Thursday, 8 July 2010

Gibson welcomes blue badge consultation

News Release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has encouraged people throughout the region to take part on a Scottish Government consultation on the future of the Blue Badge scheme.

The Scottish Government are looking to update and improve the blue badge scheme, which was first introduced in the 1970s so that it is fit for propose in the 21 Century.

Among the changes which are proposed are; widening those that are eligible, making it available to children under 3 with specific medical conditions, severely disabled service personnel and war veterans who are in receipt of an a ward under the Armed Forces Compensation Service as well as people with severe forms of autistic spectrum disorder.

There are also proposals to give local authorities new or amended powers to tackle those that misuse the scheme. A new database is also proposed to make sure that the fraudulent use of blue badges can be rooted out, as well as a new code of practice to those that administer the scheme.

Mr Gibson welcomed the consultation (which runs from the 5th of July till the 1st of October) and proposals....

"This is a welcome move from the Scottish Government. As Stewart Stevenson the Transport Minister says in his opening remarks the scheme needs to be fit for purpose in the 21st century. Recently Highland Council has caused furory by charging for the badges, they say it is because the system is been defrauded. The plans by the Scottish Government will help root out those unscrupulous individuals who seek to defraud the system."

"I think it is wholly unfair to make those who genuinely deserve blue badges have to pay for them. It is clear that the system at the moment is abused. Therefore the new ideas for dealing with it by the Government will make a difference and bring fairness back into play."

"I am also pleased by the proposal to widen access to those who are eligible for such badges. This scheme needs updating and the Government are proposing this, input form the public is key to making it a modern scheme which will serve the community."

"It is vital that as many people who are interested or affected by the proposed changes respond as possible. I think that the reforms are positive and will help make the scheme easier to manage and fairer."



To view the consultation document from Scottish government:

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