A CASH-strapped council has spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on iPads.
Denbighshire Council is to issue all 47 county councillors with the high-tech Apple gadgets saying the move is expected to save £50,000 by cutting administrative time and postage costs.
But the move, which has cost £27,000, has been blasted as “expensive experiment” by a taxpayers group.
Councillors are being issued with iPads instead of traditional laptops in an effort to make better use of modern technology and to encourage more electronic ways of working.
The decision was made at the end of the last council.
Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Denbighshire Council is right to want to save on paper but the solution isn’t to spend tens of thousands of pounds on iPads with vague aspirations of saving fifty grand.
“Taxpayers don’t mind paying for technology to help councillors do their job, but this is a premium product and there are cheaper options.
This looks like an expensive experiment and could have been trialled on a smaller scale.”
Denbighshire Council is looking to make savings of £4 million in the 2012/13 financial year.
The cost of providing the new council with laptops would have been £55,000.
Labour Rhyl West councillor Joan Butterfield said: “If I am to believe what the financial officers and IT services are saying, the projected savings for this year are £50,000.
“Next year it may be double that amount, which has got to be good news.”
Cllr Butterfield said she had already attended a ‘paper-less’ meeting with the devises used instead of paper agendas and presentations.
She added laptops issued to councillors during the last council term proved difficult to use.
Mohammed Mehmet, Denbighshire’s chief executive, said: “There are tremendous benefits to councillors from this new way of working.
They will be able to access the modern.gov site through their iPads, accessing council agendas and papers at the touch of a button and read up on some of the biggest issues of the day, wherever they are.
“They can access their emails and they can even take photographs with their new iPads and will be able to give officers in departments a clearer picture literally of any problems out there in the community.”