Council has to pay out £12,000 after boy falls

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A boy who was injured 
after falling over in Belper’s Memorial Gardens has been awarded more than £12,000 in compensation.

As reported in the Belper News last June, the youngster’s head was cut open after he tripped and hit his head on railings in the popular King Street gardens.

He was treated at Ripley Community Hospital for his injuries, which left a scar on his forehead and legal action was mounted against Belper Town Council, which owns and manages the gardens.

Now insurers dealing with the claim have informed the council that the matter has been resolved.

Claims handler Lesley Knight, of WPS Insurance Brokers, said in a letter to the council: “We have been advised by your insurers that this claim has been settled for a total amount of £12,160.”

Councillors were set to debate the matter at a meeting of the town council at St John’s Chapel last night, November 26.

The accident happened on July 23, 2011, but councillors were unaware of the compensation bid until a legal letter arrived at the organisation’s offices.

The council has public 
liability insurance to deal with such incidents, which it is obliged to take out at significant cost to tax-payers every year.

It is thought the last time somebody took action against the council following an incident in the Memorial Gardens was in 2010 following damage to a wall.

In 2004, the council 
received a damages claim launched following an incident at the Farmers’ Market in 2004, which was rejected by insurers.

Each successful claim has the potential to raise the amount that the town council has to pay in insurance every year. It is currently protected to the tune of millions of pounds against accidents in public places.

In 2007 it was thought Belper’s Beaurepaire Gardens may be forced to close because the council was struggling to find enough money for public liability insurance but it was saved at the eleventh hour by the local masons.

In March a man successfully sued his town council in Bromyard, Herefordshire, for nearly £33,000 after slipping on some berries while walking through a churchyard and breaking a bone.

In January 2012 it was revealed councils had spent more than £200,000 in payouts in the past three years to pupils injured in Derbyshire schools.

Almost half of the total was paid out because of injuries caused in PE.