Lambeth Council Set Up Redress Scheme to Compensate Survivors of Abuse
Lambeth Council announced in December 2017 that it will be adopting a scheme to provide compensation for survivors of physical and sexual abuse at any Lambeth Children’s Home or Shirley Oaks Primary School. The scheme will also provide a “Harm’s Way Payment” of up to £10,000 to all former residents regardless of whether they suffered abuse whilst in the care of Lambeth Council, which aims to the compensate them for the harsh environment they were that subjected to.
The council has secured a capitalisation direction from the Government that gives permission to borrow the £100 million needed to fund the scheme. The scheme aims to provide compensation to all surviving residents of Lambeth Childrens’ Homes, from the 1930s until the 1990s. The residents will have to apply to the scheme in order to be considered. It is estimated that approximately 3,000 people will apply for compensation.
In setting up its own redress scheme, survivors will be spared the ordeal of attending court and going through the harrowing process of giving their evidence in court. Lambeth Council will fund legal representation under the scheme, meaning that survivors will not have to pay any legal fees and will receive 100% of any compensation awarded.
Following the decision to adopt the redress scheme, Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council leader, said, “As the leader of Lambeth Council today I give a full apology for the abuse suffered at our former children’s homes. With this redress scheme we can now make good on that apology by giving survivors of abuse the compensation, official recognition of their experience and the support that many have waited for their entire lives.”
“This decision is a huge step towards honouring the pledge I made to survivors that this council will not be like previous administrations. We have been determined to do the right thing by those who were so appallingly let down.”
Lambeth is the first local authority in England and Wales to develop its own redress scheme. All survivors will receive a formal apology from the council, and be given free counselling support. The scheme could be used as a model for a national version, as it is the most comprehensive redress scheme in the country. A review of the scheme will be held after three months.
Claire Waxman who was appointed by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, as the capital’s first Victims Commissioner said: “I will be carefully monitoring how this scheme works for survivors, and I am hopeful that it will provide them with a transparent, easily accessible route to compensation and will provide some form of justice for the awful abuse too many suffered.”
If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094.