Conservative councillor to give back taxpayer-funded gadgets given to him by Brent Council

Cllr Davidson plans to hand back the Apple products after labelling them as unnecessary commodities

Cllr Davidson plans to hand back the Apple products after labelling them as unnecessary commodities (pic credit Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

A newly elected councillor has slammed town hall bosses for wasting money after he was given a taxpayer-funded iPhone and iPad after winning his seat.

Cllr Joel Davidson, who represents the Conservative ward of Brondesbury Park, told the Times he will return the gadgets on Thursday as the money would be better spent on improving borough.

All councillors are given the Apple products to help them with their ward duties.

But, the 34-year-old told the Times it sends out the wrong message while cuts are taking place across the board.

He said: “We hear from the leader that the council has been rock with austerity measures, however they insist on wasting their money on these devices.

“Giving councillors an iPad and iPhone in a neat apple bag is a gimmick. It felt like receiving a present. They are expensive and unnecessary commodities

“I think it is a clear example of the council spending money on themselves rather on taxpaying residents.”

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Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent Council leader accused of Cllr Davidson of living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’.

He said: “He does not understand just how effective and helpful they are. He is new using this is a gimmick to promote himself.

“If he gives back his iPhone and iPad it would be given to another member of staff or be allocate to the library to allow registered users, who may not have an access to the internet let alone an iPad, an opportunity to loan one out.

“He was given these tools how that he can interact with his resident more easily and effectively. If he thinks he can do that without using technology, then he is living in cloud cuckoo land.”

In February the Times unveiled that council chiefs spent £350,500 on iPhones between January 2012 and 2014.

In 2012, £46,000 was spent on iPads for all 63 councillors and 14 officers.