Essex County Council to suspend �2 disabled blue badge fee
ESSEX County Council (ECC) is to suspend its �2 fee for disabled parking and blue badges from Friday May 1.The council issues about 20,000 disabled parking badges a year to residents in the county with severe disabilities.It is recognised by councils ac
ESSEX County Council (ECC) is to suspend its �2 fee for disabled parking and blue badges from Friday May 1.
The council issues about 20,000 disabled parking badges a year to residents in the county with severe disabilities.
It is recognised by councils across the county that the administration of the blue badge scheme is a costly process and ECC is looking at ways to reduce this whilst improving the process and reducing badge misuse.
The council is aware that growing numbers of people are using the badges fraudulently. Therefore it continues to strengthen its partnership with Essex Police and district and borough council traffic wardens to halt misuse.
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Scrapping the fee is just one of a number of changes planned for this year. The council hopes to pilot a new face to face mobility assessment for new applications during the summer which will not only offer a robust assessment to support concessionary badge applications but also provide users with advice and guidance on ways to remain independent.
ECC cabinet member for adults, health and community wellbeing, Cllr David Finch, said: "We know our customers find it frustrating to send a cheque for �2 to us and our current way of working does not cover the fee charge - in fact, the administration of that �2 is more than doubled in staffing costs."
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Deputy to the cabinet member, Cllr John Aldridge, added: "With the reduction in administration we will be able to turn around applications more quickly.
"As one of our pledges is to offer value for money to Essex council taxpayers by transforming how the organisation operates it is crucial that we do this while continuing to provide a quality service.