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Compensation: Local Government

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has identified a compensation culture within local government. (285257)

I have been asked to reply.

The independent review into redress presented its findings on 17 June 2009. The review was not specifically asked to look at the issue of any compensation culture within local government. The review team did commission some focus groups with customers which found that most people, when making complaints about a public service, want a meaningful apology, an acknowledgement of what had gone wrong and a correction of the problem; financial compensation was a low motivator for people seeking redress.

The Department commissioned the review following a commitment made in the Empowerment White Paper. This independent review was chaired by David Cook (the chief executive officer of Kettering borough council) and looked at how local authorities can not only improve how they deal with complaints but how they can get it right first time. The review focused on the more transactional services provided by local authorities, for example refuse collection, and did not focus on specific redress systems currently in place in local authorities across England.