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Council defends decision over iPads

A cash-strapped council has defended its decision to provide iPads for all its members while cutting more than £2 million from its budget and shedding staff.

The tablet computers will be bought for all 50 councillors at Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire. Only eight councillors rejected the idea in a vote.

The move was rubber stamped at a meeting when the council agreed a new budget for the year, with £2.2 million in savings and 37 jobs being axed.

The majority of the jobs will be shed through vacant posts not being filled.

Council leader Tom Fox said introducing the iPads will save the council £53,000 a year through reduced printing, postage and circulation costs for council documents, and through replacing old laptops with the cheaper tablet computers.

Mr Fox said: "This isn't about a cost rise, this is about a cost saving.

"Out of £2.2 million pounds in savings in the budget, £53,000 is savings related to having iPads.

"What I cannot understand it why people cannot evaluate between the saving made and if it is an expense. I'm finding it very hard to get my head around."

The latest Apple iPad costs between £399 and £659 but a bulk order from the council will mean they will cost £160 each.

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