IT'S always fascinating to watch the comings and goings of the intricacies of just how our council's do their work. In the past twenty years outsourcing was the byword, wrestling control of such in house services as highways to contractors. The idea was it was cheaper and as government budget cuts bit into many council bank balances costs were so often the crucial benchmark.

So it was really illuminating this week that North Yorkshire County council revealed they're looking at returning control for their 5,750 miles of road to themselves. Well it's actually a specially created Teckal company which concentrates on their jobs and can take on commercial work from outside when and if they have the time, with any profits coming back to the council.

Of course that famous adage 'only time will tell' is going to be the big test of whether it's a winner. However the comment from the council's executive member for access was interesting. Cllr Don Mackenzie said: "Through more direct accountability for the works on the ground we could deliver a ‘right first time’ service with the customer continuing to be at the heart of everything that we do."

As this work will include the all encompassing pothole repairs, which have the power to enrage at far less than 100 metres, and winter maintenance, Spectator suspects many will be watching closely to see how it all goes.

This comes on top of other moves by the council to not only do what they have to do but to try and make money from other investments in commercial developments to shore up budgets The word is that for many staff who work on highways who are undoubtedly dedicated to keeping the wheels turning, it's a development of interest.