BUNGLING council officials censored payment details on public accounts after mistaking the name of a recycling giant as a person.

Mysteriously the details of who was given three payments of £287,000 were blanked out by Barnet Council officers in the latest set of quarterly expenditure details published online.

But after an inquiry from the Times Series officials realised they had mistaken waste giants May Gurney for a person.

New Barnet resident John Dix, who spotted the error, said it was “unbelievable” something like that could have happened.

He added: “It just seems like there is no real system for checking these accounts in place. Every time they are published there are errors. They don't seem to know what they are doing.”

They were among more than 700 payments redacted as part of the council's efforts to keep sensitive payments and those to individuals a secret.

However, officers are now going through the names again and will publish an updated set of expenditure.

A statement from the council said: "The council redacts financial information about individuals and on this occasion a member of staff in our finance department reasonably confused the large environmental services company May Gurney with Mr and Mrs Gurney's daughter, May.

"We will be amending the document."