“We are all in it together”, “the council must cut costs” etc etc. We have heard the lot, repeatedly, as our services are slashed, burned and surcharged. But it seems that we need not let that get in the way of new gadgets. Today, Cllr Seb Field (Lib Dem) announced on twitter that he is testing the use of a tablet to see if it will aid Councillors do their job. He rounds it off with a #toughjob hashtag, recognising the fact that he is really taking the mickey with our tax funds. While I am a huge advocate of technology, even I can tell you, without the £300+ bill to the tax payer, that this is a waste of tax payers money.
Councillors already get a smart phone, internet access subsidy and the like for their work so that will easily cover email, phone calls etc. Social media is well covered too, so what does a tablet actually give a councillor that they don;t have already. Have the council developed a novel new application that will work well and increase productivity, nope! And that’s the only advantage that I see. Considering so few Councillors are on social media, and they already have the ability to do it, then this isn’t going to push them into it.
I wonder what the perceived requirement for the tablet is, and how it is being judged to meet the requirement. What formal testing is it going through, what task analysis has been done? Or is it a half assed play with technology for the sake of it and then sticking the finger in the air and deciding its a must have? I know where my money is right now. Tablets are good for browsing more than creating and editing documents and who is going to pay for the Apps they require? Is the IT policy good enough to stop random downloading of apps that are not pertinent to the job?
Maybe they just want to compete for DC’s score on Angry Birds!
I sincerely hope that this is a zero cost trial, or using a private tablet for the duration, if the Council have forked out for this, then it doesn’t really sit well with all the cuts being made.