NEW benefits claimants in Stafford and Cannock are receiving the quickest service in the country, according to a national survey.
The number of days it takes for the teams covering Stafford and Cannock to process new claims was less than half the time it takes nationally – which is an average of 22 days.
Stafford Borough Council and Cannock Chase District Council have been sharing services since 2011 - a move that saves each authority around £200,000 a year.
The latest figures mean that residents applying to Cannock get the speediest service in the county with Stafford customers second – a reversal in the placing of six months ago when the Stafford service was tops.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show Cannock processing new claims at an average of eight days with Stafford taking 11 days – compared to the 22 day national average.
Bob Kean, head of finance across both councils, said: "Our revenues and benefits function was highlighted by the independent Audit Commission as a successful way in which councils can cut the cost of running a service and still improve its performance. These national figures are testament to that."