Red light shone on Moray’s blue badge backlog

Blue badge system in Moray needed cash injection
Blue badge system in Moray needed cash injection

A SEVERE BACKLOG in approving applications by disabled motorists or their carers for special parking permits through the ‘blue badge’ system has sparked action from Moray Councillors.

During a busy round of decisions made in the council chamber last week, Councillors were advised that currently Moray has a backlog of 307 applications awaiting assessment for blue badges.

According to an official report that was a situation that would not improve unless action was taken, with Councillors being asked to approve funding of £65,000 to allow a new occupational therapist to oversee the system in Moray and speed up the assessment process.

“Without this additional resource the waiting list is just going to get bigger and it will result in further dissatisfaction from individual applying,” the report said, adding: “It is not acceptable to be working at the current levels of service and Moray residents in need of this service should not be expected to wait six months for it.”

The backlog is the result of changes by the Scottish Government two years ago that shifted responsibility for the blue badge scheme from GP surgeries to occupational therapists, and while the Scottish Government provided over £13,000 in funding that has not proved sufficient.

Councillors agreed that the funding could be allocated from an existing budget that deals with demographic increases in older people requiring care services, with the hope that the backlog will be cleared inside four months.