Councils paid out more than £100m in compensation in two years

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Councils across Britain paid out over £104 million in compensation in 2013-14 and 2014-15, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The campaign group says there were more than 40,000 compensation claims paid during the two years, for cases including an employee detained against their will, a person who was hit in the face, misplaced reading glasses and a claimant who walked into an open window.

The figures were obtained by Freedom of Information requests, although some councils responded too late for their figures to be included.

%VIRTUAL-ArticleSidebar-council-stories%A Department of Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "All local authorities should manage taxpayers' money efficiently and avoid unnecessary compensation claims."

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, representing town halls, said: "Public safety and providing safe working environments for council staff is a priority for all local authorities who take seriously their responsibility to avoid compensation claims occurring in the first place.

"Compensation cases which do arise should be assessed by individual councils on a case by case basis and it is right that compensation is made available to people with genuine cases.

"Councils are determined to crack down on spurious cases which are a waste of the public purse and threaten councils' ability to protect the services people value the most.

"Councils strive to provide value for money for the taxpayer against a backdrop of rising funding pressures. Local authorities are still committed to fixing potholes and working with schools to provide teaching staff with classrooms where they and their pupils are happy and protected.

"It is worth noting that the £100 million paid out in compensation is less than 0.05% of all local authorities' expenditure over the two-year period covered."

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