TEMPORARY playground equipment is to be installed in Hurworth in April to replace the items removed last year for safety reasons.

At a meeting of Hurworth Parish Council on Tuesday, Terry Collins, assistant director of environmental services for Darlington Borough Council, gave his assurances to councillors that the work would be carried out.

He said that along with more than 40 other areas in the borough, Hurworth was on the list to receive newly-refurbished equipment as part of the borough council's eight-year plan to regulate safety standards.

Mr Collins said that due to limited funds, the borough council would initially be installing playgrounds in areas where other community sums were made available by developers.

In the meantime the temporary equipment would be installed in Hurworth until funds were available for a permanent development.

The parish council criticised the policy, saying the needs of the village were not being met by the borough council.

Coun Gillian Hepplewhite said: "In Hurworth it seems we are not getting anything given back to us. We pay our council tax and it's terribly poor that the council gives priority to providing for the town and not for the villages."

Mr Collins said: "We have had to remove a lot of play equipment from all over the borough and unless we have a strategy for replacing it we will just be throwing money at it.

"The council accepts that there is a need to do something in Hurworth and we have said we are willing to work towards this, but we also have other responsibilities to consider."