New research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals that over £100 million has been paid out in compensation claims against local authorities across the Great Britain over the last two years.
These figures suggest that some local authorities are failing to adequately deliver services - such as pothole repair and road maintenance - resulting in costly compensation claims.
According to the research Calderdale Council paid out a total of £130,959 in 2013/14 and £51,157 in 2014/15.
The claims included someone tripping over a raised manhole on a carriageway and receiving a £22,000 payout and £65 for misplaced reading glasses.
Other key findings of this research by the TPA found nearly £8,000,000 was paid out in claims related to potholes across the UK over 2013-2014 and 2014-2015
£1,475,000 was the highest amount paid out in a single claim for “manual handling” by Norfolk County Council in 2014-15
The reason cited for a claim of £393 against Wiltshire Council in 2013-14 was “Horseplay”
Other claims paid out included £5,000 by Wirral Metropolitan Council for detaining an employee against his will and £2,360 by Birmingham City Council for the claimant walking into an open window, both in 2013-14
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.
“Of course, some of the payments made by councils will be entirely justified, as the most serious accidents can change lives.
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.
“Councils must do everything they can to ensure their mistakes and negligence don’t result in such large bills for hard-pressed taxpayers - and take appropriate action against staff whose actions result in costly claims. We must also root out those who are playing the system with spurious demands for taxpayers’ cash.”