Leicestershire County Council is updating its information security policy so its internal email service can sign up with the the Government's Public Service Network (PSN).
Taxpayers are promised that the PSN will "reduce the cost of communication services across UK government" and "enable new, joined-up and shared public services for the benefit of citizens".
Is this going to make it easier for you to contact your County Councillor?
The current County Council email system can only be used on computers loaded with special software. It doesn't send emails to mobile. The iPad interface is slow and difficult to use. Councillors have been boycotting the Council's email service for so long that some of them have forgotten how to log-in.
Busy Councillors are now being told they can no longer redirect messages to their personal accounts. Many of them are furious that their complaints remain unheard.
Cllr Terri Eynon says, "As a GP, I have a secure NHS account that I can access easily on my mobile and iPad. Why are the Council making it harder for Elected Members to communicate? This Stalinist attitude is the opposite of everything promised by the Public Service Network."
Faced with complaints, rather than invest in an accessible email system, the Council is offering Councillors free laptops and iPads. These will be loaded with special software and can only be used for Council business.
This has only added to Cllr Eynon's dismay. "They tell us they can't afford to keep Museums and Libraries open. They are cutting services to the homeless. In a time of cutbacks, we should not be wasting money on duplicate iPads for Councillors."