Innovation to cut costs should be welcomed

February 02, 2011 11:50 AM

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have been trialling a system for transferring information electronically instead of using printed-paper, including meeting agendas and reports. Thirteen of the council's 34 councillors have been taking part in the experiment to see how well they could carry out their roles using only computer equipment and it has been calculated that it would save the authority about £70,000 a year if introduced across the board, but the council has decided to leave the decision about whether to extend the scheme to all councillors until after the election this coming May.

At first glance, this looks as if yet another council is wasting evermore amounts of taxpayer’s money for the benefit of their own employees, however, as the figures prove, this measure could save Leicestershire taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. Yes, it would cost £30,000 in start-up costs, but the long-term benefits would be huge for a relatively small local government body. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council should be applauded for their innovation and we plead with them to extend the initiative so we can reap the full rewards of their good work. Let’s just hope that if adopted, the plan will involve standard laptops as opposed to top of the range units and of course used across the board; the last thing we would want is for £30,000 of taxpayers money to be spent on computers only for council employees to continue to use paper for some of their duties.

Jago Pearson, Leicestershire TPAHinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have been trialling a system for transferring information electronically instead of using printed-paper, including meeting agendas and reports. Thirteen of the council's 34 councillors have been taking part in the experiment to see how well they could carry out their roles using only computer equipment and it has been calculated that it would save the authority about £70,000 a year if introduced across the board, but the council has decided to leave the decision about whether to extend the scheme to all councillors until after the election this coming May.

At first glance, this looks as if yet another council is wasting evermore amounts of taxpayer’s money for the benefit of their own employees, however, as the figures prove, this measure could save Leicestershire taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. Yes, it would cost £30,000 in start-up costs, but the long-term benefits would be huge for a relatively small local government body. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council should be applauded for their innovation and we plead with them to extend the initiative so we can reap the full rewards of their good work. Let’s just hope that if adopted, the plan will involve standard laptops as opposed to top of the range units and of course used across the board; the last thing we would want is for £30,000 of taxpayers money to be spent on computers only for council employees to continue to use paper for some of their duties.

Jago Pearson, Leicestershire TPA

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