Somerset County Council shells out on staff iPads

Bridgwater Mercury: Somerset County Council shells out on staff iPads Somerset County Council shells out on staff iPads

A DECISION to buy five iPads at almost £500 each for senior Somerset County Council staff and councillors has been branded “astounding”.

The authority defends the move as helping employees and members working away from County Hall, but opponents see it as extravagance at a time of savage job and service cuts.

Jonathan Isaby, TaxPayers’ Alliance political director, said it was insensitive to fork out on iPads after Somerset had slashed tens of millions of pounds in spending and axed hundreds of jobs.

He added: “In order to have the moral authority to oversee necessary cuts in expenditure, senior councillors and officers must ensure any spending on themselves is necessary and delivering taxpayer value for money.

“Whether they need the taxpayer to provide them with brand new tablet computers is open to debate, but what's for sure is that local people will be astounded to discover they’ve issued themselves with iPads.

“They’re an expensive, top-of-the-range, premium product and if they need a tablet at all, they should be looking at cheaper alternatives.”

A council spokesman said: “Cabinet members and senior officers are often away from the office, working while travelling, between meetings or from home.

“Five iPads have been issued on trial.

“Having a tablet computer is an effective way of connecting quickly to the council’s system, more practical than smaller devices given the amount of work done on them, and should lead to savings such as the amount of printing done.”

Another critic, who is remaining anonymous, said splashing out on the £473 devices – totalling £2,365 – was indefensible when spending on services was falling.

He added: “It’s absurd when we’re being denied seeing an Olympic gold medal and Tour de France winner (Bradley Wiggins) because the county won’t pay to host part of next year’s Tour of Britain cycle race for the sake of money.

“Yet they can afford personal items of electronic communication, despite being in an age of austerity.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:26pm Thu 23 Aug 12

jimee says...

Oh well, why not give them a rock and a chisel then...good god, this is the 21st century.
Someone talking about losing services then moans because we can't see Bradley Wiggins...get over yourself.
Oh well, why not give them a rock and a chisel then...good god, this is the 21st century. Someone talking about losing services then moans because we can't see Bradley Wiggins...get over yourself. jimee

12:14pm Wed 29 Aug 12

redman12 says...

I don't pay taxes just so that a bunch of money gragging W*****S that work for the council get IPADS!!!!! A friend of mine had there job axed due to lack of funds at the council and now there splashing the cash
I don't pay taxes just so that a bunch of money gragging W*****S that work for the council get IPADS!!!!! A friend of mine had there job axed due to lack of funds at the council and now there splashing the cash redman12

1:34pm Wed 29 Aug 12

artful280 says...

If the council was interested in saving money then why buy ipads. There are just as good Android tablets out there at half the cost. Also will someone be making sure that no personal use is taking place with these ipads , and only apps that are directly for use with their work are downloaded, not Angry Birds etc.
If the council was interested in saving money then why buy ipads. There are just as good Android tablets out there at half the cost. Also will someone be making sure that no personal use is taking place with these ipads , and only apps that are directly for use with their work are downloaded, not Angry Birds etc. artful280

9:35pm Wed 29 Aug 12

frags27 says...

What is wrong with buying laptops instead of ipad's about £250-300 each a lot cheaper than £500 for one ipad. Ipad's have limitations as well, especially in the business world, lack of flash for starters is a serious disadvantage for major websites plus hard to print from an ipad directly unless you connect to a wireless printer or bluetooth device. Bigger screen on a laptop so they can improve productivity as well having two applications working side by side. Add £25 for a second hand monitor and they could even extend the laptop onto both laptop screen and external monitor, again something else an ipad cannot do.
What is wrong with buying laptops instead of ipad's about £250-300 each a lot cheaper than £500 for one ipad. Ipad's have limitations as well, especially in the business world, lack of flash for starters is a serious disadvantage for major websites plus hard to print from an ipad directly unless you connect to a wireless printer or bluetooth device. Bigger screen on a laptop so they can improve productivity as well having two applications working side by side. Add £25 for a second hand monitor and they could even extend the laptop onto both laptop screen and external monitor, again something else an ipad cannot do. frags27

10:32pm Wed 29 Aug 12

bridgwater_lad says...

i dont really see the problem with them spending £2500 on a couple of i-pads. my friend went to the job centre and was told not to bother working because they would be better off claiming and recieving a free house. There are more pressing issues to deal with than a few poxy computers. Im more worried about my taxes going to crazy teenage girls walking through bridgwater town centre with a litter of kids drinking stella on a monday morning
i dont really see the problem with them spending £2500 on a couple of i-pads. my friend went to the job centre and was told not to bother working because they would be better off claiming and recieving a free house. There are more pressing issues to deal with than a few poxy computers. Im more worried about my taxes going to crazy teenage girls walking through bridgwater town centre with a litter of kids drinking stella on a monday morning bridgwater_lad

9:53am Thu 30 Aug 12

Samej1 says...

