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Councillors reject blue badge charges as consultation continues

 
Created on 13/07/2018 @ 09:32
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A motion has been passed by Powys county councillors against introducing charges for blue badge holders in council pay-and-display car parks.

The motion was passed yesterday, but it does not necessarily mean the charges will not be introduced.

A consultation into the plans to save £100,000 a year by charging blue badge holders ends on Monday.

It will then be up to the council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Phyl Davies, to make a final decision.

Under the proposals, blue badge holders will still be able to park on the street for free but would have to pay to park at a council pay-and-display car park, such as the Back Lane and Gravel car parks in Newtown.

Councillor David Selby from Newtown was one of the councillors who voted against proposals at a meeting yesterday.

The Liberal Democrat motion was passed by Council.
 
Cllr David Selby said: “Although the Council meeting is not able to force the Portfolio Holder to change his mind, it would be unwise and brave decision to go against not only a council motion but so many who have opposed this move.

"Many people have contacted me about their experience as blue badge holders and how having to pay in Council parks would make their life more difficult.

"The machines are not easy to use for those with disabilities, the disabled bays are not near the machines and how their shopping trips would become harder.
 
This is a mean measure putting extra burden on those in society who should be supported.  I am pleased that this major step to defeating the proposals has been taken, but I urge those who have not completed the consultation survey to do so.”
 
The motion read:
 
"Council notes the consultation launched at the end of May in respect of possible charges for Blue badge holders in Council car parks.
 
"Council further notes that the preferred option of the executive groups is to introduce charges for the use of Council owned car parks.
 
"Council believes that those in receipt of blue badges, including the blind,  military veterans with a disability and residents in receipt of the most severe levels of disability benefit, face extreme levels of hardship and should not be disadvantaged further.
 
"Council, therefore, urges the portfolio holder for highways to rule out any option that requires blue badge holders to pay when using a Council car park."

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