Feeds

Leicester Council's iPad can chair meetings

Tells dwindling staff it's not a 'luxury, must-have toy'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated A rattled Leicester City Council has reassured its staff that no extra cash has been splurged on iPads for its councillors because the four currently in use were paid for out of existing annual support packages.

In an internal email dated 4 August and seen by The Register, the council’s boss Sheila Lock tried to draw a line under reports that councillors were wasting money on expensive kit during a time when one in seven of its employees, or 1,000 people, were being laid off.

“Many of you will have seen the recent coverage of the iPad trial we are currently running with four councillors. At a time when public sector finances are under such pressure, a number of people have understandably raised concerns about this,” wrote Lock.

“I hope it will be helpful if I explain what is being planned and perhaps demolish some of the misconceptions that appear to have developed very quickly over what we are doing.”

She explained that the iPad “trial” at the council involved just four individuals for the time being.

“Their iPads are being funded from each individual councillor's existing annual support package, so we are not spending any extra money on these devices. Furthermore, should the pilot prove successful, it is our intention that any future purchase of iPads for councillors will be funded in the same way.”

Which effectively means the taxpayer is ultimately paying for the councillors to get their hands on a fondle slab.

Or, as our anonymous source pointed out: “I like the bit where their support package pays for the iPad, good to know my taxes are not going on them then... Oh wait!”

Lock then went on to reaffirm the council’s commitment to looking at “wider cost savings” the iPad might offer to Leicester City’s local government workers, before once again wheeling out the £90,000 savings figure that we questioned earlier this week.

“At a time when funds are short, this level of potential saving is attractive and something we want to look at closely,” she said. Lock then hit out at the view that the fondle slabs were “some sort of luxury ‘must-have’ toy”.

“This may be true for some people, but for us they are not," said Lock. "One of our councillors has been using one for a few weeks and is already convinced it is helping him to perform his role much more effectively. For example, he was able to chair a major council meeting just by using his iPad, thus avoiding printing off dozens of pages of reports.

“Their functionality and ease of use could give them huge potential in the workplace and we are testing whether that could benefit the council - both financially and operationally.

“We must not be afraid to embrace new ways of working - especially if they offer a more efficient and cost-effective option. Equally, if we are not convinced that new devices like the iPad won't deliver improvements, we won't buy them.”

So there you have it. The printer is dead, long live the printer iPad. ®

Update

The home of Gary Lineker can rest easy again. One councillor has turned her back on the iPad, following all the negative comments in the press about the trial over the past few days.

Sarah Russell, who initially welcomed the idea, has cancelled her order according to the Leicester Mercury, which first broke the story earlier this week.

"It may have improved the way that we work as councillors but I've got to be aware of how it appears to taxpayers. I've asked the IT department to look at more cost-effective ways of helping councillors to work efficiently," she said.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?