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Worldwide wait: iPad delays restrict new councillor email access

PUBLISHED: 17:31 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:31 05 June 2019

Newly-elected councillors are still waiting to be connected to emails outside of the office - more than a month after the local elections. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Newly-elected councillors are still waiting to be connected to emails outside of the office - more than a month after the local elections. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Newly-elected councillors are still waiting to be connected to emails outside of the office - more than a month after the local elections.

All of Broadland District Council's members are issued with iPads on which to access their council emails and committee papers, in a bid to reduce paper use.

However, a month after 22 new councillors were elected, some are still yet to be issued their IT equipment - limiting their access to email communication.

And while they can still make use of computers at the council's offices, it means while they are not there any concerns may fall on deaf ears.

Dan Roper, leader of the Norfolk Liberal Democrat group, said: "It seems ridiculous to me - who knows how many residents have attempted to email their new councillor and have not received responses because of this?"

The same measure is used by South Norfolk Council - which shares an officer team with Broadland - however all 20 of its newly-elected have been issued with their devices.

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Mr Roper said he felt this was Broadland being "put on the back burner" in terms of the partnership working.

Susan Holland, one of the newly-elected councillors, said: "It is frustrating, but hopefully it should be resolved soon."

The iPads were brought in to limit the council's paper trail - a move recently also made by Breckland Council.

However, the delays have meant Broadland has needed to post out hard copies for a number of committees, equating to 200 pages in total.

A spokesman for Broadland Council said: "New iPads for members were ordered once the 2019 Air 3 model was released so we could ensure our councillors had the latest technology. This represents the best value for money in terms of purchasing the devices.

"Since they arrived, our IT team has been configuring them to ensure the correct apps and security measures are in place. We are distributing them in priority order so new members who are required at meetings have theirs first.

"We appreciate what an important communications tool email is and during this interim period councillors have been able to access their emails at the council offices.

"All iPads will be ready for new members to collect by the end of this week."

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