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Fury over cash spent on iPads for Dudley Council

Dudley | News | Published:

Council chiefs in Dudley have been accused of 'wasting taxpayers' cash' after buying 'unnecessary' new IT equipment.

The cash-strapped authority – which is currently in the midst of a savage raft of cost-saving measures – bought five new iPads at £430 each – despite already having 42 working devices.

UKIP group leader Councillor Paul Brothwood labelled the iPads 'freebies' and 'total waste'.

An anonymous council worker hit out at council bosses, saying he was stunned to hear of the purchase given the existing stock.

Councillor Paul Brothwood, leader of UKIP in Dudley, said: "It is a total waste of tax payers' money.

"I don't support councillors having freebies off the council, whether it is food or iPads.

"This is a total lack of judgement. I don't see the need of buying more iPads when there are ones already in the store.

"Why does a councillor need an iPad. I have been a councillor for two years and I can't think of one circumstance when I would need one. If I did I would buy my own."

Councillor Patrick Harley, Conservatives leader in Dudley, added: "Cuts are being made to the elderly, poor, and disenfranchised of society and the council go and do something like this, which is to purchase five new iPads when there are 42 in storage which probably just need cleaning."

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The council have bought five new iPad Air2's this year, a total cost of £2,104.70.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the devices were bought to 'provide a productivity tool with access to email, systems and data on an agile basis.'

Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance, said: "We have a small stock of ICT equipment which is regularly reviewed and assigned to members of staff which helps them carry out their duties with greater flexibility than ever before.

In essence, every iPad is in use, being repaired or about to be used.

"There is no spare capacity and therefore no waste of council money."

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