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Suffolk BlackBerry pickers pushed on gadget splurge

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RIM BlackBerries have been called CrackBerries thanks to their users' addiction to the push email gizmos.

But if the rumpus that's going down in the technological futureworld of Suffolk is anything to go by, they ain't as cheap as a good ol' honk on a crackpipe.

Documents seen by local papers in East Anglia suggest the County Council has spent £60,000 buying and running 49 devices for its members and officials.

Council tech chief Rocco Labellarte denied the figure, saying the real cost was closer to £22,000. In a finance meeting this week, he criticised local journalists, saying they'd misinterpreted the numbers.

Local news site EDP24 reports Labour's Kevan Lim agreeing: “They might as well have been made up on the back of an envelope.”

But other councillors turned on Labellarte in the hearing, repeatedly pushing him to clarify his BlackBerry budget.

RIM was unavailable for comment.

BlackBerry policy will be discussed again at the 23 May meeting of the committee. ®

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