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Blue Badge Extension Sought

July 19, 2006 2:34 PM

On July 13th 2006 in Westminster, Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Jo Winsloe, the Sutton Development Officer for 'Contact a Family' and Karen Edmonds Vice-Chair of 'DownsyndromeOK', met with Gillian Merron MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, to press for the extension of the Blue Badge scheme to a wider range of children.

At several recent meetings of the Sutton Parents' Forum, a forum that meets to address issues confronted by local parents who care for a child or young adult with any disability, the discussion has focused upon concerns about the availability and issue of the Blue Badge.

Supporters of expanding the availability of Blue Badges suggest it should also cover children with severe learning disabilities, autism, and mental health conditions. The scheme extension they are backing would also include families where there are two or more children with a disability, in which both have been awarded the lower rate of mobility component of DLA.

During the meeting, the Minister appeared sympathetic to the idea of expanding the breadth of Blue Badge membership to children with these disabilities.

Mr. Brake stated, "It is clear that the Minister had an understanding of the issue and accepted how critical it is for parents whose children have autism or other non-physical disabilities to have access to Blue Badges. We now need the Minister's sympathy to be converted swiftly into action."

The Blue Badge scheme provides a national arrangement of on-street parking concessions enabling people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers to park close to their destinations.

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