Mid range laptop; £350, 3G dongle £100... suddenly £473 doesn't look that bad does it?
And with built in VPN capabilities I'm sure access to Notes, Sametime, SAP is easy and quick with the appropriate Apps....
Mid range laptop; £350, 3G dongle £100... suddenly £473 doesn't look that bad does it? And with built in VPN capabilities I'm sure access to Notes, Sametime, SAP is easy and quick with the appropriate Apps.... Samej1

1:44pm Thu 30 Aug 12

frags27 says...

Samej1 a mid range laptop could be bought for less than this, 3G isn't really a working alternative for apps that rely heavily on allowing you to connect to your corporate applicatiosn. An example is SAP. 3G is fine for mails although slow regardless of on a Ipad or laptop. All they need is broadband from home, or a broadband USB dongle with so much internent use in terms of GB limit/ bandwith prepaid. Loads of VPN clients out there that are free or whatever the IT Dept uses for commercial use to cover the licence. Either way, it doesn't require that amount of money to support unless your users are using huge apps like CAD apps which need a top spec of machine and RAM so you would have a laptop anyway. An ipad wouldn't be powerful enough. Most office suites like Office 2010, will run on a really low spec machine and perfectly well on a 32 bit Operating system. If all they do is run email, connect to a company intranet, use a word processor, excel you would be well under budget on a laptop. I don't work for them but work in IT, the average price of the laptop we use for users working from home, is about £300 - £380 for everything and it works easily including accessing SAP.
Samej1 a mid range laptop could be bought for less than this, 3G isn't really a working alternative for apps that rely heavily on allowing you to connect to your corporate applicatiosn. An example is SAP. 3G is fine for mails although slow regardless of on a Ipad or laptop. All they need is broadband from home, or a broadband USB dongle with so much internent use in terms of GB limit/ bandwith prepaid. Loads of VPN clients out there that are free or whatever the IT Dept uses for commercial use to cover the licence. Either way, it doesn't require that amount of money to support unless your users are using huge apps like CAD apps which need a top spec of machine and RAM so you would have a laptop anyway. An ipad wouldn't be powerful enough. Most office suites like Office 2010, will run on a really low spec machine and perfectly well on a 32 bit Operating system. If all they do is run email, connect to a company intranet, use a word processor, excel you would be well under budget on a laptop. I don't work for them but work in IT, the average price of the laptop we use for users working from home, is about £300 - £380 for everything and it works easily including accessing SAP. frags27

2:55pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Samej1 says...

frags27 wrote:
Samej1 a mid range laptop could be bought for less than this, 3G isn't really a working alternative for apps that rely heavily on allowing you to connect to your corporate applicatiosn. An example is SAP. 3G is fine for mails although slow regardless of on a Ipad or laptop. All they need is broadband from home, or a broadband USB dongle with so much internent use in terms of GB limit/ bandwith prepaid. Loads of VPN clients out there that are free or whatever the IT Dept uses for commercial use to cover the licence. Either way, it doesn't require that amount of money to support unless your users are using huge apps like CAD apps which need a top spec of machine and RAM so you would have a laptop anyway. An ipad wouldn't be powerful enough. Most office suites like Office 2010, will run on a really low spec machine and perfectly well on a 32 bit Operating system. If all they do is run email, connect to a company intranet, use a word processor, excel you would be well under budget on a laptop. I don't work for them but work in IT, the average price of the laptop we use for users working from home, is about £300 - £380 for everything and it works easily including accessing SAP.
Playing Devil's advocate.... I have a 3G dongle that I use when out and about for Notes, Sametime, Intranet - and have used SAP over 3G in the past. (granted on a laptop but even in places where I can't get a 3G signal I can still pick up emails and navigate databases)
I can't see councillors wanting to do much more than have fast, basic remote access with these devices.
Having an ipad, netbook and laptop myself I always get the iPad out for viewing things quickly - opening pdfs, Office documents and so on isn't a problem either.
[quote][p][bold]frags27[/bold] wrote: Samej1 a mid range laptop could be bought for less than this, 3G isn't really a working alternative for apps that rely heavily on allowing you to connect to your corporate applicatiosn. An example is SAP. 3G is fine for mails although slow regardless of on a Ipad or laptop. All they need is broadband from home, or a broadband USB dongle with so much internent use in terms of GB limit/ bandwith prepaid. Loads of VPN clients out there that are free or whatever the IT Dept uses for commercial use to cover the licence. Either way, it doesn't require that amount of money to support unless your users are using huge apps like CAD apps which need a top spec of machine and RAM so you would have a laptop anyway. An ipad wouldn't be powerful enough. Most office suites like Office 2010, will run on a really low spec machine and perfectly well on a 32 bit Operating system. If all they do is run email, connect to a company intranet, use a word processor, excel you would be well under budget on a laptop. I don't work for them but work in IT, the average price of the laptop we use for users working from home, is about £300 - £380 for everything and it works easily including accessing SAP.[/p][/quote]Playing Devil's advocate.... I have a 3G dongle that I use when out and about for Notes, Sametime, Intranet - and have used SAP over 3G in the past. (granted on a laptop but even in places where I can't get a 3G signal I can still pick up emails and navigate databases) I can't see councillors wanting to do much more than have fast, basic remote access with these devices. Having an ipad, netbook and laptop myself I always get the iPad out for viewing things quickly - opening pdfs, Office documents and so on isn't a problem either. Samej1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree