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Council meetings to go paperless

All Guildford Borough Council meetings will become paperless from April 2020, following a resolution passed by the Council's Executive last night (Tuesday 18 February).

All meetings, involving both Councillors and officers, will be paperless as part of the Council's drive to become a carbon neutral borough by 2030. 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Caroline Reeves says:

"Going paperless is one way the council can continue to lead by example and demonstrate that the decisions we all make can have a real positive impact. Climate Change affects everything and everybody, and as part of our declaration of a Climate Emergency we are committed to reducing carbon emissions within the council to make our lives in Guildford more environmentally sustainable.

"This decision is just one part of our overall strategy which also sees us committed to increased use of electric vehicles and supporting the Plastic Free Guildford initiative to reduce single-use plastics."

From 7 April, all agendas, minutes, order papers and information sheets will be distributed via email, except one printed agenda which will be available to view at the reception of the council offices on Millmead and six copies available for public viewing at each meeting. Members of the public are already able to access meeting agendas, reports and minutes via the council's website. The decision will be reviewed in six months' time.

Having declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019, going paperless for all meetings will help the Council to deliver on its strategic priorities of protecting the environment and using innovation, technology and new ways of working to improve both efficiency and value for money in its services. 

Estimated financial savings of approximately £18,300 per annum are available to be made on reduced paper, printing and postage. In addition, with the printing of agendas since April 2016 estimated to have produced approximately 13,220lbs of CO2, the energy saved on producing printed papers can reduce the council's carbon footprint.

Lead Councillor for Finance, Assets and Customer Service, Cllr Joss Bigmore, adds: 

"Our Future Guildford Transformation Project, of which this decision is a small part, is progressing well, and has enabled us to make significant savings, helping to ensure we are able to maintain levels of service provision. These initiatives, whilst individually small, add up to prove that financial efficiency and fighting climate change can be combined to provide borough-wide improvements which benefit all local people."

Published on Wednesday 19 February.