SHROPSHIRE Council has revealed it is receiving an increasing number of abuse claims.

The local authority has seen five claims relating to the behaviour of one employee at an institution during the days of the former Shropshire County Council.

The majority of claims relate to child safeguarding and claims that social workers have taken incorrect actions to protect a child.

Angela Beechey, risk and insurance manager, said: “The majority are relating to child safeguarding within the family arena. The claims come to us that maybe a social worker hasn’t take the correct action to protect a child.

“But some cases we have received are for a particular institution years ago when it was the old Shropshire County Council.

“Quite a few claims have been received in relation to one person – there are five claims that have come from that.”

She continued: “The numbers are skewed by the one historical case with just one person.

“Unfortunately, when an abuse claim is by a member of staff, someone who is employed by the old Shropshire County Council, we have no defence if they are found legally to have done what they are accused of.

“But if that is the case then we can look at recovering those costs.”

She added that as the claim dates from the former Shropshire County Council, Telford and Wrekin would have to cover a third of the costs.

The abuse claims form some of the 665 public liability claims received by Shropshire Council in 2017/18.

But of these 92 per cent related to highways maintenance incidents.

Ms Beechley said the authority had seen a 67 per cent increase in claims in 2017/18 with 745 received mainly due to the increased number of pothole claims following the winter.

But she added not all relate to incidents that had taken place in that 12-month period with some dating back to the 1960s and 70s which are more difficult to investigate.

In total, Shropshire Council has 418 open claims worth £4.7m.