Man living in frequent pain denied blue badge renewal after six yrs

October 19, 2015 by Personalised Badges

A Banchory man “riddled” with joint disease has been stripped of the blue badge parking permit he had for six yrs – for being too honest.

John Wills claimed he is “flummoxed” by Aberdeenshire Council’s verdict to deny him the permit, that permits him to park in disabled bays.

The 68-year-old believes a recent alteration to the way permits are issued is to blame – with the final decision now resting with the council’s own blue badge service, rather than GPs.

And the trampoline coach claims the rejection of his blue badge means daily trips to the shops with his wife, Melanie, have gotten hard.

Mr Wills’s arthritis affects his feet, knees, hips, elbows and his back and he also experiences scoliosis, a disorder that causes the spine to bend.

When his blue badge came up for renewal, he was asked to attend a physical examination in Inverurie.

However he claims the assessment form leaves no scope for individual needs to be thought about, and his answers – which reflected his determined character – were used against him, despite the assessor being compassionate.

Mr Wills – who struggled to carry out a short walk necessary as part of the examination – said: “One questions was ‘do you have a walking aid?’ I’ve got arthritis in my elbows and holding a stick triggers further more discomfort. The lady was very supportive.

“She asked – ‘can you walk the length of a football field?’ I said I would get there since I am a driven individual. I’d have to halt a couple of times and I’d be in discomfort, but I’d get to there if it was absolutely necessary. The questions are loaded.

“I had been expecting them to look at my X-rays from the physician but they don’t look at that. They’ll only go by the questions the form asks.

“I am almost Seventy, I don’t think of myself old. In my head I am fit but my body is full of arthritis and the most severe is both feet. Each step is painful. You just get on with it.”

Mr Wills has become concerned that people even “more worthy” could be getting turned down for a permit as a consequence of the new program.

“My main issue is for folks just like me who find it hard to get about and just how they’ll go out for shopping and so forth,” he added. “I am just flummoxed with the whole alteration of the system.”

An Aberdeenshire Council speaker said: “We can’t comment on individual situations however all blue badge applications are determined as per the Blue Badge Scheme (Scotland) Code of Practice for Local Authorities, issued by Transport Scotland.

“People who’ve been denied a blue badge may ask for the verdict to be reviewed and can also re-apply should their range of mobility worsen.”

Councillor labels blue badge refusal case “a mystery”
Banchory councillor Karen Clark claimed the local authority denying Mr Wills his blue badge was a “big mystery” and demanded to find out exactly why increasing numbers of people were denied the permits.

Ms Clark – the council’s previous social work committee convener – has said she’s had communicate with with other older constituents also lately denied long-standing blue badges.

She said: “It appears really unusual that you would qualify for six years and then it stops. It seems so arrogant, the entire thing is a mystery. It was once GPs and it has changed. How many other people are out there that are not getting them?

“It struck me that we are giving out all of this cost-free bus travel – that is wonderful – but people that honestly require this blue badge to travel are denied them.

“They keep saying no to folks but exactly how do they reach that decision? They merely write people off declaring they are not suitable.

“They don’t appear to look at doctor’s notes and I think it is just a huge mystery.

“I’d wish to know how many more folks are affected by this. At the end of the day it is no skin off the council’s nose.”

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