Brighton MP's bill to be debated tomorrow

Posted On 05 Jul 2012 at 11:58 pm

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby will try to change the law tomorrow (Friday 6 July).

The Conservative MP is asking the House of Commons to back his private member’s bill to clamp down on the abuse of disabled people’s blue badges.

He said that his Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges Bill would make it easier for the disabled to find parking places by making it harder for people to commit blue badge fraud.

Mr Kirby said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to present my bill to the house in more detail and hope many of my colleagues will join the discussion.

“My bill seeks to make life easier for disabled residents up and down the country who currently experience unnecessary difficulties in finding appropriate parking due to the inconsiderate actions of those who fraudulently use blue badges.”

He said that the bill had already gained cross-party support from MPs such the former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett and the Eastbourne Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd.

He added that the National Fraud Authority had estimated that the abuse of blue badges was costing councils up to £46 million a year.

Disability groups and councils across the country have given their backing to Mr Kirby’s bill.

Supporters include Manchester City Council, East Cheshire Council, Sussex Roamability, Disability NorthDisability Action Yorkshire and the Spinal Injuries Association.

Mr Kirby said: “I am pleased that so many disability groups and local authorities have given their backing to my bill.

“These organisations represent a substantial number of disabled people across the length and breadth of the country who could benefit from this bill.”

Among other measures, councils would be able to recover badges that have been cancelled, have expired, are misused by a third party or are fake.

And ambiguity would be removed from existing offences so that it was clear that it is an offence to use a badge that should have been returned to the issuing authority.

The new powers in the bill will give councils the ability to undertake more effective enforcement activity should they wish to do so.

Additionally, eligibility for a badge will be extended to servicemen and their families who live on British bases abroad but who meet the qualifying criteria for a badge.


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