Car crashes, dodgy footpaths and freak weather: The staggering amounts payed out by Doncaster Council in compensation  

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Doncaster Council paid out nearly £2 million pounds in compensation to residents and business, new figures show. 

A Freedom of Information request shows local authority bosses paid out for crashes, injury on uneven footpaths and flooding due to blocked drains in the last five years. 

The majority of the compensation payouts are for personal injury claims against the council due to local authority vehicles hitting third party cars. 

There were 914 bids for compensation made to the council which averages at £2,166 per claim.

A sum of £83,600 was the biggest single claim after a council vehicle was involved in a road traffic collision during 2013/2014.

A figure of £106,700 was claimed from council coffers after two separate storms.

Council bosses also paid £20,850 in compensation in two separate claims residents suffered an injury due to a ‘footpath defect’.

A blocked drain which led to flooding also cost local authority bosses £18,800 in 2014/2015.

But figures show the council is paying out less and less each year. Compensation claims fell from £814,000 during 2013/2014 to £141,000 in 2017/2018. 

Council bosses said are ‘fully investigated’ and each claim is ‘judged on its own merits’.

Pressure group Taxpayers’ Alliance did blame a ‘compensation culture’ which is ‘costing taxpayers dear’. 

But they did add councils must do ‘everything they can to ensure their mistake and negligence’ don't result in large bills. 

John O'Connell, 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 councils must do everything they can to ensure their mistakes and negligence don't result in such large bills for hard-pressed taxpayers – we must also root out those who are playing the system with spurious demands for taxpayers' cash.”

Debbie Hogg, director of corporate resources at Doncaster Council said: “Compensation claims made against Doncaster Council as a result of personal injury, property damage or financial losses are fully investigated and each claim is judged on its own merits. 

“Our investigations ensure that claims are valid and are only settled where there is a legal liability to do so. It goes without saying that the safety of residents is our utmost concern and we examine the events behind each claim to see what lessons can be learned.

“Where it is believed the council has not been negligent, these claims are robustly defended.  In addition, the council has a successful zero tolerance approach to fraud, and will pursue these matters through the courts if necessary.

“The evidence supports that overall number and cost of successful claims is reducing which demonstrates the success of our current approach.”

THE STATS IN FULL

TOP FIVE CLAIMS IN 2013/2014

£83,632.29           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£66,699.00           Weather/Storm

£40,838.20           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£40,166.33           Weather/Storm

£35,773.24           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

TOP FIVE CLAIMS IN 2014/2015

£35,311.98           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£26,440.60           Operative - St Leger
£20,000.32           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£19,400.00           Failure To Remove
£18,809.11           Flooding – Blocked Drains

TOP FIVE CLAIMS IN 2015/2016

£21,679.12           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£21,258.42           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£10,000.00           Footpath Defect
£8,262.91            RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£7,258.72            RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

TOP FIVE CLAIMS IN 2016/2017

£27,398.08           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£25,605.38           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£24,190.50           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£22,989.94           RTA - Hit TP Vehicle

£18,500.00           Footpath Defect

TOP FIVE CLAIMS IN 2017/2018

£49,014.90          RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£21,889.86          RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£8,462.48            RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£6,830.00            RTA - Hit TP Vehicle
£5,395.50            RTA - Hit TP Vehicle