All councillors elected to a Somerset local authority this May will receive a tablet computer worth £550 upon taking up their office.

South Somerset District Council revealed in January that it would be spending up to £33,000 on “new mobile devices” for all 60 representatives on the new council, which will be formed after the local elections on May 2.

The council has now confirmed the devices will be thin client tablet computers, which operate like a normal tablet but do not have an internal hard drive.

The council has said investing in these devices will result in improved security.

The £33,000 spend (which equates to £550 per device) was approved by the full council in Yeovil on Tuesday evening (February 26).

Dave Chubb, the council’s IT specialist, said the devices would be owned and managed by the council.

He added in his written report: “All the devices will be managed in a standard way which includes virus and malware protection, security patches and updates as well as drive encryption.”

The thin client devices have no dedicated hard drives, with councillors using the authority’s own secure cloud to access information.

This means that should a device be lost or stolen, any sensitive information would be protected.

Mr Chubb said the council had considered giving each newly-elected ward member an allowance to purchase their own tablet, but this was ruled out following feedback from existing councillors.

He added: “This would not provide the benefits we have set out.”

The tablets will be ordered by March 29 and are expected to be in working order until the local elections of May 2023.