A quick note for my constituents who have been in touch about Blue Badges. For a long time I have lobbied for a change to the Blue Badge system with the Department of Transport as there are many hidden disabilities which not only make it difficult for people to travel lengthy distances but also rule out public transport use.
I am pleased to say that from the 30th August, 2019 the new criteria for Blue Badges goes live. People with hidden and non physical disabilities will be able to make applications to Staffordshire County Council for Blue Badge support. Great news and another step toward making our towns and cities much more accessible to all!
If you would like to apply for a Blue Badge you can do so online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge or by calling Staffordshire County Council for assistance on 0300 111 8000.
My next step is to see what can be done to change the mobility component of PIP benefit, which provides access to the Motability scheme. Many people again struggle with moving around and using public transport but may physically be able to walk 20metres so do not qualify for PIP Mobility support.
A good example is people who were affected by the Thalidomide drug in the 50s and 60s. Without use of the upper body, driving and using public transport is always a challenge, yet there is no mobility support available. Another example is people with mental health issues, who very rarely leave the home but would feel safer if they had access to a familiar vehicle. There are many other examples where access to the scheme could help many people.
I have already been in engagement with the DWP on the issue and will continue to lobby for change.