Blue Badge Abuse

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

Sept 14

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.”


Obstructions on the pavements and Transport Lane

Member Phil Mountford asked STAND to look at the problems caused by obstructions on the pavements. Wheelchair users were being forced into the road as the pavements were blocked by vehicles. When he complained to the Council they said it was a police matter and when he complained to the police they said it was a Council matter.


We asked Steve Buckton from the Council to attend our our meeting on 28th Jan 2014. He told us:

Roads subject to a traffic order are subject to council Civil Enforcement Officers and can be issued with a PCN (ticket). If someone has parked where there are no parking restrictions ie. the pavement, the council cannot do anything about this, which means that it should be reported to the police. Members are recommended to take photographs of the offending vehicle  with the number plate and report the matter to the police. If the problem persists we will invite the Police and Crime Commissioner to a future meeting to discuss the matter.

Following our meeting on 1st April we have invited Matthew Ellis The Police and Crime Commissioner to our meeting on 5th August. Mike Clark from the Council will also be at this meeting so we should be able to establish who is responsible and what can be done about it.

Rob Flello MP sent someone from his office to attend this meeting and he has also written to Staffordshire Police about this matter.


Apparently there is some progress with this issue (see below) and Matthew Ellis will not be coming to our August meeting.

> Subject: STAND
> Pam
> My apologies for not coming back to you about the meeting on the 5 August,
> I have discussed your email in great detail and your request for Mr Ellis
> to attend one of your meetings, what he has requested is that at present he
> has instigated a review into repatriating Powers to PCSO’s that will
> hopefully address the issues that you raise so that it would be within
> their remit to deal with the problems members of your group are having,
> until such time a decision has been made whilst Mr Ellis can sympathise
> with the problems being experienced he is unable to add anything until the
> review is complete. So with this in mind he has asked for me to send his
> apologies for the 5 August initially whilst the review is taking place,
> once a decision has been made and a more definitive answer can be given to
> you and your group I would hope to contact you and arrange for Mr Ellis to
> meet with you at this time.
> Kind regards
> Veronica Powell

25th April 2014

Rob Flello’s letter from the police inspector Amanda Davies says that they have carried out an operation in Longton and will be contacting STAND to work with them.


Still no word from Amanda Davies or Matthew Ellis.


Kayleigh Dawson PCSO from Longton Police rang to give an update on the problems in Transport Lane.

“Staffordshire Police have been working very closely with Taxi Licensing,
 and Parking Enforcement to alleviate this issue. A number of tactics have
 been explored to date including: Multi agency meetings, Joint enforcement
 days, High visibility patrols, and raising awareness throughout the local
 Recently I held a meeting with Highways, Enforcement and Taxi Licensing to
 discuss a possible long term approach to combat the parking issues on
 Longton Town. At present we are working together on a proposed long term
 solution. I am unable to provide further detailed information at this
 present time. However, I will update accordingly once a decision has been

18 11 14

At last we have had confirmation that the review is almost complete. See letter sent to Rob Flello MP Matthew Ellis


Lottery Report

STAND Lottery Grant Report Feb 2014

1. Funding for-Development, printing and distribution of guidance material aimed at educating service providers about disability awareness.

What we did; We used some of the funding to get leaflets printed for businesses and service providers to educate in disability access issues and to make suggestions as to what they can do to make things easier for disabled people. Members then took them out to various locations around the City where they knew they would be helpful. The leaflets were also given out at various meetings we held around the City to promote the work of STAND. The leaflet, Low Cost No Cost is enclosed.

