More than £80,000 paid out to members of the public for slips and trips around Harrogate

Harrogate Borough Council has had more than 50 claims made for compensation over the last five years.
Harrogate Borough Council has had more than 50 claims made for compensation over the last five years.

More than £80,000 has been paid out to members of the public who have slipped, tripped and fallen around the Harrogate district over the last five years.

The figures, revealed in a freedom of information request by the local democracy reporting service, show that between April 2014 and June 2019, 57 public liability claims have been made to Harrogate Borough Council for accidents involving residents around the region.

Of these, just seven were successful.

However, two successful appeals led to five figure payouts - including a £33,988 payout to a member of the public in 2014/15, and a £45,441 sum paid in 2016/17.

A council spokesman said that liability insurance and internal reserves were in place to deal with compensation claims made against the authority.

“Like any local authority, or employer, we will inevitably receive claims for compensation as a result of personal injury from time to time, although very few," the spokesman said.

“We therefore have liability insurance and internal reserves in place should we find that we need to use them."

Each of the successful claims resulted in "service reviews" aimed at preventing any similar accidents from occurring again.

“We would of course try and prevent any accident or injury happening to someone else in the future by fixing or repairing the cause, whatever it might be," the spokesman said.

While the heftiest prices were paid for slips, trips and falls, claims were also made against the council by members of the public who for reasons such as being hit by falling objects, or even walking into stationary objects such as signage.

However, during that same five year period, just one payout was made to employees of the council - a £2,113 sum to a worker who was struck by a moving or falling object.

Just 10 claims were made by employees over the last five years, with just one of these being successful.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter