Insurance issues pose problems for Halesworth Town Council

Bus shelter (stock image)

Bus shelter (stock image) - Credit: Archant

Concerns over public liability insurance have led a town councillor to consider creating a permanent staff position for a bus shelter cleaner who would work just 20 hours a year.

Halesworth Town Council had sought third party contractors to tender for the work, but was concerned none of the applicants was insured against any damage or injuries they might accidentally cause.

Speaking at the council’s latest meeting on Monday, Nat Bocking said it was “ridiculous that someone needs to take out £150 insurance for a job that pays just £200 a year”.

“We’ve employed people before and taken it on our shoulders as a council,” he added. “They are not necessarily covered by our insurance but how much harm can you do cleaning windows?”

Rather than contracting the job out, Jacqueline Wagner suggested taking someone on for a permanent role.

“We shouldn’t just go for contracts – there are other ways to look at it,” she said. “Could we take someone on permanently?”

However, acting town clerk Nick Rees cast doubt over the proposals.

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“I don’t think we could realistically employ people for 20 hours a year,” he said.

Letitia Smith, the council’s vice-chairman, said the matter would have to be deferred.

“Due to a lack of public liability we cannot make a decision,” she said.

The clerk was asked to find out about the council’s third party cover.