Blue Badge Reminders

Whilst the Brexit debacle battles on, there are so many other things that are important to the constituents of Maidstone & The Weald, and I am always here to help when called upon.

Last week I heard from my good friend Angus, an administrator volunteer with the Kent charity CROP (Citizens Rights for Older People), for whom I am honoured to be a Patron.  CROP attend home visits to older people to help and empower them in a range of ways; filling out tricky forms, perhaps making a complaint, and often doing stuff online that might be beyond someone’s technical ability.

Here’s the thing;  Blue badge holders, until recently, received about three months’ written notice from Kent County Council that their badge was due to expire. Badges are usually awarded for three years and I’d imagine it is easy to forget the end date.  The prompt also provided people with plenty of time to get in touch with people like CROP to get help arranging the renewal.

Not any more it seems, according to Angus.  KCC’s blue badge team are no longer sending reminders, now putting the onus on elderly and often vulnerable people to remember to renew their badge. This could result in a large number of people being unable to use their often-vital parking freedoms, and possibly also being penalised for inadvertently using an expired badge.

I have written to KCC to fathom what can be done about re-instating such a simple, but indispensable, aide-mémoire.  I am told the KCC team have historically provided a very good forms processing service and I am sure they will not want their reputation dashed for the sake of such a seemingly small but important change in policy.

Meanwhile the excellent folk at CROP continue in their mission and I thank them for the sterling help they provide.  For more about CROP and to see how you can help click www.cropkent.org.uk