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0 votes
I am currently reviewing our expenses policy.
One issue is "Printing Costs".

My understanding is that any costs arising should be covered by the Councilor allowance.

1/ Some  councilors routinely ask the staff to print off their backing papers etc, before meetings. Should this be disallowed?
2/ Some councilors have been provided with printers - should this be disallowed?

Co-opted Councilors do not receive an allowance.

3/Can we allow them to claim a flat amount per year for printing costs or can we allow them to expense for printer ink and paper up to an amount?

4/Alternatively, can we provide co-opted councilors with hard copies of backing papers etc
by (200 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
I think the answer depends upon your council's particular circumstances.  If you have the facility to print documents then absolutely documents should be provided in paper form if requested to do so.
Whilst the allowance is intended to cover the additional costs of being a councillor, few councils actually pay an allowance and I believe co-opted councillors cannot claim it.  Where it is paid, I would expect the costs associated with printing papers for meeting to be covered through the allowance.
Councils can provide whatever equipment they feel appropriate to enable members to undertake their role.  These days many councils provide a tablet or laptop (mine don't!) so I presume a printer would fall into that category of appropriate equipment albeit I personally think it's a bit excessive.  Of course, if a printer is provided, I wouldn't also be expecting the clerk to produce paper copies for those members for the meeting.

I personally prefer a paper copy at the meeting as it's easier to refer to during proceedings.  I print my own, and don't expect to be reimbursed the cost.  My council does provide paper copies, if requested.  I do see other councillors pick up copies intended for the public in the meeting room.
by (17.5k points)
I have routinely provided paper copies of documentation when requested to do so by individual councillors, however it has come to my attention that some (including one Chairman!) are waiting until they arrive at the meeting to read the documents. I have just banned one Chairman from introducing the review of the previous minutes agenda item with the phrase "Has anybody read the minutes of the last meeting?"
Ah yes, remember it well!  Our Chair starts with "I presume you've all read the minutes", everyone nods whilst desperately flicking through the printed agenda pack to find them.  Priceless!

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