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Blue Badges

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether his Department is (a) investigating and (b) taking action against local authorities for failure to ensure that blue badges for disabled parking are correctly issued; (106198)

(2) what action his Department takes against local authorities that do not ensure that blue badges for disabled parking are correctly issued;

(3) what measures his Department has in place to ensure the secure delivery of blue badges for disabled parking to local authority social services departments.

Local authorities are fully responsible for administering the Blue Badge Scheme including issuing application forms, assessing them and issuing badges to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria under the legislation governing the scheme. The Department provides guidance to local authorities on all aspects of the scheme but has no power to intervene in the process or in particular cases.

Following a review of the scheme new guidanceis being prepared by the Department which willinclude further advice on the eligibility criteria and assessments. This will help ensure that applications are dealt with effectively and efficiently by local authorities. We intend to go out to public consultations on the draft guidance in the near future.

The Stationery Office (TSO) produces and issues Blue Badges to all local authorities on behalf of the Department. The company is well-versed in highly secure publishing, printing and distribution. Blue Badge shipments are sent via DHL diamond security service. The service provides secure delivery to the address, requiring signed confirmation of receipt. In the event that a written signature is not obtained, the package is returned to TSO as undelivered.