Planned changes to blue badges under discussion

A blue badge
A blue badge
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Have your say

THERE is still a chance to have your say on proposed changes to the Blue Car Badge scheme, which includes a planned rise in its cost from £2 to £10.

The consultation on the plans in East Sussex started on August 17 and lasts until October 26.

You can take part by going to the online questionnaire at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay or by requesting a hard copy or alternative format.

The Blue Car Badge scheme allows people to park close to where they need to go if they have severe mobility problems. Most badges are valid for three years.

The government will bring in nationwide changes from January 2012 which means Blue Car Badges will be printed and supplied by one company. This will make them harder to forge or alter.

East Sussex County Council is proposing to charge the full £10, allowed under Government rules, for a new or renewed Blue Car Badge.

This is the first increase since 1983 and increases the price from the current cost of £2.

This one-off fee would cover the three years for which the badge is valid.

It would continue to be non-refundable, even if an application for a badge is unsuccessful.

The fee would cover the production and administration costs for the badge and would also help with improvements to the service, such as mobility assessments and reducing fraudulent use of badges.

The other proposal is that, from April 2012, doctors will no longer carry out Blue Car Badge assessments.

Instead, mobility assessments will be a requirement for people who do not automatically qualify.

The assessments will be carried out by the council’s therapy staff. They will be able to make fair and impartial decisions on mobility and whether someone should receive a Blue Car Badge.