A cash-strapped council has come under fire after it announced plans to fork out nearly £40,000 of taxpayers’ cash – on iPADS for every councillor.
Leicester City Council is preparing to issue all 54 councillors with a trendy iPad from next May.
Four councillors have already been given the hi-tech gizmos, each costing around £700, as a trial.
One councillor justified the move claiming her laptop was ”heavy” making it difficult to take to several meetings a day.
Incredibly, council chiefs – expected to axe 1,000 jobs – reckon the iPads will SAVE cash.
Labour councillor Sarah Russell, who is awaiting delivery of the highest-spec 64 gigabyte model, said: ”We’re trying out the iPad to see whether it improves the way we work as councillors.
”If it does, and it can replace costly printing, then the council could potentially save £90,000 each year.
”I have a laptop but it is quite heavy, meaning it is awkward to take to several meetings in a day.
”It also has to be charged much more regularly than an iPad.”
Conservative group leader Ross Grant, who has one on trial, claimed the iPad made him ”more productive”.
He said: ”The iPad has made me even more productive as a councillor.
”Whenever a constituent stops me in the street I can write down and begin researching their problem immediately on the iPad, because I’m connected to the internet right around the city.
”Also when I’m in key meetings I’ve asked for council agendas to be e-mailed as PDF files to the iPad so I no longer need printed documents.
This could save the council money in the long term.”
But one senior councillor said: ”As soon as we all heard that three councillors were getting iPads everyone started asking for one.
”I suppose it’ll be handy to have, but the expense is a little bit awkward at a time of cuts.”