The ‘Westminster Chronicle’ reports;
“Westmisnter Council must fork out up to £500,000 in compensation to families it illegally housed in B&Bs or hotels for longer than six weeks.
Claims will be judged individually but it is estimated that the payouts could cost the Tory-led council up to £500 per household.
Victims can claim an additional £500 for each period of six weeks they were illegally housed.
Councillor Jonathan Glanz, cabinet member for housing, said at a cabinet meeting on Monday night (14) that ‘lessons had been learnt’ by the authority.
The decision follows an investigation by local government ombudsman Dr Jane Martin – the council watchdog – into complaints about the homelessness service.
One family spent seven months in a B&B and another five months, well over the legal limit.
But Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said the measures did not go far enough.
He said: “The council has acted disgracefully.
“Just nine families have contacted it. The least it could have done is contact the families directly.
“All the Conservatives have done was pat themselves on the back and try to sweep this under the carpet.”
Mr Glanz said the council had taken the ombudsman’s report seriously.
He said: “This is not a scandal. We are acting in accordance with the ombudsman’s recommendations and we are already seeing results from that.
“I hope that we will succeed in contacting as many people as possible so they can claim what is properly due to them.”