Thursday, 22 December 2016

Bizarre defence of new iPads by Wrexham Council leader

In response to Wrexham Council leader Mark Pritchard's bizarre attack today on Plaid Cymru (see below), Marc Jones, who chairs Plaid Cymru in Wrexham, said: 

"Cllr Pritchard should do his homework before launching such an ill-informed tirade. I have no doubt this bizarre outburst is as a result of being challenged by members of the public who are fed up with councillors closing vital services but feathering their own nests.
As to his specific points: 
- Does he not understand that councillors can access e-mails and papers via Webmail on their PCs or their own tablets?
- Does he not realise that the council already installs the Good App on personal tablets that allows councillors to access the council intranet securely?
- Does he not realise that any Plaid councillors elected in May could opt to buy a council iPad out of their own pockets, to save the taxpayer £32,000? 
Perhaps the council leader will show the lead in this respect, especially as councillors now receive £100,000 extra between them each year compared to 2012. 
At a time when the council pleads poverty and says it has to close day care for the elderly, youth services, leisure centres and libraries, to say that councillors must have free top-of-the-range iPads is a scandal. 
The 'dark age' Wrexham faces is largely due to this current council being completely out of touch with the people. It has failed to deal with key questions affecting the county borough. Plaid Cymru's candidates will continue to offer a clear alternative to that failed council leadership in order to create a better Wrexham."

THIS IS THE PRESS RELEASE THE COUNCIL PUT OUT TODAY ATTACKING PLAID CYMRU 
Leader Hits Back over iPad decision

Wrexham Council's Leader has hit back at Plaid Cymru Wrexham who say they will not accept a new iPad if elected to office in next year's local council elections.

Cllr Mark Pritchard said such a decision lacks insight into the needs of a modern, effective elected official who will be expected to represent thousands of constituents during their five year term of office.

"How on earth do these Plaid Cymru prospective councillors expect to conduct their business confidentially, securely and efficiently if elected? Using their own equipment is fraught with problems of security and confidentiality and what happens at the end of the five years?

"The iPads have worked very well for current councillors and have helped us save at least £110k in the printing, posting, landfill waste  etc., of the many reports and documents received by councillors. They allow quick access to emails and reports and all councillors having the same iPad gives consistency for our ICT department who are only dealing with one device compared to several different operating platforms.

“The current iPads are at the end of their service life, are no longer supported by the service provider and require replacing

“The use of iPads is now common amongst councils and Wrexham and Wales is no different in providing its elected members with the correct equipment to do the job they are elected to do and to respond to our constituents quicker. It seems Plaid Cymru want to go backwards into the dark ages which I find rather strange given that the two Plaid councillors on Wrexham council both have iPads, hypocrisy comes to mind.”


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