Fury Over iPad 'Gift' to Council Staff
Ealing Tories claim no business case made for provision of devices
The Conservative group on Ealing Council are claiming that Christmas has come early for the senior town hall staff who have been provided with iPads at a total cost of £62,000.
In all 90 Council employees have been given the tablet computers which retail at around £400 or £260 for the smaller version. This is in addition to the smart phones that have been issued to 195 managers costing £400 per device.
The Conservatives are claiming that no business case has been made to show any expected savings from the use of iPads by staff.
Cllr Mark Reen, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance said, “I am sure that Ealing residents will be delighted to know that they have purchased the most popular gift for Council staff, which many of them will not be able to afford themselves. This at a time when they are seeing massive cuts to front line services and increases in a wide variety of local taxes. This is yet another example of the Labour Administration using Council taxpayers’ funds to cosset council officers instead of residents.”
A council spokeswoman said: “iPads enable staff to work away from the office, increasing productivity, and are cheaper to purchase and run than the laptops they replace. They also have the benefit of saving money and paper by reducing the need to print lengthy reports.
“By negotiating with suppliers and buying in bulk we were able to reduce costs and secure a better rate than on the high street. We were also able to replace old phone technology which had become unreliable. These phones have lower operating costs and mean staff can open more documents when they are on the move.”
The Council say that decisions on which staff require remote working devices are made according to business needs. For example, they are used by staff who are on call; those who work away from the office or those who may need to deal with out of hours emergencies. Laptops are generally not used because they are more expensive and require a separate Microsoft Office licence.
December 21, 2012