Going paperless to save your taxes

THE council claims it can save £55,000 a year by cutting spending on stationery.

West Lindsey district councillors will no longer receive paper copies of things such as meeting agendas and planning applications.

Instead, the council is spending £18,000 on ICT training for councillors so they can receive everything in electronic format.

The council insists this will save £55,000 direct costs on paper, printers, ink and cartridges and £15,000 on staff time.

Couns Alan Caine, Malcolm Leaning and David Cotton switched to a paperless way of working six months ago.

Coun Caine said: “Apart from the obvious financial savings there are endless benefits for us going paperless.

“It demonstrates our ‘green commitment’ to the environment by using less paper, print cartridges and postage.

“It will also free up officers’ time preparing the documents for posting.

“All members will be better informed because they will have access to all the agendas at the click of a button and it won’t cost any more to send to all 37 members.

“I am not an IT expert but I am finding it works well for me and help is available for those who need it.

“I can see this really taking off to the point where this could lead to video conferencing in the future.”

The decision to invest in ICT follows extensive consultation with members.

But Coun Lewis Strange said he is not sure about going paperless. He said: “Not everyone is good with computers and broadband isn’t great in some rural areas.”

Council leader Burt Keimach said: “It is a way we can save serious amounts of money for ratepayers in the district and use the money more constructively.

“I am delighted to see this decision has cross-party support.”