Members brought up the problems caused by selfish people abusing blue badges. Able bodied people were using Blue badges to park when they go to work, when they go shopping etc. The abuse is causing real problems for genuine Blue Badge holders as they are unable to get a parking space.
At our meeting on 28th Jan 2014 it was decided that the Council would be asked to look into this problem with a view to finding ways to prevent this abuse.
Councillor Terry Crowe helped to set up a meeting with the Council representatives responsible for this issue and STAND members to discuss this matter. The meeting is on 25th Feb 14 so any comments on this issue please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Whalley of Grosvenor Ave, Oakhill had been fraudulently using her mother’s badge to obtain free parking near her place of work in Newcastle between 1 April and 1 Oct 2013.
She pleaded guilty at Stafford Magistrates court and will now have a criminal record and has been ordered to pay a fine of £160, a £780 compensation order, £360 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transportation, said: “Whalley fraudulently used her mother’s blue badge for a six-month period. We will not tolerate this kind of crime and will take action wherever possible. In this instance, the blue badge was issued in the city, but the offence occurred in Newcastle. The prosecution is an excellent example of partnership working between the two authorities.
“The city council has issued 13,000 blue badges. This is our second successful prosecution, and it is likely that other badges are being used unlawfully. This fraud costs councils nationally around £46m a year, but it is not just the financial cost that is the issue. By using a disabled space unlawfully, a disabled person with a genuine need has been denied that space. As a council, we take seriously our duty to the genuine blue badge users to ensure that the scheme is used correctly.
“We have a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to all fraud and will take action against offenders.”