Cllr Ryk Downes

Liberal Democrat Councillor working all year round for Otley & Yeadon Learn more

Disappointment over council’s Blue Badge decision

by rykdownes on 27 January, 2015

Local Lib Dem Councillor, Ryk Downes, has spoken out on the council’s hard line against granting badges to voluntary organisations that transport disabled people after local charity, Otley Action for Older People, had their renewal refused.

Government guidelines categorically state that it is at the discretion of the local authority to grant Blue Badges to organisations on a case by case basis.

However Cllr Downes has been left astounded after vital local charity Otley Action for Local People were refused a badge, with council officers quoting government guidelines and expecting the groups of volunteers to organise a separate badge for each of the individuals they transport.

Cllr Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said:

“It is completely barmy! It can’t be the intention of these rules to discriminate against voluntary organisations, whose members give up their spare time to help our more vulnerable neighbours to get out and about, and make a big difference in tackling loneliness within our communities.

“The work required to process one Blue Badge application for an organisation where most of the people they transport have mobility needs has to be far less than the work required to process the applications of multiple individuals – it is a complete waste of money and time.

“These are guidelines, not law. We have raised it before with Care Minister, Norman Lamb, whose office confirmed that granting these badges is completely at the discretion of the local authority.

“Now Leeds City Council needs to get some perspective and start treating these applications with a good dose of common sense.”

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