'Change mobiles deal' call backed

A DONCASTER councillor who ran up one of the biggest mobile phone bills on the authority is backing calls for changes to its contract.

Coun Jonathan Wood, the borough's cabinet member for business and enterprise, ran up a bill of 1,009.64 between May 2009 and September 2010 on his council mobile phone.

It was the second highest on a list of councillors' bills.

Today he admitted he had not realised how much the bills were until the figures emerged this week and backed changes to the deal which the council currently has.

He said he used his council mobile only for council business – but his cabinet job meant he had to use the phone.

He said: "I'm as shocked as anyone about this, more so because I appear at the top end of the list.

"Having investigated since finding this out, it seems clear to me that we are quite simply on the wrong contract. I have to use my phone – we don't deliver investment into Doncaster without making phone calls.

"There have been at least five investors from the US in the last 12 months, and we cannot phone internationally from the council land lines."

He wants to see the council set up a deal where some of the calls are included in the rental costs – the equivalent of free minutes included as part of some personal contracts.

Doncaster Council chief executive, Rob Vincent, said: "We are carrying out a review of all council expenditure regarding mobile phones, blackberries and other software as part of our commitment to reduce costs and ensure value for money across the authority."

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