Highland Council is to scrap printing its committee reports to save money.
The change was approved at the local authority’s resources committee today after members heard that more than one million pieces of paper were printed and handed out for council meetings in 2012/13 – costing £28,000.
Council leader Drew Hendry said: “Over a million pieces of paper a year is a lot of paper. We’ve heard of the cost but what we’ve not heard is the cost of disposal and recycling so I am confident this initiative will save even more money.
“This isn’t a one-speed situation where we are just being presented with the fact that the papers are now going to be electronic.
“Some people will be comfortable with going electronic and some people will be less so. I hope that as many members as possible will take the opportunity to move to be electronic.”
Members agreed to the introduction of electronic reports and removal of paper copies in a phased programme to be complete by 2017.
They will be provided with tablets to access the reports or can alternatively use their own devices.
A limited number of paper copies would still be made available for members of the public attending meetings.
Committee vice-chairman councillor David Alston said: “We were talking about this in 2007 so that important thing is that we move on from talk to action.
“It is also important that as well as the cost savings we look at this as an opportunity to better present information. All members have got an interest in getting information in a way that helps us to make better decisions.”