Following a meeting with STAND North Wales, Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies voiced concerns in the Siambr regarding issues with the Blue Badge application process which have been highlighted by STAND North Wales, and by constituents with lifelong disabilities.
STAND North Wales is a non-profit organisation representing families of children and young adults with Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Additional Needs and Disabilities in North Wales. They expressed that many people with lifelong disabilities find the application process stressful and drawn out due to a requirement to reapply for a Blue Badge every three years, each application having a twelve-week waiting list.
STAND have argued that reapplications are unnecessary for those who have a lifelong diagnosis and adds to their stress. Mr Davies called for a statement on 23rd January from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, arguing that the application system should be overhauled to include a statutory appeals process and a lifelong Blue Badge for those who live with a lifelong disability.
Gareth Davies MS called for a statement from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, saying:
“Currently, many people with lifelong conditions are experiencing difficulty reapplying for blue badges, with applications having to be submitted 12 weeks in advance, and the process fraught with delay. This sometimes leads to, as in the case of one constituent, a window in which they are without a blue badge.
“For many, the thought of having to reapply and complete the paperwork so frequently is stressful. Also, some people require assistance in the application process, with many losing faith in the system due to a lack of consistency.
“I would like the Deputy Minister to address the concerns that have been raised, including by the more than 1,500 people who have signed a petition on whether the Welsh Government are committed to reviewing the application process and criteria for those needing a blue badge.
“The Deputy Minister should look into the possibility of introducing a lifelong Blue Badge for those who have a lifelong diagnosis, which would take the burden off a lot of people in Wales who live with a disability and remove a lot of unnecessary administrative work.”