THE Deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun John Campbell is suing a Sheffield tenants group for personal injuries after a chair he was sitting in collapsed when he attended a community festival.
The Labour councillor, who represents Richmond, has made a claim against Greenhill and Bradway Tenants’ and Residents’ Association over the incident which happened before this year’s Lowedges Festival, organised by the TARA.
Mr Campbell had been invited to the event in an official capacity as Deputy Lord Mayor.
Steve Rich, secretary of Greehill and Bradway TARA, said: “The incident happened at the festival in August. Mr Campbell had been in Greenhill tenants’ hall, on Gervais Road, before the opening ceremony and sat down to have a drink on a garden chair when it gave way.
“He seemed to be all right and proceeded to open the event. No ambulance or medical help was asked for. We thought nothing of it until three months later when a letter arrived from his solicitors.”
Mr Rich said he could not reveal details of Mr Campbell’s injuries or the amount of damages he was seeking, adding that the matter was in the hands of insurers.
But he said: “In this day and age I thought people like councillors were trying to discourage people from making claims like this. Although we are insured, the more people make claims, the more insurance goes up and then small community groups cannot afford it.”
Mr Campbell, who takes over as Sheffield’s first citizen in May from current Mayor, Coun Sylvia Dunkley, said: “Matters surrounding the incident are being considered by my solicitors at the moment so it would be inappropriate to comment.”
The Deputy Mayor, who has suffered serious illness in recent years, declined to reveal details of his injuries or the amount he is seeking in damages.
Doncaster-based charitable trust BTCV, which arranges Greenhill and Bradway TARA’s insurance, also declined to comment.
But Coun Clive Skelton, who represents Beauchief and Greenhill ward on Sheffield Council, said: “John seemed all right when he opened the festival and it surprised me that he had made a claim.”