A COUNCIL in the North-East is in the running for a top partnership prize.

Stockton Borough Council's education, leisure and cultural services department is among a number of finalists for the TNT Modernising Government Partnership Award 2001.

The award scheme was launched last year by the Cabinet office, in partnership with international mail-delivery firm TNT.

Cherie Booth QC will be presenting certificates, prizes and the award to this year's winners, in front of 400 delegates in London, early next month.

Anne Duffus, the council's assistant director of education, leisure and cultural services, said: "We welcomed the challenge to demonstrate that working with our schools, suppliers and the community is producing the best possible results for Stockton."

Competition results will be announced on April 5.