Letters, Monday, May 19, 2014

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Check facts for disabled badge

THE Echo featured a report (February 4) about a Ms Jenna Christie, who has bowel disease which requires her to make unplanned urgent trips to the toilet.

 She says Sunderland Council advised her when she rang up to renew her disabled parking badge that she was not disabled and would not be allowed to appeal the decision.

 The Government has published (PDF) The Blue Badge Scheme Local Authority Guidance (Gov.UK) dated February 2012 on the internet.

 This is 108 pages on the new requirements for blue badges and having read it, I think it is essential reading for anyone applying for one or having received a refusal and wishing to appeal.

 In Ms Christie’s case, I think the refusal is due to page 81 Section 3, which states medical conditions such as incontinent conditions are not in themselves a qualification for a badge.

 Ms Christie claims a Sunderland City Council man said she would not be allowed to appeal the decision. Page 33 of the guidance states: The Local Government Ombudsman considers that a failure to put in place a proper appeal mechanism would be likely to result in an adverse finding in the event of a complaint being made to them.

 Page 32 states: The Department of Transport strongly recommends that every refusal should be given a detailed explanation for that refusal. It is not sufficient to say the applicant did not meet the criteria.

 Nowhere does it state an applicant cannot appeal a decision. Print the document and highlight applicable pages, about 50. There is no time limit to reapply following refusal but it is expected that your health should have deteriorated since the original application.

Name and address supplied

Anniversary plea

MARGARET McQuillen and Amelia Atkinson were my bridesmaids for Sheila Riley in July 1954. We would like to hear from you both as it is our diamond anniversary. Contact us on 370 1065.

Sheila and Tom Foster

Great achievement

MANY congratulations to Sunderland AFC. I am so proud of you. I was born in Sunderland and love my home town. Gus Poyet needed a miracle and got one.

 It was the best birthday present my lovely dad could have asked for. I bet he was cheering from heaven.

Margaret Crosbie,

Middlesbrough

Get in touch

WOULD the lady who helped Marie on Saturday, May 3, in Park Lane Bus Station please get in touch. My number is 07949 892437. Thank you.

Marie