NORTH-East councils paid out more than millions in compensation in two years for everything from stress to people slipping on grass, a new report reveals.

The TaxPayers' Alliance research found that Darlington Borough Council footed the biggest bill in the region, paying out more than £911,00 in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

This figure is however rejected by the authority which says it only paid out £135,000 in claims over the two years, with the higher figure reflecting the initial insurance company valuation of claims made rather than the figure paid out.

The authority's biggest single pay out was £52,000 following a personal injury claim.

The authority paid out thousands of pounds to other injured claimants for slips, trips and falls.

Damage to third-party vehicles and property cost the council thousands more.

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said: "We work with insurers to investigate any claim and we also strive to minimise risk and, in doing so, possible injury and future claims."

Elsewhere in the region, Durham County Council paid out almost £550,000 over the two years according to the report, including more than £74,000 to one employee who had suffered stress.

The council had to hand over more than £24,000 in compensation to another staff member for health problems caused by vibrations.

Redcar and Cleveland Council paid out £27,900 to someone who tripped in a car park.

The authority was left with a £19,350 bill after a child suffered an injury in school and had to pay out more than £3,000 to another person who tripped on grass.

While the council was hit with an £11,000 bill following an injury caused by defective playground equipment.

Like other authorities, Redcar and Cleveland had to pay out tens of thousands to members of the public who had fallen on pavements, tripped on kerbs, or stumbled after walking into a pothole or drain.

According to the TaxPayers' Alliance which produced the report, the figures suggest councils are failing to adequately deliver services - such as pothole repair and road maintenance - resulting in costly compensation claims.

Commenting on the research, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The compensation culture is costing taxpayers dear and every pound spent on settlements or higher insurance premiums is a pound that isn't spent on essential services such as road maintenance or social care.

Nationally, more than £8 million was paid out in claims related to potholes over the two years.