Council pays out £60k compo claim for ‘cracked pavement’

Potholes cost St Helens Council thousands in compensation
Potholes cost St Helens Council thousands in compensation
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St Helens Council has paid out more than £160,000 to members of the public after they have sued the authority, new figures obtained by the St Helens Reporter have revealed.

From January to September this year, the council has forked out £186,023 in compensation claims.

A total of 38 claims were accepted by the authority, relating to falls and trips, faults with footpaths and potholes and council vehicles causing damage to cars or properties.

The biggest insurance payout was £20,492 for a footpath defect, whilst £15,000 was awarded after someone suffered a fall on council land.

Eight claims about cracks and uneven footpaths cost the authority a staggering £61,979.

Council vehicles, namely bin wagons, hitting cars or causing damage to property created an insurance bill of £30,653 for 12 incidents.

Damage to cars caused by potholes resulted in five separate charges of £7,626, whilst three complaints about tree roots causing a problem forced a payout of £745.

Ice and show on the pavement forced a single payout of £8,000, whilst a dangerous missing manhole cover resulted in a remuneration of £9,838.

The number of claims for 2014 was 47, with a total cost of £187,065. This included burst water mains, potholes, falls and trips and vehicle accidents.

This total paid out has shot up dramatically from 2013, which saw 46 claims, totalling £96,017.

A St Helens Council spokesman said: “The council has procedures in place to minimise the number of insurance claims – and makes a successful defence in up to 90 per cent of cases.”