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£140 a week: Gloucestershire County Council's postage and printing bill

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: February 03, 2014

Comments (2)

If you have ever tried to send a large parcel through the post you will no doubt have winced when the package was placed on the scales.

Keeping in touch with people can be a pricey affair.

Just ask Gloucestershire County Council which shells out £140 a week on printing and postage.

The authority has revealed it spent £7,240 on sending councillors committee papers in the nine month period between April and December 2013, which has left some people asking the question: What about digital?

Councillor Ray Theodoulou (C, Fairford and Lechlade), cabinet member for finance and change, said the authority only supplies hard copies of documents to the people who need them.

“The figure includes both the postage and printing of documents for committee members,” he said.

“We hold more than 100 formal meetings a year, all of which need an agenda, report and full minutes to make sure we meet our legal requirements.

“There are also a significant number of working groups and scrutiny task groups which need paperwork to be produced for elected members.

“In a bid to reduce the costs, we only supply hard copies of the documents to the relevant committee members.

“Documents for all our meetings are online and committee members can also use their own tablets in the meetings to view any documents necessary.”

Councillor Iain Dobie (LD, Leckhampton with Warden Hill) believes the authority should be progressing further down the digital path.

“I certainly think the county council should be doing everything it can to go digital – clearly it’s the way forward,” he said.

“But obviously digital doesn’t suit everyone.

“It depends whether people can work totally digitally.

“Some people do find it easier to work off paper; whether that means printing something off that you receive digitally at home or looking at something sent through the post.

“Which is the better way of doing it?

“We need to keep our options open but digital is the way of the future.”

The postage and printing costs were disclosed by the council after a question on the subject was asked by Councillor Tracy Millard (Lab, Tuffley) at a meeting of the authority at the tail end of January.

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  • Matt1006  |  February 03 2014, 2:22PM

    Given postage prices, that doesn't sound too bad. But Aletheia has a very good point - somebody at GCC needs a lesson or two in sending emails with attachments... And then possibly a few Councillors might need instructions on what to do when they receive attachments via email...!

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  • Aletheia  |  February 03 2014, 1:09PM

    It is my understanding that the council already supplies equipment such as computers, broadband and stationery to councilors so why on earth are they spending money on hard copies in 2014?

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