Hartlepool Borough Council paid out more than £120,000 in compensation payments over the last two years.
New figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance show the council shelled out £80,395 in the financial year 2013-14 and £41, 650 in 2014-15 – a total of £122,015.
As a local authority, we have an on-going commitment to provide services of the highest possible quality that meet the needs and expectations of residents. Where we do receive claims for compensation, all claims are carefully assessed on their individual merits.Hartlepool Council spokesman
Claims ranged from thousands of pounds to less than £50.
The biggest payment in 2013-14 was a £9,000 public liability settlement, while a highways claim accounted for 2014-15’s top pay-out of £7,100.
Across the North East, £5,033,303 was paid in compensation by local authorities over the two years. Newcastle City Council shelled out more than £800,000 and Durham County Council almost £550,000.
A council spokesman said: “As a local authority, we have an on-going commitment to provide services of the highest possible quality that meet the needs and expectations of residents.
“Where we do receive claims for compensation, all claims are carefully assessed on their individual merits.
“We will always robustly defend a claim if we feel there are reasonable grounds to do so, and we also have procedures in place to try to identify and clampdown on frivolous and unwarranted claims.”
Nationwide, nearly £8,000,000 was paid out in claims related to potholes over 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The highest single payment was £1,475,000 for “manual handling” by Norfolk County Council in 2014-15
Taxpayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby 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.
“Of course, some of the payments will be entirely justified, but in many cases, local authorities and their staff will be failing to live up to the standards required of them by law or paying out on frivolous claims too easily.”