Council-approved fee for disabled parking

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DISABLED parking badge holders in Eastbourne will now have to pay £10 to qualify for the scheme.

East Sussex County Council this week approved a host of changes to the way it operates the scheme – including the £10 fee which will kick in from January.

That fee has increased from the previous admin charge of £2 but does cover a three-year period.

Another change is that from April next year doctors will no longer carry out the Blue Badge assessments. Instead these will be completed by the council’s therapy staff.

Mobility clinics will be run across East Sussex in places day centres, libraries, and council buildings. This assessment process will help to decide if people meet the national eligibility criteria to quality for a Blue Badge. The £10 charge will be refunded if someone is not successful in their application.

The local authority says the measures are being introduced to improve the system and help prevent fraud.

Councillor Bill Bentle told the Herald, “It is essential that people who need a Blue Badge get one and these new arrangements will help cut down on fraudulent misuse.

“It means that people who get a Blue Badge must use it properly, keep to the time limits allowed to park and not pass it onto other people. And although the charge for the Badge has gone up, this is the first price increase for almost 30 years.”