Carmarthenshire Council is hoping to save around £44,000 a year with the introduction of a paperless programme, whereby all documents and correspondences between councillors will be distributed electronically rather than in traditional hard-copy form.
Councillors voted to pass the motion, which had been proposed as part of cost saving initiatives by Councillor Emlyn Dole, who said, “It cost us around £300 altogether for us all to get the documents for today.
“In the last year the costs of printing reports is close to £44,000. This motion suggests we move ahead and join other councils in being paperless.”
He added: “We should embrace it as a positive change.
“Other authorities are doing it and it’s about time we played catch up and moved into the digital age.”
Despite the motion being passed, a number of councillors expressed concerns that a total digital conversion would not necessarily meet everyone’s needs. Council leader Kevin Madge said: “I am not against this motion but we have to understand that some members are partially blind in this chamber.
“The council is on a journey and that’s where we are going and I do think that with time and with training we will get there but there are times when we will need paper.”
In addition, some councillors said that moving to a paperless system may bring new costs, such as by acquiring technology and new equipment, and therefore not result in the £44,000 as suggested.
There were also suggestions that not all councillors will adapt quickly to the change and recommended a gradual process of phasing in, a report is scheduled to determine how best to move forward in paperless implementation.