CASH-STRAPPED Wirral council is planning to equip all its councillors with iPads or tablet computers as part of a cost-cutting measure.
The move comes as the authority’s leadership announced a “sea change” in the way councillors are to helped to “ask the right questions of officers”.
Out will go each party’s right to a tax payer funded political advisor – a saving of £135,000 a year – and a new policy unit will be set up to help all councillors.
The cut was part of a wider announcement that the council plans to freeze “non-essential spending” while it works out how to deal with an estimated £17m overspend this year.
Council leader Phil Davies said the plan to give councillors iPads was intended to save money, as the council currently had “some fairly antiquated computer equipment”.
A small group of councillors are to try out different devices over the coming months and after this the council leader said the chosen option would be available to all 66 councillors.
Cllr Davies said: “I see this as an invest to save project, particularly if we can use iPads rather than be carrying round sheafs and sheafs of paper.
“We have not made any definite decisions yet about what we are going to do, we will be trying out various different devices, iPads, tablets, etc.”
Cllr Davies also said his Labour group had backed the decision to axe political assistants and added: “This will put the onus onto individual elected members to do the work they need to do and not rely on a political researcher to dig things up.”