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'Crazy' staff award scheme scrapped

A Barnet council scheme offering cash to staff who came up with money-saving ideas has been scrapped after only two prize-winning entries were received in a year.

One proposal - which won the pounds 25 prize - was to use both sides of the paper when photocopying. The other, winner of the pounds 10 prize, was a suggestion that the council should not just ask staff for ideas, but ask the public too.

But the scheme excluded anybody from making suggestions to save money within their own department.

'They were absolutely crazy ideas,' said Alan Williams, Labour leader of the new hung council. 'We have now scrapped this scheme, which was brought in by the former Tory administration.

'In a whole year there were only two schemes that came up with anything halfway to qualifying for an award.'

One of the wackiest ideas was from a member of staff who wanted a kitchen on every floor of the building to save time running up and down the stairs to get a coffee.

'We pay our staff good salaries,' said Mr Williams, 'and we expect them to identify any money-saving areas without a cash reward.