Plan to introduce car parking charges for blue badge holders dropped by Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet

The Cabinet at Lichfield District Council has reversed on a proposal to start charging blue badge holders for car parking.

Plans had been drawn up to become the first authority in Staffordshire to implement such charges.

But there had been opposition from Staffordshire County Council who said such a move “could result in more on street parking” with “impacts on congestion and traffic flow”.

Colin Greatorex

Cllr Colin Greatorex

However, Cllr Colin Greatorex told a meeting of the Conservative Cabinet that blue badge holders did not expect free parking.

“We should charge for blue badge parking,” he said. “The residents’ survey showed that people supported such a move.

“Disabled does not necessarily mean poor and blue badge holders don’t expect to be given free parking and treated as second class citizens.”

But the Cabinet were told that Staffordshire County Council could raise formal objections to the introduction of any charges, delaying a wider raft of changes to car parking charges.

As a result the recommdation was made not to introduce charges for blue badge holders.

Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “We will hold off on this but will look again at the implications to see if it something we may want to do in future.”

A final decision will be made at a meeting of the full council later this month.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

12 Comments

  1. Darryl

    10th May, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    “Disabled does not necessarily mean poor and blue badge holders don’t expect to be given free parking and treated as second class citizens.”

    Did Mr Greatorex perform any research whatsoever before making that statement? As a simple Google search will lead him to an abundance of papers and studies which detail the lower earnings and impoverishment of many disabled people.

  2. Scribbler

    10th May, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Yes, Cllr Greatorex, and not all elected politicians are intelligent enough or even bothered enough to understand the realities of the society and communities they claim to represent.

  3. Interesting

    10th May, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    If you are old/ disabled and a resident of Lichfield, you should pay for parking.

    If you are old / disabled and part of the council, you deserve a free chauffeur driven car.

    Good job, our council, do not have double standards.

    Cllr Colin Greatorex said the age of some of those who have taken on the role in previous years showed why a car was needed.

    “There has been talk of security,” he said. “But we also need to consider the word septuagenarian.

    http://lichfieldlive.co.uk/2016/04/07/councillor-says-age-of-former-civic-leaders-shows-why-chauffeur-driven-vehicle-is-needed/

  4. Cox

    10th May, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Statistics show those with disabilities tend to have considerably lower incomes that those without. (The same goes for families with a disabled child) It is also fairly obvious that it takes those with disabilities much longer to get about their local shops/town etc which if they were paying would actually mean that they would end up paying more to park than those without disabilities.
    Why keep targeting the vulnerable, the ones who haven’t always got the abilities to fight and defend themselves.

  5. Thornton

    10th May, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Blue badge holders in my opinion should pay the same as able bodied people choosing to park their vehicles where parking charges apply. Disabled parking is usually placed closer to entrances and closer to areas where people generally want to be in order to make their lives easier. Providing free parking has no connection to their reason for holding a blue badge and Mr Greatorex is correct by saying this would treat them like second class citizens.

  6. Toast

    11th May, 2016 at 9:08 am

    ‘Rich, able-bodied councilor admits he has no idea what it’s like to be disabled or poor’

  7. Darryl

    11th May, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Thornton out of the blocks with servile nonsense.

    Why? Because there have been numerous commentators linking reports showing that disabled people earn less and are more likely to live on or below the poverty line.

    However, you chose to ignore them and continue a line that has been disproved. Is it second class or is it a much welcome assistance? Once you’ve canvassed a verifiable sample group to prove yours, and Mr Greatorex’s unqualified statements, I’ll be all ears.

  8. sceptic

    11th May, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Which party does the compassionate councillor represent? No reply required I think I can guess

  9. Thornton

    11th May, 2016 at 11:08 am

    A blue badge holder could park in a bay and leave their car there all day for free. Keeping the parking charge could make this more fair seeing as there are usually only a few spaces per car park.

  10. Toast

    11th May, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Quite incorrect Thornton, Blue Badge holders can only park in one space/street for 3 hours at once. Hence why the badge itself is accompanied by an ‘arrival time’ clock that has to be set & accurate before leaving the vehicle.

  11. Thornton

    11th May, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    @Toast. You only need to set the clock on your blue badge if time restrictions apply in the place you’re wanting to park and usually only when parking on double yellow lines and on-street areas. Doesn’t usually apply in car parks.

  12. AgitatorofPeople

    12th May, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Councillor Greatorex, Lichfield city centre and particularly the Market Square is not an easy place to access if you have mobility issues.
    If you are lucky enough to have a car a Blue badge and find a disabled parking space nearby then it is a viable proposition. If you don’t have access to that then it is a real struggle, as bus routes are all on the edges of the city centre, which leaves taxis, which are very expensive.
    Persecuting the disabled population which have day to day living costs for basics like mobility aids, care and transport at 25% higher costs than those of non-disabled people (Papworth trust figures) is a disgrace.
    This proposal is a policy of discrimination and social exclusion towards the disabled and nothing less, implement it at yours and your councils risk.

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