Local councillors have decided to retain their current ICT provision so as not to add additional costs to council.
At last Tuesday night’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee meeting at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, members were presented with four options with regard to ICT provision.
Currently only the Mayor is provided with a smartphone. Councillors may choose an iPad, laptop or PC, or may buy equipment themselves up to £500. Mono-laser printer available to councillors, plus monitored number of cartridges.
Lead officer, David Wright, gave members four options, but added there would be an additional cost to council for some of the options as they had not been included into the Rates.
Option 1: retain current provision at no additional cost; Option 2: retain current provision plus smartphones at an additional cost £4,560 per annum; Option 3: retain current provision plus broadband at an additional cost £6,240 per annum; Option 4: retain current provision plus smartphones plus broadband at an additional cost £10,800 per annum.
Mr Wright revealed the current ICT provision at the other 10 councils.
Belfast City Council are currently the only council to provide elected members with broadband, smartphones, tablets, laptops or PCs and printers.
Councillor Darryl Wilson proposed council go for Option One.
“It would be wholly inappropriate to place an additional burden on to our rate payers,” he said.
“It’s my assumption that every member would already have their own broadband at home and their own smartphone anyway.”
Cllr George Duddy seconded it saying: “I certainly wouldn’t advocate giving some of the members another phone as some of them already spend too much time on them in the chamber instead of listening to council business.”
Ald Maura Hickey agreed also saying: “The current provision is adequate, I don’t think we need to go to further expense.”
Cllr Cara McShane also lent her support to the proposal. Councillors agreed unanimously with Cllr Wilson’s proposal.
Councillors agree to request for Portrush Town Hall
Councillors have voted in favour of donating the rental cost of Portrush Town Hall for a fundraising fashion show. The cost of £130 will be met for the ‘Cirque’ fashion event, which is supporting Women’s Aid, the Samaritans and NICFC.