INNOVATIVE employees have been honoured for their efforts to improve services to housing tenants.

Stores officer Stephen Dixon, who works for East Durham Homes, and Easington District Council benefits assistant Sara Canavan were finalists at the Idea Of the Year awards ceremony, staged in Chester by IdeasUK, which recognises innovation in both the public and private sector

Mr Dixon designed a rack to safely lift windows in and out of a delivery van, while Ms Canavan came up with a system to fast-track housing and council tax benefit applications.

They were selected for the competition after submitting their ideas to the staff suggestion scheme run by Easington council and East Durham Homes.

Earlier this week, they were presented with their certificates by council leader Councillor Alan Napier.