BLUE BADGE CONTROVERSY
North East Derbyshire’s Member of Parliament, Natascha Engel has picked up the mantle on behalf of Blue Badge holders when she recently asked the Transport Secretary, Norman Baker, whether he thought mobility could be assessed by a brief phone call. The Minister’s reply was that this was a matter for the local authority and he would not be making any further enquiries.
Natascha raised the question in Parliament after a number of constituents found themselves on the receiving end of such a practice when first applying or trying to renew a blue badge.
From 1 April 2012, the way assessments are carried out changed. For people who do not automatically qualify for a badge they may be subject to independent mobility assessments not involving their own GP.
Commenting Natascha Engel MP said:
“The Department for Transport are responsible for the legislation that sets out the framework for the blue badge scheme and yet the Minister dismissed the concerns of my constituents over the way in which assessments are carried out. Even in the Government’s own guidelines to Local Authorities they acknowledge that desk-based assessments cannot be successfully used as the sole means of determining an applicant’s eligibility for a blue badge. I would urge the Minister to look again at allowing this method of assessment.”
Transport Questions: Thursday 18 October 2012 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121018/debtext/121018-0001.htm#12101828000646 (Citation: HC Deb, 18 October 2012, c469)
Department of Transport Guidance to Local Authorities