SURREY Heath Council's business will soon be conducted in cyberspace.

Lugging around piles of paperwork is about to be a thing of the past for members, theoretically at least.

Instead they will receive the council's agendas and minutes via the council's website.

Members will also be expected to contact officers by e-mail instead of picking up the phone. And they will increasingly use e-mails to keep in touch with their constituents.

Details of the council's impending step into the faceless world of computer communication are revealed in a report to the policy committee.

The move follows the introduction of a new business set-up which reduces the time spent in committee meetings at the council offices.

"This means that members need better communications from their homes and better access to information to support their enhanced role in the community," says the report.

The new system is due to be introduced after next May's elections, by which time all 40 councillors will have been issued with laptop computers.

They will also be given a combined fax-printer-scanning machine, and a separate phone line, at council taxpayers' expense.

A contractor is to be employed to install and oversee the computerised system.

The total cost of the project will not be known until the tendering process is completed.