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Hackney LBC staff who refuse to focus their attention on serving the council's customers risk being sacked, borough...
Hackney LBC staff who refuse to focus their attention on serving the council's customers risk being sacked, borough chief executive Tony Elliston told the Institute of Public Relations local government conference.

Speaking last week in Cambridge, Mr Elliston said some officers had not responded to his drive to eliminate the unnecessary bureaucracy that he said had bedevilled the borough.

'They've got to wake up and smell the coffee - or go and find employment elsewhere.' He said re-educating staff in Hackney had 'nothing to do with teaching and everything to do with open cast brain surgery'.

Rather than filling holes in the road, some staff had spent their time measuring them to ensure they were no wider than six inches across. Others spent their time sniffing town hall corridors to enforce a no-smoking policy.

The IPR also announced the winners of its Excellence in Communications awards.

The winners were: Easington DC in the booklet and photographs categories; Colchester BC in the annual report category and the external campaign category for converting council taxpayers to direct debit.

Other winners were Bedford BC, Ealing LBC, Dorset CC, Hackney LBC, Enfield LBC and Milton Keynes BC.

But there were no winners in two of the 12 categories - crisis management and internal campaigns - because of a lack of acceptable entries.

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