Adults & Health and Safer, Stronger Communities – Ashby, Bottesford & Scunthorpe (‘Urban’) Cabinet Members – Minutes – 21 December 2020

1 BLUE BADGE (DISABLED PARKING) SCHEME ENFORCEMENT POLICY – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report seeking approval for a Blue Badge (Disabled Parking) Scheme Enforcement Policy.

The Blue Badge (Disabled Person’s Parking) Scheme operated within North Lincolnshire providing a nationally determined range of parking concessions to enable people with severe mobility problems caused by visible and non-visible disabilities to access goods and services.

The process for applying for a blue badge had been developed over the last 18 months. Online applications were enabled from February 2019 via a national system. A local online portal for applications, linked to the national system, was implemented in June 2020. This enabled efficient and effective management of the full lifecycle of the badge together with an online payment facility, which reduced the requirement for customers to visit a customer service point. The application process also offered assistance for completing forms via customer service advisors or contact centre.

Due to the steps required under national criteria to verify eligibility, notably benefit entitlement, the recognised timescale for processing blue badge applications was “up to 12 weeks”. It was anticipated that the digital developments together with other steps being taken at national level to share data should assist in substantially reducing the average processing times moving forward.

The volume of applications for Blue Badges had increased significantly since the pausing of national Covid-19 shielding. In light of the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic for blue badge users, including in delaying their renewal of an existing award, enforcement of specific aspects of blue badge use in North Lincolnshire was temporarily relaxed.

If an applicant was successful, they were provided with guidance when they received their Blue Badge, informing them of how to use the badge correctly. Misuse of Blue Badges could undermine the benefits of the scheme and impact upon local traffic management resulting in designated parking spaces not being available for those who need to access them. Robust administration and enforcement processes minimised opportunities for abuse of the scheme.

Resolved – That the Blue Badge (Disabled Parking) Scheme Enforcement Policy be approved and published.