Norfolk County Council worker paid £1.4m compensation

Views of King's Lynn''The view of Chapel Street with the Junction of Austin Street King's Lynn''The King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council Office is the building on the left, with the Lattice House Pub further down on the right. ENGANL00120130322090456
Views of King's Lynn''The view of Chapel Street with the Junction of Austin Street King's Lynn''The King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council Office is the building on the left, with the Lattice House Pub further down on the right. ENGANL00120130322090456
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A Norfolk County Council employee was paid almost £1.5 million in compensation after being injured at work, new figures have revealed.

The case was highlighted in figures published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance this week, which claimed the authority had paid almost £3.5 million in compensation payouts over the last two years.

But the council says the figure did not give a true picture, as it provided data which included cases that were settled earlier, but not closed.

The campaign group published figures for compensation payouts made by councils during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years yesterday.

They showed that, during that period, the county council paid around £3.47 million in such packages.

The alliance said it obtained the figures through Freedom of Information requests.

But the council subsequently said it had provided incorrect information to the alliance and the figure comprised solely from claims received and resolved in that period was around £580,000.

A spokesman said: “In answering this request we have included figures for claims that were historic but have been finally closed during the respective two-year period.”

The highest single claim in the figures was for £1.475 million, which was paid to a council employee.

The spokesman added: “This payment was a settlement made in 2012 to a care worker who was injured in the course of their work.”

He said he was unable to give further details on the grounds of confidentiality.

The study also showed that West Norfolk Council had paid out just £476 over the same period, while Breckland council had paid just over £9,000.

But North Norfolk District Council’s total was more than £67,000.

Jonathan Isaby, 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 in many cases, local authorities and their staff will be failing to live up to the standards required of them by law or paying out on frivolous claims too easily.”