Today’s Monaghan County Council meeting will be paperless, as the online circulation of agendas takes effect. It’s estimated the move to the Minutepad programme will save the local authority €5,000 a year in creating hard copy documents.
Minutepad was piloted by the five members of the Council’s Corporate Policy Group on a six month trial.
It was then recommended the system be rolled out to all councillors. The programme was introduced to the local representatives at a cost of around €18,000 over two years. As part of the introduction of the programme, councillors were supplied with an iPad, which will be returned the council should a member resign or not be re-elected to the chamber.
Members were trained to use the programme at a cost over €1425. In addition to the council documents, councillors are also able to access emails and other systems via the tablet computers. The council says as well as the direct cost savings of printing and postage, the new system saves time spent creating and distributing meeting packs, as well as creating minutes and handling queries.
It’s said this will allow staff to focus on other duties and projects.
A number of councillors have told Northern Sound News the system saves the need for keeping documents, and carrying multiple folders to meetings. All but one councillor has made the switch, with a council spokesperson saying feedback has been positive.