I AM writing in reply to Mrs Merifield’s letter about the abuse of the Blue Badge.
To help stop the abuse of the Blue Badge system, eligibility has been tightened and a person’s walking has to be severely affected in order to qualify. An independent assessment of a person’s mobility is made and occupational therapists rather than general practitioners now do the assessment.
In her letter Mrs Merifield refers to ‘being subjected to an intrusive interview at Bexhill by a male young enough to be my grandson’. I have genuine difficulty with the relevance of someone’s age to her interview and if I was a young person I would be offended by her remarks. If she was interviewed by an occupational therapist they would have trained for three years and have a degree. She speaks of the voluntary service she has done which although creditable does not give her eligibility for a Blue Badge. It is only her medical condition which is the deciding factor.
I agree with Mrs Merifield that there is abuse of the system and that does need to be enforced. However I disagree with her when she includes young people in abusing the system. In my experience it is middle-aged people together with people in my age group, the over 65s who seem to abuse the system.
Until money is spent on enforcement people will continue to abuse the system as I see so often when travelling with my 95-year-old mother, who has a Blue Badge.
Mrs J Seeley