The Welsh Liberal Democrats spokesperson on local government and equalities, Peter Black has challenged the Welsh Transport Minister to sort out the confusion and bureaucracy surrounding the issuing of blue badges to disabled and elderly people in Wales.
Speaking in the Assembly today, Mr. Black said he has had many representations from constituents regarding the issuing of these badges. Problems include:
- elderly people who do not have access to consultants having no way to provide medical evidence as the Minister has excluded GPs from providing notes;
- unqualified council officers making assessments;
- councils refusing to carry out occupational therapist assessments on appeal even though the Welsh Government guidance says that they should do so. One constituent complained that his local council wanted to charge him for an OT assessment.
- Councils insisting that the condition affecting the applicant must be permanent even though the blue badge only lasts three years.
"Like many other Assembly Members I have received a large number of representations from applicants for blue badges and their families angry that they have hit a wall of confusion and bureaucracy in seeking to navigate the application process," said Mr. Black. "The situation is made worse by the fact that the Minister has still not issued the toolkit promised to councils to help them administer this scheme.
"This is a disaster and the Minister needs to get a grip and sort it out. She has now promised a statement before the end of the month. I hope that this will begin to address these issues."