LGA responds to extension of Blue Badge scheme

“People can help councils win the fight against Blue Badge fraud, by tipping us off about people they suspect are illegally using a badge, bearing in mind this new eligibility and that people’s need for a badge might not be obvious.”


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Responding to the announcement by the Department for Transport of a review of Blue Badge fraud and the extension of the scheme to those with “hidden disabilities”, Local Government Association Transport spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, said:

“Councils know that Blue Badges are a vital lifeline for disabled people which help them get out and about to visit shops or family and friends and many have already been approving badges for people with non-physical disabilities.

“Theft and misuse of Blue Badges under the existing scheme is on the rise. Despite limited resources, councils are trying to crack down on dishonest motorists by prosecuting offenders and seizing Blue Badges suspected of being used illegally, so it is good that the Government has listened to our concerns and has committed to a review which will support councils in tackling fraudulent use.

“With councils having lost 60p out of every £1 in central government funding between 2010 and 2020, we are pleased the Government is to provide funding for the first year of the programme. The Spending Review needs to ensure this becomes ongoing funding which fully matches the cost to councils of administering this new Blue Badge scheme, managing potential increased applications and demand for parking spaces and tackling this ongoing rise in fraudulent use.

“People can help councils win the fight against Blue Badge fraud, by tipping us off about people they suspect are illegally using a badge, bearing in mind this new eligibility and that people’s need for a badge might not be obvious.”

Notes to editors

Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information.


#CouncilsCan

#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
 

With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.

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