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DGVoice Expresses Fears on Blue Badge Delays

Aug 7, 2013
DGVoice Expresses Fears on Blue Badge Delays

Call for 10-week renewal timescale to be cut



Charity’s fears on Blue Badge wait

Call for 10-week renewal timescale to be cut

A disabled people's charity is urging the council to reduce its 10-week timescale for applying for or renewing parking Blue Badges.

Robert Allan, secretary of DGVoice, said the time period is “excessive and indicates some inefficiency in the process.”

As a result of changes to the national criteria last year, some people who previously received a badge may not now qualify. Further changes mean the person applying for a badge now completes a form and an assessment is carried out by occupational therapists.  A points system is then used to judge who should get a badge.

A council spokeswoman said the up to 10 week timescale related to those eligible subject to further assessment. She added: "This gives us time for staff to firstly complete the desk­based assessment on eligibility and, if necessary, some applicants will be sent an appointment to attend a mobility assessment.

The  Blue  Badge  scheme occupational therapist has assessment clinics set up across the region at regular intervals- hence the timescale.

"We also started with a 10-week timescale last September when responsibility for assessments transferred from GPs to local authorities to allow us to gauge actually how much time it would take us to complete these.

We have a meeting planned in early September and will review the timescale again then. We do send reminders to people with badges issued under the previous scheme, if they are on our database.”

Mr Allan added: "Disabled drivers will be encouraged that they will now be notified well in advance when their badge is due to expire and will welcome council moves to fully embrace national policy to eradicate abuse of the scheme and carry out full medical checks on applicants not automatically eligible. However, DGVoice trusts that the review will significantly reduce the 10-weektimescale.”

He also raised concerns over the Blue Badge bays in Lockerbie while regeneration work is carried out.

Mr Allan said: “We welcome town centre regeneration, which should improve access for disabled people and wheelchair users. We have been assured there will be no reduction in the number of Blue Badge bays. However, during the period of disruption, two bays outside the library have been suspended with no alternatives designated and disabled access to the library and surrounding areas is difficult for  disabled people.

“We are also concerned that two existing Blue Badge bays are on a steep incline which is not a good location for people with heart conditions as well as wheelchair users. DGVoice has contacted the council and councillors regarding the situation and is still awaiting a positive response.”

Dumfries and Galloway Standard 4th August, 2013

 

 

 

Midsteeple, High Street
Dumfries DG1 2BH
t: 01387 257770
e: info@dgvoice.co.uk

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