THE Government has praised South Tyneside Borough Council's housing service.

The authority scored the highest marks in the North-East for housing and is one of only 30 councils in the country to be given a level-four rating.

QUEEN ACT: Freddie Mercury tribute singer Billy West will perform at Peterlee Leisure Centre on Saturday, February 22, from 7pm to 11pm, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Relief and St John Ambulance's Blue Light Appeal. Tickets are £4, available on 0191-586 2491.

ADVICE SESSIONS: Durham Citizens Advice Bureau will hold advice sessions on Monday, at Ludworth Community Centre, from 11am to noon, and at Homeside, Bowburn, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. No appointments are necessary.

ART CLASSES: Art classes are being held on Mondays, in the Framwellgate Moor Community Centre, Durham. A morning session takes place from 10am to noon and an evening session is held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

GREEN AWARD: Stocksfield Avenue Primary School, in Newcastle, yesterday won a Bronze Eco School award. It follows the work of pupils and teachers to deal with litter and establish recycling schemes.

FLOWER NIGHT: Cestrian Flower Club will hold a demonstration at Park View Community's main site, in Chester-le-Street, on Thursday, at 7.15pm.

CITY WALK: Historian David Butler will lead a two-and-a-half-mile walk along the River Wear in Durham City, on Sunday, starting at 1.30pm from the Market Place. The walk costs £2, concessions £1.

NEW LOOK: Uncle Sam's Sweet Emporium is seeking planning permission and listed building consent from Durham City Council to redecorate the front of its shop, in Saddler Street, Durham.

HOUSING PLAN: Durham City Council is being asked to grant outline planning permission for a residential development at the rear of High Street North, in Langley Moor.

HOTEL REVAMP: Durham City Council is being asked to grant planning permission for a hotel to be converted into six flats at The Bracken, Bank Foot, Shincliffe.

SITE PLAN: Durham County Council plans to alter perimeter fencing and access ramps, provide walkways, gantries, welfare facilities and skips at Coxhoe civic amenity site.

REFUSE DELAYS: Easington District Council hopes to resume refuse collections on Monday after cancelling the service yesterday because of bad weather.

COFFEE MORNING: St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, will hold a coffee morning next Saturday, at 10.30am, in Ludworth Community Centre.

ART MEETING: The Friends of the Lamplight Arts Centre holds its annual meeting in the centre on Thursday, February 13, at 7pm.