September 30 2014 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Friday, September 5, 2014
A £2.3million cash injection into the borough’s pathways has led to a significant drop in legal claims against the council – but taxpayers have still had to foot a £15,000 bill for compensation.
Just three people successfully put in a claim against Haringey Council in 2013/14 after injuring themselves on cracked or uneven pavements, winning compensation totalling £15,769.
In comparison, five claimants won £72,148 in compensation for the same thing the year before.
In all, 188 claims have been made in the last two years after people hurt themselves as they walked around the borough, with 85 of those being dismissed. There are still 95 claims “in progress”.
The revelation has led to the Lib Dems - who uncovered the figures - calling on the council, and the ruling Labour group, to prioritise fixing Haringey’s broken streets.
Muswell Hill councillor Gail Engert, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for urban environment, said: “Labour must do more to fix our crumbling streets and reduce the compensation bill for injuries.
“Too many of Haringey’s pavements our in a poor condition with cracked and uneven streets the norm. It is not good enough.”
But a Haringey Council spokesman emphasised it remained determined to ensuring the streets are in the best condition possible.
“We are committed to keeping the borough’s roads and footpaths safe and well maintained and last year we spent £2.3million on keeping pathways up to scratch,” the spokesman said.
“A thorough programme of improvements is already underway this year, and we continue to monitor the state of footways and respond to any reported problems.
“Compensation payouts for injury or damage have fallen consistently during the last four years, and around 80 per cent of claims are rejected.”