Nottingham

Two councils pay £3m to child sexual abuse victims

Nottinghamshire County Council
Image caption Nottinghamshire County Council has paid £2.96m to 161 people who made claims

A council has paid out nearly £3m to people sexually abused as children while in their care.

Nottinghamshire County Council said it had paid £2.96m to 161 people who made claims, while Nottingham City Council gave nearly £350,000 in compensation to 64 claimants.

Both authorities apologised for failings, which were the subject of an inquiry last year.

Victims and survivors have called for more support.

Nottinghamshire County Council issued a public apology in January 2018, with the city council following suit shortly before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) began its Nottinghamshire hearings last year.

From 1974 until 1998 - a time when dozens of children in residential homes and foster care said they were sexually abused - the two councils existed as a single authority.

The county council said it had settled 47 claims without payment and had another 85 cases pending settlement; while the city council said it had 16 cases awaiting a decision.

Image caption Nottingham City Council issued an apology to child sexual abuse victims last year

County council leader Kay Cutts said the authority had improved its process for handling claims, reducing the time to settle "from years to a matter of months" in most cases.

"To the survivors whose lives were blighted and damaged by the abuse you suffered, I am sorry for what you endured," she said.

David Hollas, an advocate for children abused in care in Nottinghamshire, said the claims "have never been about the money" but about recognising what happened to victims.

Calling for the councils to provide more support to survivors, he said: "They may have said sorry, but have done little else.

"We welcome the fact that the scale of abuse is now a matter of public record, as is the failure of the councils to keep children in their care safe."

IICSA is due to issue its report into the care system in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire on 31 July.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The inquiry is being led by Prof Alexis Jay

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