STREET lights should be switched off at night, households should pay for each bag of rubbish they put out, and council employees should retire at 60, according to their colleagues.

More than 1,000 suggestions were put forward after council bosses asked employees for their ideas on how to cut spending, and the answers offer a rare and revealing insight into the thinking of council workers.

Recommendations range from selling off public libraries to scrapping the council’s tea trolleys, and they will be considered by councillors planning savings of £25 million over the next three years.

Among the most frequent suggestions were pay cuts for managers, with recommendations of 10 per cent for those on £60,000 a year, 40 per cent for those on £100,000, and 50 per cent for those on £150,000.

But council spending on agency staff and consultants came in for the most criticism with a raft of suggestions on how to cut costs including an end to hiring former council employees as consultants, and increasing overtime for full-time staff.

Other suggestions include: Opening council buildings between 8am and 6pm rather than 7am to 7pm, abolishing the council newsletter Redbridge Life, holding area committee meetings in Ilford Town Hall, cutting the number of councillors, selling off the Mayor’s Jaguar and the council’s personalised number plates.

Geoff Pierce, the council’s director of finances, said: “Members of staff have provided an impressive number of suggestions across a wide range of subjects. More work is needed to assess the financial implications of each.”

Heads of department within the council are now preparing reports based on the suggestions, which will be presented to the council’s cabinet on January 10.