SLDC to give new mobile phones, laptops or tablets to ruling councillors to help meet security standards

A meeting of SLDC

A meeting of SLDC

First published in News
Last updated
The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

HIGH-RANKING members on South Lakeland District Council look set to get the latest smart phones, laptops or tablets.

Councillors have agreed to provide one of the devices to the seven members of the ruling Liberal Democrat Cabinet.

SLDC is looking at either a Windows Mobile Phone at £150.00, a Windows Laptop at £270 or a Windows Tablet at £500.

Council leader Peter Thornton told a meeting that the issue was being ‘forced’ on them by Government to help meet tougher security standards.

To help with this, 44 district councillors will now lose their dedicated @southlakeland.gov.uk email address. Only the seven members of the Cabinet will keep theirs.

The Cabinet met on Wednesday (Feb 12) and backed the recommendations made by council officers.

A report before them warned that the sending of confidential electronic information had to be more robust so that it did not fall foul of the Data Protection Act, or cause a data breach for which the authority could be fined by the Information Commissioner.

Coun leader Peter Thornton said: “This is being forced on us by Government. I’d rather carry on using my own iPad rather than carrying around a laptop but we are being challenged on these issues of security and whether we think they are valid or not, we have to go along with them.”

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Papers before the Cabinet from Simon McVey, the council’s assistant director of policy and performance, said the government’s Cabinet Office had introduced new ‘public sector network requirements’ and a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to its annual security checks of public bodies.

“Using this equipment would be necessary in order to receive confidential information via electronic means to ensure compliance with security protocols,” the report said.

“Members will have the necessary flexibility to work effectively as elected members but within the required security protocols which will keep corporate data safe.”

The Cabinet also ruled that new councillors will no longer get new laptops provided by the council unless it was in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Instead, the Cabinet has asked the authority’s independent remuneration panel to commence a ‘review’ of the annual allowances claimed by councillors in relation to IT provision.

All of the council’s 51 members are entitled to claim a basic allowance of at least £3,880 for the role. With travel and expenses, the sum amounts to a total of £285,000 a year.

SLDC has 51 members consisting of 33 Liberal Democrats, 14 Conservatives, three Labour and one Independent.

Comments (5)

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1:34pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Geoff103 says...

Coun leader Peter Thornton said: “This is being forced on us by Government."

Oh really? and " Cabinet has asked the authority’s independent remuneration panel to commence a ‘review’ of the annual allowances claimed by councillors in relation to IT provision"

Any chance of the allowances being reduced. Pigs will fly first.
Coun leader Peter Thornton said: “This is being forced on us by Government." Oh really? and " Cabinet has asked the authority’s independent remuneration panel to commence a ‘review’ of the annual allowances claimed by councillors in relation to IT provision" Any chance of the allowances being reduced. Pigs will fly first. Geoff103
  • Score: 2

3:58pm Fri 14 Feb 14

in despair says...

Rather ingratiating the Gazette to call any of our District Councillors "high ranking". This implies they have some elevated and grand status - which to their electorate they most certainly do not have.
Rather ingratiating the Gazette to call any of our District Councillors "high ranking". This implies they have some elevated and grand status - which to their electorate they most certainly do not have. in despair
  • Score: 2

6:02pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Hoad Hill says...

Anyone who has attended a planning meeting will have serious doubts that some councillors will be capable of benefiting from this technology. However, as before other members of their families will.
Anyone who has attended a planning meeting will have serious doubts that some councillors will be capable of benefiting from this technology. However, as before other members of their families will. Hoad Hill
  • Score: 1

8:20pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Lakeuk says...

Perfectly possible to use personal equipment like iPads, laptops etc... to employers systems securely and confidentially, I do it myself in my job, company saves a fortune not having to purchase laptops and not having any support costs as well.
Perfectly possible to use personal equipment like iPads, laptops etc... to employers systems securely and confidentially, I do it myself in my job, company saves a fortune not having to purchase laptops and not having any support costs as well. Lakeuk
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

Nice to see our council tax money is being spent wisely.
Nice to see our council tax money is being spent wisely. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 2

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