Laura Sharman 13 August 2020

Council to review its Blue Badge process after investigation

A London council has agreed to review the way it assesses applications for disabled parking permits following an investigation by the ombudsman.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found 'numerous failings' in the way the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was running its Blue Badge scheme.

It found the council rejected an application from a man with a hearing impairment purely because he did not automatically qualify. It refused to review its decision and failed to offer him a right of appeal, the investigation discovered.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:? 'The problems highlighted in my investigation suggest there may be other people in the borough similarly affected, so I have asked the council to invite anyone it has rejected over the past six months to submit their applications for reassessment. ?

'I am pleased the council has readily accepted my other recommendations to improve its Blue Badge process, and hope this means other people will not be left uncertain about their application in future.'

A statement from the council said: 'The council is undertaking a review as specified within the LGO Report. This review will encompass the mobility service as a whole and will specifically review service process and how applications are assessed to ensure full compliance.

'The council is not required to keep copies of rejected applications although this can be considered good practice. As such, we are now going to keep all applications successful or otherwise for a period of one year to enable reviews to take place.'

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