Posted by: John Brace | 17 April 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council only receives 50% of the resale price for its thousands of old computers

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council only receives 50% of the resale price for its thousands of old computers


On Monday I asked a question at the Transformation and Resources Policy and Performance Committee. Wirral Council had at the start of this month has 3,780 computers running Windows XP. It’s planning to spend £2.5 million on new computers to replace the old computers so that Windows 7 can be installed.

My question was firstly whether Wirral Council was getting anything for these thousands of old computers (the estimate given was that 90% would need to be replaced whereas the other 10% could run Windows 7) and a technical question about SCC plc who Wirral Council is paying to help them install the new computers.

The answer surprised me and is below (which the councillors on the Transformation and Resources Policy and Performance Committee have been copied into).


From: “Sankey, Steve”
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:33:53 +0100
Subject: Transformation and Resources Policy and Performance Committee – Unanswered question about what happens to the old computers

Dear Mr Brace

Thank you for your questions regarding what happens to the old computers, when we move to new computers running Windows 7.

I can confirm that the Council has a contract with a company called SITR, which handles the secure disposal of IT equipment. The company picks up the old computers and securely removes all data in compliance with agreed standards and directives (eg Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive WEEE). It issues the Council with a certificate confirming we comply with UK government standards of disposal.

The company recycles/sells the computers on the open market. The Council does not pay for the collection of the equipment, and receives 50% of any resale value when the equipment is resold.

Finally you enquired about the framework agreement we have used to procure SCC services. I can confirm that the process for the appointment of SCC was via the Crown Commercial Service (formerly Government Procurement Service) Framework – RM720 – Sprint II.

Yours truly,


Steve Sankey

Wirral Council
Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 6BU
Tel: 0151 666 3029
Visit our website:


So let me just get this straight. Wirral Council is only getting 50% of the resale cost of thousands of old computers, but it’s currently consulting on closing Lyndale School over a projected shortfall of £120,000 a year from 2015/16 onwards.

Here are some ballpark figures on the sale of the computers.

Wirral Council estimate that 90% of the machines will need replacing. 90% * 3,780 = 3,402 machines.

An estimate of £100 each for each unit (computer, monitor and keyboard) that SITR sell £100 * 3,402 machines = £340,200.

Amount that Wirral Council gets £170,000, amount that SITR gets £170,000. £170,000 is enough to keep Lyndale School open for a further year, if Wirral Council were to do this themselves. If Wirral Council were to do it in house instead and we take off from that £340,000 amount the costs of two full time staff (£50,000) to securely wipe the hard drives before they’re resold and do the certificates they say are required (assuming each person can wipe seven hard drives a day with enough time left to organise selling the rest) it’s a considerable sum of money! So what do you think?

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  1. They only received that amount because they paid ‘over the odds’ when originally purchased them,down to an ineffective purchasing policy.

    • Sorry if I was unclear, it wasn’t 50% of what they were originally bought for, but 50% of what they are sold for.

      Example, SITR sell one of the Council’s old surplus to requirements laptop for resale or parts (eg replacement screen) for £150. Under the contract SITR gets £75 and Wirral Council get £75.