Industry news roundup: week ended 27 Jan 2014:
Local authorities should know by now is that neglecting their maintenance duties does nothing but leads people to bring personal injury claims against them.
Yes, most people are good at the whole notion of cause-and-effect but local councils never seem to get it very well. I mean, look at one of the newest examples of this: Pembrokeshire County Council has had to shell out in excess of £15,000 over the last two years for damage caused by potholes alone. If you are keeping score at home, that’s bloody outrageous – especially since two-thirds of that figure comes from just one bit of Pembrokeshire roadway – and the damage all happened over the course of a single week!
Now, truth be told the county council has to look after almost 2,500km of roadways. Granted that’s quite a bit, but one single stretch of road caused £10,000 in damages! Are you telling me it would have cost the council more to get the bloody road fixed?
Still, it could be worse. You could work for Redbridge Council and have to explain while there was almost £100,000 in personal injury compensation paid out to contractors, visitors, parents, staff, and children injured on school grounds over the past five years. The London borough paid out twice as much as its neighbour Waltham Forest, and had three times the number of accident claims.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – it’s not terrible, that’s only around £20,000 or so every year. Well sure that’s more or less reasonable for a highly populated London borough I suppose, but let’s not lose sight of the fact here that there are several more outstanding claims that haven’t been resolved yet. The actual damage done to taxpayers could be several thousands more – easily over the £100,000 mark – and many of the injuries can be traced back to faulty and poorly-maintained school equipment.
It’s just another lesson to local authorities: keep things in good nick or face the consequences. I know that there are austerity budgets just eating into everyone right now, but it’s even more expensive to have to pay out on all these massive injury claims, don’t you think? Worst kind of false economy if you ask me.