Council spends more than £1.5 million on technology devices in three years (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Waltham Forest Council spends more than £1.5 million on technology devices in three years
Waltham Forest Council has spent £1.5 million of taxpayers’ money on technology devices in the past three years, the Guardian can reveal.
The authority has splashed out £1,596,921.00 on laptops, computers, smart phones, Blackberrys and iPads since 2010.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the council by the Guardian on October 7 reveals the annual cost for each type of technology product purchased and the number of units bought annually.
The council spent £916,354.35 on laptops in the period, £291, 063.01 on monitors, £268, 190.08 on PCs, £86, 834.78 on smart phones, £6,260 on Blackberrys, £18, 135.55 on mobile phones and £11, 084.04 on iPads.
Eleanor McGrath, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: "Many local residents will question why spending on IT services has gone up.
“Councillors and council staff must be particularly mindful of how they are spending taxpayers’ cash on themselves; iPads are a premium product with a premium tag.
“With big savings to be made, councils have got to get value for taxpayers’ money when purchasing brand new technology.”
The number of laptops purchased by the council in 2010/11 and 2012/13 more than doubled in units and cost from 329 units costing £147, 180.23 to 797 units costing £395, 125.70.
Expenditure on iPhones doubled between 2011/12 and 2012/13 from £28,356.84 to £58, 447.94.
The council’s expenditure on PCs in the last two years reduced and the number of Blackberry phones purchased reduced to zero in 2012/13 from 38 in 2010/11.
In 2012/13, the council bought iPads for the first time, with an average price tag of £346 per unit.
In the last three years, 1,805 laptops, 1,410 monitors, 608 PCs, 246 smart phones, 41 Blackberrys, 500 mobile phones and 32 iPads have been bought by the authority.
The council has been contacted for a comment.
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