TABLETS costing more than £3,500 have been purchased by Barry Town Council (BTC), but some councillors have refused to use them.

At the last full council meeting councillors were issued with the tablets, which have been deemed necessary for councillors to use to access meeting agendas and reports.

The twenty-two Lenovo Tab 4 10 tablets purchased cost a total cost of £3,564, with an additional £232 for shipping costs.

The technology is intended to reduce the use of paper.

But Plaid councillors branded the tablets a waste of money in a time of austerity, while other councillors said they were unfamiliar with digital devices and would prefer to stick with paper versions.

Plaid Town Council opposition leader Cllr Shirley Hodges said: “Plaid voted against getting these tablets, we thought them an extravagance.

“We now have a bizarre situation of Labour and Tory councillors who voted for the tablets saying they don’t want them and can they stick to paper copies.

“I am afraid these tablets are expensive toys.”

She added: “They have also assumed everyone has wifi.”

Plaid Cymru councillor Ian Johnson added: “In February, Plaid Cymru suggested saving money by not buying tablets for councillors.

“We were outvoted by Labour and Tory councillors who voted together and insisted that they had to be bought and paid for with a council tax increase.

“Now, some of those councillors are saying that they don’t want them anyway and won’t be using them.

“You couldn’t make it up.”

Speaking at the meeting, Iltyd ward Conservative councillor, Marguerita Wright said: “Tony (Iltyd ward councillor, Tony Hampton) and I are not very good with these.

“We would prefer paper.”

And Gibbonsdown Labour councillor Margaret Wilkinson added: “You can hold as many workshops as you like.

“I will be having hard copies or I will just sit around.”

Barry Town Council finance officer Mark Sims said workshops could be arranged with councillors concerned about their ability to operate the devices.

BTC chief officer, Emily Forbes said: "At the meeting of council held on February, 26 council agreed the budget for 2018/19 that included an amount of £3,300 for the purchase of 22 tablets for councillors to receive all papers electronically and to use in meetings.

"It was resolved at the council’s meeting on October, 1 that a training session be arranged on tablet use for councillors."

Paper copies will continue to be provided ahead of meetings to media, Barry Library, and South Wales Police, it was added.

Documents will also continue to be available online for councillors and the public to view.