What happened: We had many successes and comments about our leaflets from smaller shops in particular. The awareness raising of disability issues has resulted in ramps being installed, better lighting over a post office counter, renovations to include a handrail by a ramp, improved access in a large store that had previously had narrow aisles preventing wheelchair access and better signage. At the local hospital UHNS we are now consulted about new developments, car parking and other access issues. The camera purchased with the Lottery Grant has enabled us to do photographic reports to support our case for improved access. Enclosed is a photo report to UHNS. The local council consult us on new development such as the new Central Business District, changing blue badge bay locations and bus routes. The Aids and Adaptations Officers concerned with adaptations and grants to disabled peoples’ homes consulted us on their new policy document. We have recently had success working with our local council and they have reversed a decision to relocate Shopmobility and they have given an assurance that no public toilets will close unless a viable alternative can be found that is accessible to disabled people. We have achieved a new disabled car park for Hanley Museum to replace the disabled parking when the bus lane was introduced. These are just a few of the results that members know about. We are sure that there are many more out there. Members felt a real pride in being able to make positive changes which have improved their lives and those of others. We also learnt that having hundreds of leaflets printed can cause problems of distribution and storage, a problem that was resolved when we decided to print our own leaflets using the printer we bought with the lottery money and using the rest of the lottery money to buy extra ink and paper. We now print all our leaflets as and when they are needed.

2. Capacity Building and technical training

What we did; We set up a schedule of training for members who were interested in several areas. We used VAST to cover some of the traning in areas where members felt they needed help eg. Development and realisation of aims for STAND, Committee member responsibilities, Computer literacy, funding bids, website design and maintenance etc. Working with VAST we are in the process of building a website. which will help us to reach a wider audience. The Chief Access Officer at Stoke-on-Trent City council did a set of sessions on the more technical side of our work. eg. Legislation regarding equality and disability, Reading building plans, what to look for when assessing accessibility, where to go for help if we are unsure of something.

What happened; The website is going live at the end of February 14 and beside the obvious knowledge imparted in all of these training sessions, members have also been given the confidence to value their own experiences and ability and to use this to inform and challenge authority and make considered suggestions for change. The successes mentioned previously have also encouraged further action. We have also learnt to value each others‘ strengths and support each other where needed.

3. Promotional materials

What we did; At first we had STAND leaflets printed in A5 booklet s,A4 easy read and A4 large print and members distributed them as before. We held meetings to promote STAND and members spoke at many other voluntary group meetings eg Community Health Voice, WCC, PPGs, Age Concern, Disability Solutions etc. to help raise awareness of the work we do and to increase membership. We started to network with other voluntary and charitable groups to help each other and to join forces on common issues eg. Museum parking. We are now training to start our own website to further raise awareness of disability access issues. STAND also has superb links with our local press who cover our meetings and publicise the general work we do and the specific issues presently raising concerns. The Sentinel journalists often ring members for comment on any news items with a disability component. We have involved our three local MPs and they receive agendas and minutes of all our meetings with specific areas where they can help highlighted . We have been able to add our support to Joan Whalley’s campaign to get a disabled friendly footbridge at Kidsgrove station. STAND has recently involved all local councillors in meetings to discuss disability issues because as the spending cutbacks continue to cause concern we are aware that we need to raise their awareness of the problems that disabled people face as a result of their decisions.

What happened; We have increased our membership and certainly raised awareness of the issues around disabled access. We also realise the power of networking with other groups to provide expertise and support.

4. Alternative Formats

What we did; We bought a voice recorder to help a member with hearing difficulties so she could play back the meeting at a volume and time to suit and we bought a voice recorder with voice recognition so that members with severe hearing problems can have the meetings transcribed into print. We had large print leaflets printed for partially sighted people and we bought memory sticks for members to receive recorded meetings for those more severely affected.

What happened; The alternative formats were a great help to several of our members. Our secretary, who has a hearing loss is able to use the voice recorder to record meetings which can then be written up at home.

Conclusion The Lottery Grant has enabled this project to, not only get off the ground but to fly. Members have learnt a great deal. Most important we know that if the first answer is “No” then it can be challenged/ negotiated into a maybe or yes. There is a great satisfaction in knowing that their expertise in their own disability has been used to improve the lives of disabled people, people with complex health needs and carers. Publicity from our work has raised the general publics’ awareness of disability issues. We have received a donation, given out of the respect for the work we do and we are confident that more will follow as we continue to work to improve disabled access and raise awareness of disabled issues.