BLUE BADGE SHAMBLES

I have had a blue badge since Nov 2003 and so it is due for renewal on 14/11 for the third time. I submitted my application along with my £10 in August and was called today and told i need an assessment before they can renew it. They've known this for 9 weeks but have only just called. This is a scandalous waste of public money as I get assessed on average twice a month and they all agree I can't breathe. So why on earth do I have to visit some remote outpost of the council's empire to be assessed by someone that I have no doubt will be less qualified than any of the the Professor, two consultants, one GP, an Oxygen assessor and a respiratory physio all of whom agree I need my badge. Oh and by the way, they can't fit me in until a week after my badge expires and then assuming I haven't grown a new set of lungs by then, they will need a further 10 working days to issue my badge. This means I will be without my badge for at least three weeks during which time I will be unable to work! Thanks Central Bedfordshire Council for taking away the only independence I have left....

16 Replies

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  • As I found out when I applied, 'the system' has changed this year and they are assessing a lot more people than they used to. Because the 'new system' is so complicated, according to my local council, they have a massive backlog to work through. It took 3 months to get mine.

    They have to be independent of other bodies, like the medical profession. I'm told that GPs's used to get a letter to ask them to confirm their patients abilities, and received a £30 fee. Many GP's were just ticking the box and saying ta for the cash - so the council think.

    I got on to my MP and the Mayor and things started to move a lot quicker after they started to ask questions!

    Only then did I find out that the massive backlog was nothing to do with the new system, but a shortage of staff in that department...!

  • Thanks Gordon, I have written to my MP and local councillor but it is an awful mess isn't it

  • Seems that benefits claimants were not the only ones trying to make a fast buck from 'the system', the council reckons Doctor's were too - hmmm.

    I've found that my MP is very good in passing on concerns to the right departments, and getting answers. Then again, she's been around a while and is the current Opposition Chief Whip ;-)

    Your councillors are sometimes good at kicking butts as well, depends if it's to do with a committee they sit on or not though. If it's one they want to have a pop at they'll help you, but don't hold your breathe.

    I'm lucky enough to have made a lot of contacts when I was doing my radio work so can usually find someone who can do something.

    You seem to have a couple of community radio stations locally, although they appear to be very much youth orientated with Radio LaB at the university and Diverse covering the ethnic cultures. A pity as some of these stations would love to pick up a local community story about how a disabled person is being hampered by red tape and officialdom.

    I was station manager for a community FM station until last year and I would have been out with a voice recorder, to do an interview, get a bit of positive feedback from listeners and pass it to the local paper ;-)

  • I don't recommend my method - but I did not realise mine was ready for renewal earlier this year and used it for four months whilst it was out of date. Nobody noticed!

  • But Officer, May comes after October - doesn't it ? :-D

  • I agree with what Gordon is saying regarding your councillors/MPs' it's worth bending their ears. Would it be possible for the council to allow a temporary extension on you badge until the assessment is made, as you say you need it for your work. I know it's different but I was given a temporary extension last year on my bus pass as it was due for renewal and there was a delay in GP paperwork, that may be worth enquiring about.

    Karen

    X

  • They did that round here - because of the delays in issuing new blue badges, the council announced a 3 month amnesty.

    What they didn't do was to tell people that this concession only applied to council car parks - one of our Breathe Easy members got fined for parking at the railway station with an out of date badge, after getting a letter to say it was the council's fault the new badge was delayed.

    The private parking company refused to accept her appeal.

  • Hiwonder if you get mobility full rate and if it makes any differance ie free road tax

    good luck bob

  • Just park anyway and refuse to pay any fine. Go to court and claim compensation.

  • It's a miacle - having written yesterday by email and post to the CEO of the council and copying my MP and local councillor, they have managed to find me a date for assessment on Monday 5th of November and "provided a pass the assessment" with my 28% lung performance, they will "fast track" my badge to make sure I am not inconvenienced by their actions. Not grumbling because they have responded to my complaint well but I still despair at the waste of scarce public money assessing someone like me for a disabled badge.

  • Good result. :)

  • Its so good to hear a successful story - well done, you deserve it

  • Good to hear a successful story - Brilliant.

  • Hi allblownout. I am dismayed at your story. I cannot say how very angry I become when this sort of incompetance happens. My badge is also due for renewal and I am going down to the One Stop Shop in person with all my paperwork. As I receive the higher rate of mobility allowance I do not expect a problem, but one never knows. I am so sorry for your predicament, can't you enlist help from friends, work colleagues etc to give you a ride to work. I hope you can. I would also write complaining to your MP. It may not help, but what the hell you will feel better. Good luck Maximonkey.

  • If you have higher rate DLA then you would get the blue badge without assessment or hassle. It's written in the rules...

  • Thanks Gordon57 for your comments, I know I am lucky to get one automatically. However I was sympathising with allblownout, I hope all is well now and that some kind sole gave allblownout a lift to work. Oh and by the way I did get my blue badge 4 days after I took my paperwork down to the One Stop Shop, just in case anyone out there is worried about their Blue Badge renewal. Take care and keep up you blogs Gordon, I really enjoy them. Maximonkey

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