Back-slapping awards ceremonies are costing Glasgow City Council and its arm’s-length organisations more than £100,000 a year.

Many of the self-congratulatory events are aimed at “celebrating best practice”.

Staff are often handed gongs at lavish ceremonies for simply remaining an employee for a set length of time.

Figure obtained by the Evening Times show that the local authority and its arm’s-length organisations (ALEOs) spent a total of £425,000 on awards shows since 2012.

The SNP has criticised the Labour-run council for spending public money on these events.

The local authority is desperately trying to find millions of pounds in savings to offset budget cuts.

The biggest spending department is the Chief Executive’s Office and Corporate Services which shelled out £116,000 on nine ceremonies in four years.

Its annual Flourish Awards are among the most extravagant with the cost almost doubling from £16,000 in 2014 to £31,000 this year.

Land and Environmental Services shelled out £72,000 on awards ceremonies, the social work department spent £33,000 while Development and regeneration department racked up a bill of £22,000.

Staff at the council’s finance department, who hold the purse strings at the local authority, were invited to annual awards ceremonies in 2012, 2013 and 2015 which cost a total of £3,700.

Under fire ALEO City Building, which posted losses of £4.1 million in the year to March 2015, managed to find more than £17,000 for award ceremonies last year.

Care provider Cordia, which has been embroiled in a bitter battle with workers over shift patterns, was one of the biggest spending ALEOs after holding events costing a total of £72,000.

So-called ‘Staff recognition and excellence awards’ held at a variety of plush city venues, including the Royal Concert Hall, the Old Fruitmarket and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, cost almost £50,000 in three years.

Glasgow Life, which operates council venues on behalf of the local authority, spent £53,000 on high profile events.

Meanwhile, Jobs and Business Glasgow shelled out almost £30,000 on five awards ceremonies in four years.

However, some council departments spent little or nothing on such ceremonies.

Education Services spent just over £1,000 on three ‘staff recognition’ events while ALEOs City Parking and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau held no ceremonies.

SNP councillor David Turner said: “At a time of tightening belts for our council, it really isn’t on that almost half a million pounds has been spent over the last four years on awards ceremonies.

“While staff have seen massive pay restraint and departments have been under pressure, due to recruitment freezes and voluntary redundancy programmes, this spending could have gone some way to supporting the work of our hardworking employees in meaningful ways.

“We greatly appreciate the staff who work for our council and our citizens. There must be a better way to recognise their efforts in these difficult times.”

Labour councillor Martin Rhodes, who is the administration’s Executive Member for Personnel, hit back.

He said: “We believe it is important to recognise the achievements of young people in care; our brilliant apprentices, and staff who have spent decades serving the people of Glasgow.

“We also trust our staff to deliver for Glasgow. They cope with fewer resources, due to massive government budget cuts, and they shoulder huge expectations as the city hosts great events like the Commonwealth Games.

“It seems the city’s SNP group are the only people who don’t think they deserve some thanks and recognition.”