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Times reveals council compo runs into millions

PUBLISHED: 11:44 22 July 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 25 August 2010

Council bosses paid out more than £2 million in compensation claims over the past three years - £2,148,423 more than a neighbouring borough.

Council bosses paid out more than £2 million in compensation claims over the past three years - £2,148,423 more than a neighbouring borough.

Greenwich council stumped up a staggering £765,666 last year alone in personal injury and property damage claims, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Times.

But neighbouring Bexley council spent £45,338 over three years which is eclipsed by Greenwich's £2,193,761 for the same period.

Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance Matthew Elliott, said: "The council must work harder to reduce this bill. Taxpayers cannot afford to pay high tax only for the money to be given away thanks to council incompetence. Rightly or wrongly we do live in a compensation culture and taxpayers should not be made victims of that."

The request took eight weeks to get a response from workers at Greenwich council, which is in breach of the Freedom of Act which states that applications should be answered within 20 days.

Last financial year (2009-2010) the council paid out £210,436 in personal injury claims and £555,230 in property damage claims.

Pay outs for trips and falls was £160,214 last year. The largest amounts paid out in the past three years for any claim was £85,481 in May 2009, when a council vehicle struck a third party vehicle and £40,000 and £142,129 to two individuals for a health-related conditions. The council would not provide anymore information about these pay outs.

Legal fees amassed by Greenwich council in the last financial year were £85,481, £161,567 in 2008 and 2009 and 16,842 in 2007 and 2008. Greenwich council refused to comment on the figures.


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