A COUNCIL has spent thousands of pounds on iPads and iPhones.
Durham County Council paid nearly £20,000 to kit out council staff and councillors with the Apple products.
In total, they have purchased 11 iPads, six Macbooks and 12 iPhones.
The council says it bought the goods to benefit from how Apple products work together and to assess them to see if it wanted to buy more at a later stage.
Don McLure, corporate director for resources, said: “The council has purchased a small number of Apple and other Android products for a number of reasons.
“We use them to test applications and services that have been developed for customers with mobile devices to ensure they work correctly and to look at their effectiveness as an alternative to currently used technology.
“We only buy such devices where we feel it is absolutely necessary and do use the most cost-effective options wherever possible.”
The purchases comes at a time when the council is facing cuts of nearly £190million, which need to be made by April 2017, and is considering cuts to the highest tier of management.
The Echo was told that the purchases were part of a plan to cut down on the amount of paper used by members and officers.
It is also part of a comparison between Apple devices and those that run Android software to see which best suits the authority.
The cost of a new iPad ranges from £330 up to £660 and a Macbooks can be anywhere from £1,000 to more than £2,000.