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Blue badge users are deserving of better

Published 16/09/2016

As highlighted by Robert Lacey (Write Back, September 14), the blue badges fiasco continues without any reasonable response from the minister or department.

People with disabilities and their carers are waiting more than 15 weeks for their blue badge to be issued. The department's quiet media statement last week whispered that people can use blue badges dated as far back as April 1, 2016 - as long as a renewal application has been submitted.

That is little comfort to those families who have been waiting since before April, or new applicants.

Constituents continually call me, because they are not clear if they can use disabled parking bays at hospitals.

Recently, I asked the Health Minister if people could use out-of-date badges in all hospital, health centre and trust car parks. He answered: "I'm sure they can." Perhaps if ministers communicated their solutions to badge-users, it would help. The minister must explain what he is doing to resolve the solution, rather than repeating the mantra "working as quickly as possible".

Invest the resources to clear the backlog, minister.

KELLIE ARMSTRONG (ALLIANCE)

MLA for Strangford

Belfast Telegraph

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