Council’s plans to financially hit disabled drivers condemned

Local politicians have expressed their anger at Carmarthenshire County Councils plans to equalise car parking charges for blue badge holders. The move will result in people with severe mobility problems in the county being £106,000 worse off than they currently are. The proposal will go before the council’s Executive Board on October 4th.

Plaid’s Leader at Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said:

“I am deeply disappointed with the council’s plans. Financial constraints are inevitable in the current economic climate but attacking the services on offer to disabled drivers is surely something that should be avoided. There is very little councillors opposed to these proposal can do if the motion is past by the Executive Board. It will be up to the Independent-Labour councillors to go to their constituents and explain why they think this is fair.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“We understand that the council is under huge pressure financially as a result of the cuts being imposed by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in Westminster. Obviously this is going to lead to some services being cut and prices increased in others. However, I am sure there are better ways to go about this than specifically targeting disabled people. It appears totally heartless to expect people who rely daily on their blue badges to be put in a position where they may not be able to afford parking.”

Helen Mary Jones AM added:

“I am quite angry about these proposals. I have little doubt that increasing parking costs for blue badge holders will lead to disabled people unable to afford to use their cars. There is a real risk that we are going to see disabled people in the county cut off and isolated as they are not financially going to be able to continue the active role they have played in society. This will not only impact on their independence but could restrict them from essential trips such as food shopping or picking up medication.”

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“We will be writing to the council to express our concern at these plans. We have been, and will be a responsible opposition, but this is a measure that we simply can not allow the council to impose without voicing our apprehensions.”

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