Decision to push through financial attack on disabled drivers criticised

The Labour-Independent Executive Board at Carmarthenshire County Council has been criticised for its decision to push ahead with proposals to target disabled drivers in the county. The plan to “equalise” blue badge charges, costing drivers with severe mobility problems around £100,000 over three years and impacting on around 18,000 badge holders in the county, has been condemned by local disability groups. The proposal was agreed by the council’s executive board on Monday 4th of October and sent to a 21 day consultation before being debated by a full council meeting.

Plaid’s council group leader, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said:

“There is little doubt that Carmarthenshire County Council, like all local authorities in Wales, face some very touch financial decisions. However I do not think we can sit back and allow support for disabled drivers to be one of the first things to go. I am glad this will no go in front of a full council debate so that opposition to the plans can be highlighted. I am sure people throughout the county will be looking closely at how their own local councillor votes on this issue.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM added:

“I am staggered that the Labour-Independent executive board are trying to push through these proposals. I have already spoken to a number of very angry residents in the county who feel that the council are undermining disabled drivers as a way of making money.”

Helen Mary Jones AM said:

“I am pleased this proposal has gone to consultation as I want Carmarthenshire County Council to hear how upset people are in the county. I am convinced they will see an overwhelming response to the consultation from people opposing this attack on blue badge holders. Hopefully it will be enough to change their minds.”

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“We have now written to the council to officially register our opposition to these heartless plans. We would urge everyone who agrees that these attacks on disabled drivers in the county, that could very well lead to blue badge holders loosing their independence, to also make their views known to the council.”

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