BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) spent more than a quarter of a million pounds on postage in 2015/16.

In a Freedom of Information request sent to BDBC, figures released show that during the year £259,600 was spent on postage and £33,700 on stationery.

It was also revealed the council spent £198,953.09 on staff overtime during the same period.

North Hampshire resident Richard Kidd originally requested the information and believes the costs could be cut down.

He said: “They could make more use of emails, in particular the postage.

“It’ s something that needs looking at.”

Cllr Hayley Eachus, cabinet member for Regulatory Services and the Environment, said: “We have been successful in reducing what we spend on postage, and on stationery such as envelopes and paper, in recent years.

“This has been possible thanks to steps such as increasing the use of digital communications, sending text reminders, and using second class postage.

“To provide some context, in the last tw o years we’ve cut our stationery spend by £6,000 and our expenditure on postage has reduced by £7,000.

“We have a statutory duty to contact residents about issues such as benefits, council tax billing and electoral registration and we want to keep people informed about council services.

“While we kno w that not everyone currently has access to the internet or emails, we expect that these costs will further reduce in the coming years as people make greater use of online methods of communication. Through our digital strategy we are working to encourage this and we hope to be part of driving down printing costs.”