MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has welcomed a statement from the Welsh Government Minister for Transport, Edwina Hart AM, that a new Task and Finish group has been set up to review the Blue Badge scheme in the light of numerous complaints from members of the public.
Mr Ramsay has written to both the Minister and Monmouthshire County Council following complaints from constituents about changes in the rules, which resulted in some holders’ applications for renewal being turned down despite the fact they had been using their badges for a number of years.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ramsay said:
“According to the Minister, the rapid review of the Blue Badge scheme identified that both England and Scotland had already removed GPs from the assessment process, using an independent medical assessment instead. Wales has now adopted a similar approach and is encouraging local authorities to remove GPs from the assessment process as their clinical workload is extremely heavy.
“Despite this, there continue to be a number of complaints from people who have been refused a Blue Badge, and the review found that in some complex cases, local authority staff lacked the specific skill base to scrutinise the applications to confirm eligibility.
“In the hope of resolving the situation and ensuring everyone is treated fairly, the Minister has asked former AM Val Lloyd, a senior health academic and practitioner to chair a Task and Finish group to review the scheme.
“The group will consider the current operation of the scheme in Wales and experience in the other devolved administrations before providing the Minister with recommendations for improving the scheme in Wales by October.
“I will continue to monitor the situation and hope that very soon these problems can be resolved.”