residents’ information be stored on them, such as email, or correspondence? Will passwords be enforced? How about remote wiping if they get lost?

In this time of cuts (libraries, parks, dog-crap bins, childrens’ centres, etc, etc, etc) maybe such a slap-in-the-face to residents isn’t entirely a good move. But when you are looking to spend £3,000,000 on a PR contract to spin bad news into good, maybe you just don’t, actually, give a damn. Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, say the paper,  have not purchased tablets for their councillors.

We applaud getwestlondon in managing to get a response to their Freedom of Information Act question.


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