Leicester city council is planning on equipping its councillors with iPads next year, according to a report in the Telegraph.
The paper suggests that the plan is to get the top-end 64GB 3G model, which costs £699, for all 54 councillors, meaning a cost to the council of around £38,000.
The councillors, several of whom are already trialling the use of Apple’s tablet, argue that the iPad will save money. Potentially £90,000 per year, they claim, will be saved on printing expenses if the slates are used to distribute documents in meetings instead.
Yet the same amount could be saved by using a cheap netbook, surely, without such a large outlay. Indeed, even if the iPad route is chosen, is it really necessary to get the top of the line model with 64GB of memory?
A senior councillor told the Telegraph: “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.”
Yes; as soon as they heard about the iPads, every councillor was positively salivating at the potential ability to be able to avoid having to print stuff out for meetings and suchlike. And certainly not at the prospect of getting hold of a free technological toy.