Laura Sharman 15 October 2020

London council to improve Blue Badge assessments

Harrow Council has been told to improve the way it assesses Blue Badge and Freedom Pass applications after an investigation found a number of faults with its processes.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said it had received ‘significantly’ more complaints about the way the council dealt with this issue than any other London borough.

Its investigation found problems with the way the council conducted the assessments and responded to applicants such as giving insufficient detail as to why people were turned down.

The council has agreed to offer five people new assessments, and will draw up an action plan to implement the recommended changes.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said: 'In previous complaints the council has accepted recommendations to put things right, but could not commit when they would happen because it relied on the service provider to implement the changes.

'Therefore, I am pleased the council has now started putting in place changes to its systems and hope my further recommendations will ensure other vulnerable people are not disadvantaged by its assessment process.'

A council spokesperson said: 'We welcome all feedback that helps us improve our services.

'In response to a small number of complaints between 2016 and 2018, we brought in changes to the way we process applications and how we inform applicants about the decision.'

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