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BrandonlewLocal Government Minister Brandon Lewis MP with his series celebrating excellence in our Town Hall 

This week's champion council is very different from other examples I have shared over the last few weeks. Back in April 2011, Selby District Council became a 'commissioning' council. The service wing – the bulk of the organisation – split from the District Council to become 'Access Selby'. The District Council remained as a core body, with only 14 employees. These include the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and various democracy support officers. Access Selby now has around 220 members of staff – a 30% cost in staffing levels.

This reduction in numbers has not had the negative impact on services that one might expect. Indeed, customer satisfaction is now above 90% and significant savings have been included into the bargain.

Selby have not stopped there however. The council is now in talks to bring about greater co-operation with North Yorkshire County Council. This co-operation would include the sharing of both frontline and back room services. We have seen over the past few weeks the huge financial benefits such agreements can have for residents, as the savings are translated into council tax cuts or freezes. I have every confidence that Selby, a council which has already used new and innovative methods to cut costs and improve services, will be highly successful in this new venture. Selby residents will continue to enjoy better services and, through cutting unnecessary costs, pay less each month in council tax.

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