DURHAM County Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award in recognition of the work of its legal services team.

The authority is a finalist in the Lawyers in Local Government Awards 2017, in the legal team of the year category.

The department also reached the final of the 2017 Law Society Excellence Awards in the Excellence in Technology category in August. Winners of the awards will be announced later this month.

Helen Lynch, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “This speaks volumes about the innovative work that goes on in legal services across many areas, from taking action against those who blight communities by supplying counterfeit tobacco, to helping schools through the important stages of becoming academies.”