Blackburn with Darwen Council to spend £1.4m on town hall laptops – Lancashire Telegraph

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EAST Lancashire’s biggest local authority is proposing to spend £1.4million on new laptops for town hall staff.
Blackburn with Darwen Council believes the expenditure over two years is essential to replace its ‘ageing’ devices.
The borough’s digital boss Cllr Mahfooz Hussain will recommend the spending to the authority’s executive board when its meets on Thursday.
In a report to senior colleagues he asks it to approve the resources required: £700,000 for 2023/24 and a further £700,000 for 2024/25.
They will pay for more than 1,600 new laptops at £750 each,
Cllr Hussain’s report says: “The council is entirely reliant on the use of information technology.
“Whilst there are employees who have no need to use technology directly, the majority of employees use a laptop for their daily work.
“With all equipment it is necessary to replace it as it degrades, ages or fails.
“Technology has played a key role in our ability to administer council work for many years.
“To make sure we are able to do this work reliably and securely we must ensure our employees have equipment that is reliable and fit for purpose.
“At Blackburn with Darwen Council, we have in the region of 2,105 laptops in use.
“Many were purchased and deployed during the Covid-19 pandemic when employees had to switch to home working.
“These laptops will reach the end of their useful life in the next two years.
“An important consideration is the capability of a device to support a version of Windows that is secure.
“During 2025 our existing version of Windows will no longer receive security updates and protection and so older devices will become insecure. We will need to move to later versions of Windows.
“Over the last few months we have been working to recycle older equipment returned to the IT team as non-functional.
“We are now at a stage where some employees’ equipment is at the end of its life and needs replacing.
“There is no available financial resource to purchase new equipment.
“During 2023/24 we expect 790 laptops to be replaced, followed by a further 823 during 2024/25. It is estimated that each laptop will cost an average of £750 to replace.
“This includes the installation of Windows, security suite and software packages.
“To prevent a gap in supply an estimated £700,000 will be required in 2023/2024 and £700,000 in 2024/25.”
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