Kettering Council spends more than £100,000 on printing

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A council has defended itself after it emerged that it spends about £120,000 per year on printing.

The Telegraph can reveal that Kettering Council currently spends that sum on printouts for councillors, staff and the public, but the authority said costs used to be much higher and have fallen due to a move to a more efficient system.

The council replaced its old printing system 18 months ago when it was costing £150,000 per year, to dual purpose machines which have shaved about 20 per cent off the council’s bill.

Guy Holloway, the council’s interim head of information technology, said: “In common with other councils and indeed large organisations across the country, the council often needs to write to its customers.

”Often this is a legal requirement.

“As a result the council prints out a lot of paper and there is inevitably a cost associated with doing so.

“Although the cost quoted is a lot of money, it does reflect the fact that printed paper is a key product of the council and therefore is a necessary cost.

“It should be kept in mind that as a cost it represents only a fraction of a percentage point of the overall funds that are handled by the council each year.

“Nevertheless, it is an important area to focus on it terms of cost saving and this is what the council has done.”

The council moved over to its newer system, with its previous printing devices replaced by machines which print, scan and copy, in a move that the authority says will save £15,000 to £40,000 a year.

The authority says it serves more than 100,000 constituents and prints of millions of papers each year, but is moving towards email and text message correspondence to reduce costs.

The machines the council uses and each page printed cost a fee.

Mr Holloway added: “Kettering Council is looking at many ways to drive down the costs of providing public services and its approach is proving successful.

“This is just one of a wide number of areas where taking a different approach is delivering savings and we will continue to remain firmly focussed on providing the most efficient and effective public services possible.”