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15 May 2013
Conservative council welcomes riots review

The council has welcomed the government’s announcement that it is commissioning an independent review of the Riot Damages Act (RDA) so that victims are quickly and adequately compensated.

The review will be led by former senior civil servant Neil Kinghan, who has asked the council to help by organising meetings with residents and businesses affected by the riots in August 2011.

The announcement follows the council leader lobbying the Prime Minister, Mayor of London and HRH Prince of Wales, on behalf of residents and businesses in Croydon still awaiting insurance payments.

As part of this, the council has:-

- requested a thorough overhaul of the existing RDA and that recommended changes are carried out
raised concerns over mortgage lenders insisting on payments for properties that residents are unable to inhabit
- called on companies to suspend interest or payments in exceptional circumstances
- asked the government to recognise those businesses forced to file for bankruptcy after receiving insufficient financial support

The review will examine the existing criteria which determines when compensation is payable.

This includes key issues such as the definition of a riot, who should be liable and what level of compensation is suitable.

Public meetings will be organised in the borough over the next few months.

It is expected the review will be concluded by September and followed by a public consultation.

Council leader Councillor Mike Fisher said: “We recognise the frustration this out-of-date act has caused our residents and businesses and we welcome the government’s response to our request for an independent review.

“The existing legislation originates from 1886, and is not fit for purpose.

“For example it does not give the council any legal powers to challenge insurance companies and do more to help those affected by the riots in Croydon in 2011.

“We will be assisting Mr Kinghan in every way possible so that residents and businesses in this borough have their voices heard, and bring about a complete overhaul of the RDA.”

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