Digital Transformation

More local councils go paperless to save taxpayers’ money

Councils are looking at ways they can use technology to reduce paper waste.

As council budgets are cut all over the country, more local authorities are looking at ways they could save money while still providing the same service.

One way of doing this could be to go paperless, something that is being trialled in many different locations around Britain thanks to new technology.

Hyndburn Council in Lancashire recently decided to allocate funding for members of staff to buy tablet computers as part of the ‘bring your own device’ trend, the Lancashire Telegraph reports.

Many have already invested in one of the mobile devices and the council is now to provide training on how best to use them in a business environment.

Among other things, they will be used to read agendas, cut down on printing and to create paperless meetings.

IT chiefs will be monitoring progress and are to write a report on the success of the trial soon.

Elsewhere, Durham County Council has set a smartphone budget of a maximum of £150 to provide devices for councillors and tablet computers are also to be introduced for email and internet access.

County councillor Joe Armstrong told the Northern Echo: "Members will have the choice of a laptop or tablet so they can download all our council papers onto those devices should they wish.

"This will be cost-effective and save a fortune on officers’ time, printing and postage, more than mitigating the initial outlay."

Although there will inevitably be comments regarding how councils can justify this kind of spending on technology, Mr Armstrong insisted it is necessary.

"In this modern age being a councillor is a 24/7 job and we need to be able to be contacted and kept updated when necessary," he added.

It comes after Yorkshire Bank urged small businesses to regularly review their expenses so they can see where savings can be made.

Going at least partially paperless with the help of Dajon may be one easy way to do this.