COUNCILLORS in Wrexham have asked for help in using their taxpayer funded iPads.

It comes after a Labour politician said there were large gaps in knowledge on how to use the devices.

Spending on iPads has proved controversial in recent years after the local authority forked out approximately £18,500 on new models ahead of the last local elections in 2017.

It led to six councillors from the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru choosing to pay towards their own.

Members of the council’s democratic services committee have now requested training on how to use the tablets to carry out their role.

It followed a suggestion by Cefn councillor Derek Wright that each political group should have its own IT champion to share their skills.

He said: “It’s been suggested that we look into training suitable for our level of iPad usage.

“I’d like a list to be drawn up so I can find out (areas) where my training isn’t good enough and to get the correct training.

“I can sit by some people and their fingertips whizz through everything and that’s the standard I would like to be at.

“With all the stick and the money that’s been spent on these, I think we should get the maximum use we can out of them.”

The purchase of iPads was previously justified by the council by the resulting reduction in the cost of printing out documents for meetings.

In 2011/12, it spent £36,000 on producing agendas and minutes for councillors and senior managers.

That figure was reduced to an estimated £3,500 by the end of 2017 when the latest models were bought.

During Thursday’s meeting, council leader Mark Pritchard questioned whether training was necessary when councillors are able to seek individual advice from the authority’s IT department.

He said: “Some members are at different stages with iPads and that’s fine.

“I think it’s important members take the time to go over to IT if they have a problem.

“It isn’t just about waiting for training; it’s about knocking the door and asking.”

However, the committee unanimously voted to support Cllr Wright’s idea.

Labour leader Dana Davies said: “I think that’s a great way forward and through those IT champions it can be shared across all 52 members.

“I’m fully supportive of what Derek’s suggesting and I hope the committee take that on board.”