Caerphilly County Borough Council spends £5,000 a year posting hefty agendas to the homes of councillors – but that could be about to change.
“Overdue” plans for the authority to go paperless could come into effect from April 1 with the backing of elected members.
Most councillors receive their committee papers from couriers, although some opt to collect their printed documents from the council’s Penallta House offices.
But rising costs for fuel, staffing and printing, together with the environmental impact of travelling across the borough, have made the service “more difficult to sustain”.
A report to the council’s democratic services committee says: “Modernisation of the agenda dispatch process is overdue, in light of security, cost and advances technology.”
The committee welcomed the option to work electronically last November but asked that paper formats remain an option for those that need it.
Under the proposals, documents would be sent to members using Modern Gov – a paperless management system which can be access on portable devices during meetings.
“Modern Gov and IT equipment should equip the majority with the ability to work from electronic committee documents, including annotating them for use at meetings,” says the report.
“Buy-in from the majority of members is crucial to making this change a success.”
Adopting the system would increase the security for councillors and their constituents and would reduce the risk of data breaches, according to the report.
It would also remove the cost of disposing of confidential waste and would be better for the environment.
But the council is expecting some uncertainty from councillors about how to use the technology, together with potential broadband issues in parts of the borough.
If the courier service is not cut, the report warns that alternative savings – which are likely to impact on frontline services – would need to be found from elsewhere.
The democratic services committee will discuss the report on Wednesday, February 6.