The head of cultural services at Stockton Borough Council was one of a select group invited for a chat with prime minister Tony Blair.

Andrea Barker, who has worked at the council since 1996, was one of 150 local government frontline workers, managers and council members from around the country invited to a special reception at 10 Downing Street earlier this week.

However, when she arrived Andrea was chosen to be one of just six guests invited into the White Room for a more private meeting with Mr Blair before the meeting.

The reception was organised to recognise the work done by local authorities across the country and to celebrate the contribution made to the work of local government by frontline staff, managers and elected councillors.