Weymouth Town Councillors might not go 'paperless'

Weymouth Town Councillors might not go 'paperless'

Published by George Sharpe at 1:01pm 3rd September 2019. (Updated at 1:34pm 3rd September 2019)

WEYMOUTH town council members are being recommended not to switch to an online system of accessing and downloading agendas.

It fears that some of the existing councillors are not yet happy enough with IT to use the system.

At the moment council staff emails agendas to councillors with some receiving a paper copy at a cost of £1,500 a year.

A new system has been investigated, used by other councils, where documents are published and then accessed online using a secure cloud app with automatic downloads of agendas, reports, decisions and meeting minutes.

Weymouth Town Council might be sticking to paper for their meeting minutes, notes and agendas
Weymouth Town Council might be sticking to paper for their meeting minutes, notes and agendas

Councillors are being told at this week’s full council meeting (Sept 5) that the cost would be £9,500 plus VAT in the first year and £7,750 a year plus VAT for each year after that. It would also require all councillors to have their own mobile devices available and would mean that hard copies of council papers would not be provided by post, or at meetings.

But Wednesday evening’s town council meeting is not being recommended to switch to the system.

A report to the meeting notes:

“Not all town councillors use their email or regularly access the internet. Officers have concerns that this would result in officers operating a potentially costly and resource intensive system of duplication.”

It says that if the course were to be followed it would need a resolution that there would be no exceptions to the paperless way of working and that papers would only be despatched electronically.

The report suggests that the switch might be looked at again in the future “should councillors become more confident and able to work electronically.”

By Local Democracy Reporter, Trevor Bevins