Paperless meetings approved by council

Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith
Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

The SNP and Conservatives voted together recently to approve paperless council meetings by the end of the year.

The SNP motion called for paperless meetings at Midlothian House to save an estimated £20,000 a year and reduce the impact on the environment.

Labour rejected the motion, with Cllr Jim Muirhead claiming that although he agreed with the principle he had issues with putting deadlines on any change.

He said: “Even today I had problems. We could be sitting here in January having difficulty accessing papers, I’m not prepared to take that the risk, it’s too important.”

Labour group leader Derek Milligan said that due to eyesight problems “looking at an iPad through a full meeting would be impossible for me,” adding that the council’s IT system sometimes struggles to open documents.

Conservative group leader Pauline Winchester supported the motion noting that it states papers can still be used if absolutely necessary.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Kenneth Baird (SNP),he said: “I recognise it’s not for everybody that why the allowances are there. Edinburgh Council have been doing this for five years, if we have got any problems we can ask them.”

The SNP motion was accepted by 11 votes to seven.