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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 12/07/2005
Members' Information Technology Facilities



Summary & Purpose
In November 2004, the Executive agreed a policy regarding the provision of IT and phone facilities to Members. With the rapid development of the residential broadband market and the reduction in price for these facilities, in February 2005, the Executive considered a proposed revision to the policy and agreed that the Director of Finance and the Portfolio Holder for Finance should agree a scheme for the provision of Members’ internet and phone line and report back to a future meeting.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
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APPENDIX H
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 12TH JULY 2005

Title:
MEMBERS’ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Summary and purpose:

In November 2004, the Executive agreed a policy regarding the provision of IT and phone facilities to Members. With the rapid development of the residential broadband market and the reduction in price for these facilities, in February 2005, the Executive considered a proposed revision to the policy and agreed that the Director of Finance and the Portfolio Holder for Finance should agree a scheme for the provision of Members’ internet and phone line and report back to a future meeting.

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-Government implications but Members’ use of IT improves communication links with the Council’s IT systems.

Resource and legal implications:

The cost of Members’ phone lines and calls to Waverley systems was 13,815 in 2004/05 which reflects an increase in usage in recent years (9,460 actual in 2003/04). Other financial implications are included in the report.

The Facilities Currently Offered

1. All Members are offered a range of IT hardware, software and consumables. In addition, the following telephone facilities are offered:-

i) All Members are offered a telephone line for PC use including rental and usage for internet. If Members decline the telephone line to their Council PC, the cost of their calls to Waverley’s systems via their own phone line can be paid by the Council using the dial back line. In addition, mobile phones are provided for the Leader, Deputy Leader and Leader of the Opposition. ii) If Members choose to use their own phone line to connect with Waverley systems, no reimbursement is made for line rental. iii) If Members use the Internet on Council Business using their own phone line, this can be reimbursed provided that evidence is supplied with the request. iv) Broadband access is offered to all Executive Members, the Opposition Leader and Deputy Leader and the Chairmen of the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees. v) If a Member moves house, the cancellation and installation charges of their Waverley phone lines can be paid by Waverley. vi) If any Member with Waverley-provided broadband access leaves or, for whatever reason, moves to a position that does not qualify for broadband facilities, Waverley will endeavour to re-assign the facility or pay for any cancellation charges. vii) Only one broadband facility will be provided per household Proposed Changes to the Availability of Broadband Facilities

2. The current cost of business broadband facilities for Waverley Members is 29.99 per month plus a one-off charge of 80. Some of these facilities are also currently using a Waverley-provided line making the total monthly cost around 44. However, the cost of residential broadband facilities has reduced recently as the number of providers has grown and some providers now charge 15.99 per month.

3. Currently, 28 Members use a standard Waverley-provided line to connect to the Council’s systems. Many of these Members have annual costs including calls in excess of the annual cost of a residential broadband connection of 192, using the rate of 15.99 per month as a benchmark. In most cases where Members use a Waverley-provided line to connect to the Council’s systems, it would be more economic to terminate the Waverley line and for the Member to replace it with a residential Broadband facility connected to their own personal line. Waverley would reimburse the broadband charges of up to 15.99 per month.

4. It is no longer economic to install a new Waverley-provided line for access to Waverley’s systems. Therefore, it is proposed that if Members who currently use their own phone line without reimbursement from the Council wish to receive broadband facilities, they can do so by adding a residential facility to their existing personal phone line and Waverley would reimburse the broadband charges of up to 15.99 per month.

5. A draft detailed scheme is attached at Annexe 1 which explains how these proposals will be applied to Members currently in the various levels of phone provision.

Financial Implications

6. Based on 2004/05 usage, there are 13 Members whose annual costs exceed 192. If these Members’ Waverley-provided line were to be terminated and replaced with a residential broadband facility installed on their existing personal phone line, the Council would save around 4,100 per annum (less any termination charges). If broadband facilities are offered and taken up by all of the 21 Members who currently use their own phone line without reimbursement from the Council, the maximum potential additional annual cost could be up to 4,600.

7. The reimbursement of residential broadband facilities would be subject to income tax at the Member’s personal taxation rate. Therefore, the options for reimbursing Members’ broadband facilities are:- 8. Based on a realistic estimate of Members’ take-up, these proposals should be able to be contained within the existing budget. However, officers will monitor the position and approvals will be sought if additional budget is necessary.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive:-

1. agrees to the proposals for the future provision for Members’ broadband facilities, as set out in Annexe 1;

2. agrees on one of the options set out in paragraph 7 above for the provision of broadband facilities for Members; and

3. requests officers to re-draft the policy for Members' IT facilities in the light of the agreed changes and that this be circulated to all Members.

Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Graeme Clark Telephone: 01483 523236

E-mail: grclark@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2005-06/047