Town and parish council politicians will now face a ‘hefty’ financial burden after being told that Dacorum Borough Council will no longer provide them with free IT services.
Berkhamsted Town Council, which shares its Berkhamsted Civic Centre base with Dacorum Borough Council, has until the end of the month to find a new provider.
The change also affects Markyate Parish Council and Bovingdon Parish Council, and Berkhamsted politicians have been told the borough council will be ‘flexible’ with the deadline.
Clerk Gary Cox said: “Dacorum forgot to charge us for IT services in the past, so we have been getting them free.”
Speaking at a Monday meeting, he said the borough council had been forced to change this by new legislation.
Councillor David Collins said: “The plus side of it is it will give us a certain amount of independence where we can develop our own system.
“But I do not think anybody is happy that it has just been dropped on us.”
Councillor Peter Matthews said: “The financial implications I would expect will be fairly hefty for this kind of service.”
Mayor Ian Reay said the change would put Berkhamsted Town Council in a stronger position to renegotiate its lease on the borough council-owned civic centre in two years time.
Borough council spokesman Madeleine Taggart-Smith said: “We will be helping the parish and town councils to find a suitable and more cost-effective IT support partner.
“This will only affect Bovingdon and Markyate Parish Councils and Berkhamsted Town Council as the remaining parish and town councils in the borough are already in control of their own IT arrangements.”