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Car damaged in council car park due to poor upkeep


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Hello Forum,

I'm a new member so please be gentle!

 

Last weekend my husband used a council car park in Winchester.

 

 

To be entirely in the space (and avoid a fine!) he had to pull forward over the kerb that was around the flower bed.

 

 

He didn't think this would be a problem as it wasn't very high, and plenty of other cars were in similar spaces.

 

 

He drives a Seat Leon, so not particularly low or big.

The problem was, there was an unseen pothole at the front of the space so as my husband pulled forward the car dipped down

and the bumper got stick on the kerb.

 

 

As he reversed the bumper pulled away from the car on the drivers side and cracked on the passenger side.

It has caused noticeable damage, which is ironic as my husband was in Winchester because he had been test driving a new car

and had been hoping to part exchange, the damage obviously affects this plan now.

 

 

Do we have a hope of making a claim against the council?

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Councils are starved of cash and struggling to cope with provision for the elderly, children's services etc. They keep getting clobbered with compensation claims because someone drives over a pothole. There are even companies whose whole existence is to get people cheques from the council, if someone is unlucky enough to trip up on the pavement. It's not the way things should be. Why don't you just get your car fixed and get on with your life?

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Do we have a hope of making a claim against the council?

 

 

If you have sufficient evidence to prove the Council are to blame by lack of attention to the car park, then I guess until you try, then you will never know.

 

To a certain degree I do understand Jamberson's comments, however, if the Council were to repair potholes and damaged pedestrian walk ways, correctly in the first place, then they wouldn't need to spend so much money doing the same job, year in year out.

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Councils are starved of cash and struggling to cope with provision for the elderly, children's services etc.

 

 

They keep getting clobbered with compensation claims because someone drives over a pothole.

 

 

There are even companies whose whole existence is to get people cheques from the council,

 

 

if someone is unlucky enough to trip up on the pavement.

 

 

It's not the way things should be.

 

 

Why don't you just get your car fixed and get on with your life?

 

 

That is not the sort of response required. If you are not going to be helpful then don't post.

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That is not the sort of response required. If you are not going to be helpful then don't post.

 

What are you talking about? It's a totally constructive, serious reply.

 

Maybe what you mean is, people should only post if their views agree with yours?

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Why should they pay money to get their car fixed when they have already paid thousands in council tax. It's the councils problem if they are continually paying out over damage on their property that the public have a right to use and that damage results in a costly fix to their car.

 

 

Get if fixed and get on with your life is not constructive assistance.

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Look at it this way - they pay thousands in council tax, partly because of the creeping litigation culture. You too, and me, and everyone.

 

If someone prangs their car, and no longer like the way it looks, I personally don't think that should be remedied at the public expense and they shouldn't be thinking of who they can get to pay for it for them. As you know, councils are struggling to provide basic services at the moment - human beings are sleeping rough, pensioners going hungry etc - they matter too.

 

Repairing cosmetic damage to cars is not a useful way to spend public money, so I think my advice is responsible.

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Councils are starved of cash and struggling to cope with provision for the elderly, children's services etc. They keep getting clobbered with compensation claims because someone drives over a pothole. There are even companies whose whole existence is to get people cheques from the council, if someone is unlucky enough to trip up on the pavement. It's not the way things should be. Why don't you just get your car fixed and get on with your life?
It sounds as if it was much larger than a mere pothole. Also, there are larger issues here.

 

Of course it is a very common and trending kind of thing to say that there is a claim culture and that we are going to extremes. However, making the council liable is actually very good and socially responsible thing to do.

 

It is all about loss distribution.

 

If a public space is poorly kept up in some way then we are all responsible if damage is caused to an individual. Why should an individual have to pay for the repairs out of their own pocket and suffer the loss of may be quite significant amount of money for them. How much more sensible to get the public organisation which is responsible for the upkeep of that public space to pay for the damage. Because the payment of that damage will then lead to a fraction of one penny levied on the top of the council tax of every person who is represented by that public organisation, the loss would have been fairly distributed and no single person will have had to bear the brunt of the negligent upkeep.

 

This seems to me to be extremely socially fair.

