I THOUGHT it important to respond to your recent article titled ‘Uncaring’ council blasted over Blue Badge fines, as some of its content could cause unnecessary worry.
I am sorry if anyone is experiencing inconvenience as a result of the national changes in the application and assessment process for a Blue Badge.
It has taken longer than anticipated to implement the new process because mobility assessors are in high demand and initially we simply couldn’t recruit enough of them. To address this, we have been using locum mobility assessors and existing staff have also been working overtime.
The good news is that thanks to the hard work and dedication of many members of staff, we will clear the current number of applications and renewals in the very near future.
It is worth bearing in mind that the reforms to the Blue Badge scheme introduced by the Department for Transport to reduce fraudulent use are the first in 40 years. They will be good news for bona fide Blue Badge holders as they will result in more available parking spaces.
To put things into perspective, we are averaging around 1,300 Blue Badge renewals and 500 new applications every month and just a small number of these are taking longer than we would wish. This happens when a face-to-face assessment of a person’s mobility is required.
To help us with this vital service, could I urge those concerned to apply in plenty of time and to provide as much documentation as possible with their application. We will ensure that all those whose badges are running out soon will be dealt with as a priority.
Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport