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Local Authorities and Schools

A local authority has a wide responsibility for housing, licensing, planning, social care and health, and education and learning. The local council also has regulatory powers that it can use to take enforcement action against individuals and businesses alike. Given the breadth of local authority responsibilities, it is not surprising that on occasion there are complaints against the council.

The types of complaints against a public authority can range from their failure to properly maintain a road or footpath to their failure to educate your child to the proper standard. If this happens to you, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for compensation.

Taking legal advice can help you first establish whether you have a claim and then if you do, help you through the claims process.

Local authority issues

From damage to property from council works to confidential information disclosure, mistakes by a local authority can have a major impact on businesses or individuals. The examples below show some of the issues where there may be grounds to pursue a claim for compensation against your local council. 

The local council will have copious amounts of personal and commercially sensitive information stored electronically and in paper form. Improper release of your personal information can be devastating both personally and professionally. For instance, in one case adoptive parents had their name and address released to the adopted child’s father. This resulted in compensation and security measures having to be put in place because of the local council’s negligence.

If the local authority has wrongly disclosed your personal details and this has had an impact on you, you may be able to claim compensation

If the local authority provides advice as part of carrying out its function and that advice turns out to be wrong and relying upon this advice has caused you loss then you may have a claim.

Property damage can be expensive and time-consuming to repair, whether it is to your home or your business property. If the damage is as a result of council works, then you may have grounds for a professional negligence claim against the local authority.  

Local authorities have numerous duties and powers to carry out works of repair, sometimes emergency powers. If in exercising their powers they breach their duty of care to you and cause you loss you may have a claim in negligence against them.

Take the following example. The council adopted a footpath and carried out resurfacing works. These works raised the level and the angle of the footpath, which abuts your home. You now have damp in your home. If your property did not suffer from damp before the works were carried out then you may well have a claim against the council. They ought to have given consideration to your property given its proximity to the path. We would need to obtain an expert report to confirm the cause of the damp and the failure by the council to carry out the works properly, and we would consider the terms of that with you.

School issues

Unfortunately, some schools may not always meet the set standards of care and education and children’s learning can suffer, as the example issues below show. In such situations, you may have grounds for a professional negligence claim.

If your child is attending school and there are problems with discipline at the school which is not being properly managed or addressed then your child may have a claim against the local authority for losses or injuries which they have incurred.

If your child has gone through the education system and has struggled and has since been diagnosed as dyslexic then your child may have a claim for the failure of the school to identify dyslexia earlier. If your child has suffered losses and detriment then your child may have a claim against the local authority.

How can Thorntons help?

At Thorntons we have a team of expert solicitors who can assess your claim, taking into account your individual situation and case facts, let you know your options and provide you with the advice to take your claim to the next level. We discuss the best approaches for you and the circumstances, including alternative dispute resolution options, and court action will only be taken as a last resort.

We will guide you through the process and keep you updated along the way.

Call us on 03330 430 350 or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors will discuss your situation with you, answer any questions you have and advise you if you have grounds for a compensation claim. If you then want to go ahead, we will start the claims process for you straight away. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim.

Local authority issues

From damage to property from council works to confidential information disclosure, mistakes by a local authority can have a major impact on businesses or individuals. The examples below show some of the issues where there may be grounds to pursue a claim for compensation against your local council. 

The local council will have copious amounts of personal and commercially sensitive information stored electronically and in paper form. Improper release of your personal information can be devastating both personally and professionally. For instance, in one case adoptive parents had their name and address released to the adopted child’s father. This resulted in compensation and security measures having to be put in place because of the local council’s negligence.

If the local authority has wrongly disclosed your personal details and this has had an impact on you, you may be able to claim compensation

If the local authority provides advice as part of carrying out its function and that advice turns out to be wrong and relying upon this advice has caused you loss then you may have a claim.

Property damage can be expensive and time-consuming to repair, whether it is to your home or your business property. If the damage is as a result of council works, then you may have grounds for a professional negligence claim against the local authority.  

Local authorities have numerous duties and powers to carry out works of repair, sometimes emergency powers. If in exercising their powers they breach their duty of care to you and cause you loss you may have a claim in negligence against them.

Take the following example. The council adopted a footpath and carried out resurfacing works. These works raised the level and the angle of the footpath, which abuts your home. You now have damp in your home. If your property did not suffer from damp before the works were carried out then you may well have a claim against the council. They ought to have given consideration to your property given its proximity to the path. We would need to obtain an expert report to confirm the cause of the damp and the failure by the council to carry out the works properly, and we would consider the terms of that with you.

School issues

Unfortunately, some schools may not always meet the set standards of care and education and children’s learning can suffer, as the example issues below show. In such situations, you may have grounds for a professional negligence claim.

If your child is attending school and there are problems with discipline at the school which is not being properly managed or addressed then your child may have a claim against the local authority for losses or injuries which they have incurred.

If your child has gone through the education system and has struggled and has since been diagnosed as dyslexic then your child may have a claim for the failure of the school to identify dyslexia earlier. If your child has suffered losses and detriment then your child may have a claim against the local authority.

How can Thorntons help?

At Thorntons we have a team of expert solicitors who can assess your claim, taking into account your individual situation and case facts, let you know your options and provide you with the advice to take your claim to the next level. We discuss the best approaches for you and the circumstances, including alternative dispute resolution options, and court action will only be taken as a last resort.

We will guide you through the process and keep you updated along the way.

Call us on 03330 430 350 or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors will discuss your situation with you, answer any questions you have and advise you if you have grounds for a compensation claim. If you then want to go ahead, we will start the claims process for you straight away. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim.


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