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Charity appeals parking badge withdrawal

Charity appeals parking badge withdrawal

Published at 9:09am 5th February 2015. (Updated at 11:45am 6th February 2015)

A council is being urged to review its decision to withdraw a disabled parking badge from an Otley charity.

Otley Action for Older People was told last month that its badge, which it has held for many years, wouldn't be renewed due to a change in national policy.

But the town's MP, Greg Mulholland, has called for the decison to be reversed, blaming a misinterpretation of the rules.

He said: "I have written to Leeds City Council urging them to review their decision.

"Contrary to what the Council have said, official guidance from Government is clear that blue badges can indeed be assigned to organisations like Otley Action for Older People.

"The charity provides a much valued local service, and clearly the guidance has not been interpreted properly.

"So I very much hope the Council are able to reverse their decision."

Sue Traynor, a project manager with the charity, says there should be no doubt about whether it has a genuine need.

She added: "A typical busload of passengers is maybe two or three people with zimmer frames, people in wheelchairs, people with visual problems and memory problems.

"It's an extremely essential tool for us, especially working in Otley which is a very busy market town."

The charity remains confident that the decision will be reversed after council officers visited this week.

But with its current badge expiring, it faces a wait of up to 10 days for a new one, even if the appeal is successful.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: "Due to a change in national policy, we are now unable to automatically issue blue badges to vehicles as they must now be assigned to individuals.

"We are currently processing an appeal by Otley Action for Older People and will look at their individual circumstances before any final decision is made.

"Customers are also still able to bring their own blue badges for use on the bus."