Temporary Blue Disabled Badges
By Phil Knowles - East Midlands Policy Officer
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats
Interesting to see the theme of our last summers East Mids Regional Conference motion on temporary blue badges for people who have become short term incapacitated has reached the wider public arena.
Phil Knowles East Midlands Policy Officer says: "Seems we will need to encourage Lib Dems across the East Mids and UK to take up the campaigns at local levels. WE can point out this started at the East Midlands Regional Conference, underline it solicited a question from an MP who was experiencing just the problems we highlighted and direct attention to comments of Norman Baker MP which seem to indicate a need for a local, considered and possible structured solution to the problem. Personally I would have felt a national solution to be better, or at least a national guideline but that does not seem to be the direction of travel for Norman Bakers train of thought".
Quote from MP's exchange..
Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD): What recent changes he has made to the national guidelines on the issue of blue badges.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker): The Department has recently updated its non-statutory guidance for local authorities to reflect reforms to the blue badge system. One of the main issues with the scheme concerned local authority administration, which was inconsistent and inefficient. The updated guidance aims to improve consistency and to remind local authorities of the eligibility criteria set out in the regulations. Local authorities remain responsible for taking decisions about an applicant's eligibility for a blue badge.
Annette Brooke: I thank the Minister for his answer. Many people such as me who have difficulty walking - seven months after an accident - and even more difficulty getting in and out of a car in an ordinary car parking space, look longingly at empty disabled car parking spaces and yet cannot get a temporary blue badge. What can and will the Government and local councils do to address this situation for the future?
Norman Baker: I am very sympathetic to my hon. Friend and understand the case she makes. I have looked at the temporary issuing of badges for the sort of situation that she describes. One of the downsides would be tremendous pressure on the limited number of parking spaces available. In June this year I issued an advice note to local authorities indicating how they might deal with locally determined concessions to deal with such situations, and I suggest that she pursue the matter with Poole unitary authority