‘Ditch paper, switch to tablets’ to save cash

Political News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Political News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Fenland District Council’s Cabinet is set to go paperless from next spring in a pilot project that is the first step in a move designed to save thousands of pounds and help protect frontline services.

A proposal to be put to Cabinet members at their meeting on December 19 will recommend that they trial the use of tablet computers for eight months from next April. If the trial is successful, the scheme would be rolled out to all other Members in 2015.

The switch would save printing nearly 350,000 sheets of paper each year and cut annual costs by £12,000 from the second year of operation. It would also give councillors easier and faster access to emails, diaries and other information about council business.

It is estimated that the cost of the computers would be fully recouped in just 12 months.

Councillor David Oliver, the Cabinet’s e-champion, said: “Like all local authorities, we need to identify every way we can of operating more efficiently. Making the best use of modern technology is an important part of that.

“This pilot project will allow Members to have information at their fingertips to inform decision-making, save carrying large bundles of papers around and deliver real savings that can be better used for frontline council services.”

The proposed “E-Members” trial is the latest element in the council’s ongoing “paperless office” project. Already more than 10 tonnes of paper has been disposed of and more than £13,000 has been saved through the introduction of new multifunctional printer/copiers.