Brent Council has been criticised after it replaced its human receptionist with the first ever hologram or 'Virtual Assistant' at a London council.
So far, holograms like Shanice have only been installed in the UK at airports and exhibition halls.
Brent is the first council to 'employ' an assistant, making an annual saving of £17,000 in the process. She is due to be in place on August 21.
Brent's Lead Member for Customers and Citizens, Councillor James Denselow said:
The council is believed to have spent £12,000 on the hologram assistant. According to the Evening Standard, Alison Hopkins, budget and finance spokeswoman for the opposition Lib Dems, said:
Laura Collignon, of the Brent SOS Libraries campaign, said:
According to the council's recent expenditure:
- The new council building cost £100 million
- The 'mega library' inside the building cost £3 million while they shut half of the existing libraries in the borough (six in total)
- They claimed the library closures would save £1 million a year
- An independent report found Brent to be "by far the worst" for library services out of any comparative borough, reported the Kilburn Times