Press Release Issued By
Durham County Council
 Consumer Services





Consumer advisers in County Durham are the tops for quality.

The Consumer Advice section of Durham County Council's Consumer Services has been awarded the Community Legal Services (CLS) Quality Mark .

The award recognises their work in general help (casework).

The CLS was launched in April last year as part of the Legal Services Commission to improve access and equity in the provision of 'free' legal advice on civil law issues.

The Quality Mark introduces one nationally recognised standard for the provision of legal information and help, and sets standards for access to services, seamless services, running the organisation, people management, meeting clients' needs and commitment to quality.

Phillip Holman, the County Council's Head of Consumer Services, said: "We are extremely pleased to gain this award. It recognises the commitment of our staff to improving the service we deliver to the people of the County.

"We will endeavour to retain the Quality Mark and continue to improve our service delivery," he said.

The County's Consumer Services deal with 8,000 complaints and 2,00 'other inquiries' a year.

Consumers can obtain quality advice and, in some circumstances, conciliation and assistance with civil court case preparation.



Note to News Editors: For further information contact Peter Fleming, Assistant Head of Consumer Services, on 0191 383 3584.

CLS works through regional offices to improve public access to legal advice by creating seamless advice networks via provider partnerships (CLSPs).

To become a member of a partnership, organisations have to obtain the CLS Quality Mark. Any identified, unmet need will be funded by the Legal Services Commission.