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Councillors Look To Spend £32k On 55 New iPads For Councillors

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 1st, 2016.

Wrexham Council looks likely to approve Apple iPads as their device of choice for Councillors, and will look to place an order for 55 of the tablets.

Councillors are going to discuss a report that suggests replacing existing iPad devices currently issued with a new generation of Apple devices.

61% of Councillors recently completed a survey where it appears most favoured iPad devices as they ‘support the reduction of paper and promotes agile working’.

The reason for the upgrade is explained as the “current iPad model will be end of life in October 2016 and will not be supported by the provider”, with a replacement expected to last the entire of the next term of Councillors. The current versions are the iPad 2 16 gigabyte models from 2012, which retailed to the public at £329.

The report gives a sales pitch for the new iPad models noting new features such as increased processing power, improved battery life, enhanced camera, higher resolution screen, finger print reader for login to device and secure email app.

It is proposed that the existing iPads will be ‘securely erased and sold’ with the income generated offsetting some of the costs of the new devices. Previously we have been told that despite 52 Councillors existing, there is a further stock of spare units held for quick swap outs if required. This position is maintained with 55 iPads proposed as being purchased and one designated as ‘spare’.

The costs of the proposal is £32,080 for the 55 wifi enabled iPads including case, email and security software licences.

Based off 52 devices pricing is also given for iPad’s with 3/4G mobile data enabled and associated software plus the 4G data contract. This package is priced at £50,539.25 than the wifi models, with the 4G monthly data plan stated at £15.50 per month. It appears some Councillors may get access to the mobile enabled iPads, with a line reading “Based on the agreement from the last term, a business case will be necessary for any Members requiring 3/4G and must be submitted to the Head of Corporate & Customer Services.

Android tablet devices were considered but disregarded as ‘the basic models of android devices would have insufficient processing power to accommodate the extra apps and are unlikely to have the longevity of lifecycle to last the term. Equivalent, higher end android devices with associated software would cost approximately £3135.00 more than iPads’.

Microsoft devices were also discounted due to £8k higher costs and that the ‘Microsoft Operating system is more susceptible to vulnerabilities i.e. viruses and malware’.

The report also notes a proposal to change the desktop computers in the Lead Members room to be upgraded to laptop computers ‘to allow Lead Members who have a requirement in their role to read and review lengthy agendas and reports to work more comfortably’. A desktop computer in the Members’ room will be replaced with an updated version ‘as some Members have commented that the performance is starting to decline’.

There is a cost of £2,050 for ten laptop computers and docking stations for the Lead Member room.

On Thursday Councillors will discuss and then vote to recommend that the iPad device is adopted as the preferred device for all Councillors in Wrexham following the local government elections in 2017, with related procurement put in place.

Pic: The rear of a genuine Wrexham Council iPad.

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