iPads planned to ‘cut paper costs’ will not be given to all Redbridge councillors after ‘inconclusive’ trial

Redbridge Council has decided not to provide all members with iPads after a trial proved “inconclusive”.

As part of a renewal of councillors’ IT systems, 12 members were given iPads for a trail.

The touch-screen tablet computers, which retail at around �550 for the latest model, were tested to see if they could save the council money by helping reduce printing, paper and postage costs.

Councillors who used iPads for the trial may keep them but they must pay for add-ons including 3G mobile internet access.

Speaking at Thursday’s council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, Cllr Barbara White said the current laptops provided to councillors are “ancient”, not portable, and have frequent technical glitches.

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She added: “How are we supposed to serve our residents if our equipment isn’t up to the job.”

Cllr Wes Streeting said he found the iPad useful in the trial and is keeping it for council use.

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He added: “We’ve got to be realistic about councillors’ experience with IT”.

Labour councillors moved to delay the new plans for further consultation but members voted to adopt the proposals.

The changes are part of a new IT scheme aimed to save �52,000 a year, including the removal of free home broadband.

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