 

Of course what you are referring to – and I completely agree – is that the system is being abused by people who really don't suffer any damage. These people are parasites riding on the backs of the rest of us and they need to be hunted down. However, where genuine damage is suffered by an individual then it is only proper that the rest of this pitch in as a matter of good community practice in order to help that person out. This is in effect what happens if you hold the council to account. The problem is that many people seem to feel that holding the council to account is the same as blaming them and making them somehow scapegoats or putting them in the stocks. In fact very often for this kind of stuff, the local council is simply trying to make ends meet on behalf of the rest of us.

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Until it happens to you of course. You won't make me weep for wasteful councils. Keep in mind the 'hundreds of thousands of £millions' they are getting in liability order charges.

 

I can assure you, with hand on heart, that if I cracked my bumper, I would not be going on forums asking for tips on how to get the council to pay for the repair.

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It sounds as if it was much larger than a mere pothole. Also, there are larger issues here.

 

Of course it is a very common and trending kind of thing to say that there is a claim culture and that we are going to extremes. However, making the council liable is actually very good and socially responsible thing to do.

 

It is all about loss distribution.

 

If a public space is poorly kept up in some way then we are all responsible if damage is caused to an individual. Why should an individual have to pay for the repairs out of their own pocket and suffer the loss of may be quite significant amount of money for them. How much more sensible to get the public organisation which is responsible for the upkeep of that public space to pay for the damage. Because the payment of that damage will then lead to a fraction of one penny levied on the top of the council tax of every person who is represented by that public organisation, the loss would have been fairly distributed and no single person will have had to bear the brunt of the negligent upkeep.

 

This seems to me to be extremely socially fair.

 

Of course what you are referring to – and I completely agree – is that the system is being abused by people who really don't suffer any damage. These people are parasites riding on the backs of the rest of us and they need to be hunted down. However, where genuine damage is suffered by an individual then it is only proper that the rest of this pitch in as a matter of good community practice in order to help that person out. This is in effect what happens if you hold the council to account. The problem is that many people seem to feel that holding the council to account is the same as blaming them and making them somehow scapegoats or putting them in the stocks. In fact very often for this kind of stuff, the local council is simply trying to make ends meet on behalf of the rest of us.

 

You're right, there are larger issues in play here.

 

Firstly, to be clear, this post is about what the OP described as "an unseen pothole". We know from the description that it was at the front end of a parking space, up near the kerbstones. It's pretty hard to imagine what caused that pothole, except the weather. It's not in the middle of a road with traffic going over it all day - probably the weather caused it.

 

I am not at all sure - I don't know if you are - that this is the Council's fault. They do have an obligation to maintain the car park, but to monitor things in such a way as to be at fault, you would require them to be continuously inspecting and repairing every square foot of parking space in their juristiction, in case of an act of god. That's in addition to all their many, many other duties, (monitoring every street light, every paving stone, every drain cover etc, in the same way) - and that's in the context of frozen council taxes and a chronic starvation of funding which is causing very serious damage elsewhere. I don't see how they can reasonably be expected to do it - and "holding them to account" as you put it, really means, getting them to stump up money they don't have.

 

Sometimes, you have to say that if someone cracks their bumper, it's their own fault. The kerb wan't moving, the pothole didn't jump out of nowhere, and the council didn't engage reverse and damage the car. The driver did. He should curse his luck, but get it fixed himself, in my view.

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Sometimes, you have to say that if someone cracks their bumper, it's their own fault. The kerb wan't moving, the pothole didn't jump out of nowhere, and the council didn't engage reverse and damage the car. The driver did. He should curse his luck, but get it fixed himself, in my view.

 

I think it's because of these kind of low expectations that things at this public sector service level or at a private sector consumer level never improve

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Why should they pay money to get their car fixed when they have already paid thousands in council tax. It's the councils problem if they are continually paying out over damage on their property that the public have a right to use and that damage results in a costly fix to their car.

 

And let's not forget that most council car parks are not free or cheap.

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I think it's because of these kind of low expectations that things at this public sector service level or at a private sector consumer level never improve

 

I disagree. I don't think sevice is low to non-existent because of expectations. It's just a lack of funds. The day the government put more money into the social infrastructure we all need, is the day things will improve. Meantime, things are getting ever more desparate.

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