Local MP steps up fight for blue badge for 79 year old East Finchley resident

Lynne Featherstone MP has this week stepped up her effort to help a 79 year old lady from East Finchley who cannot carry shopping for more than a few yards get her disabled parking badge reinstated.

Ms Betty Fox did not get her blue badge renewed a year ago, despite suffering from a medical problem with her arms, which means she can only carry one bag of shopping for a few yards without stopping. East Finchley who cannot carry shopping for more than a few yards get her disabled parking badge reinstated.

With parking often being hard to find, and far from the food shop, Ms Fox often has to walk long distances with her weekly shopping, going back several times as she can only carry one bag at a time. Afterwards, she often suffers severe pain in her arms.

Despite Ms Fox’s consultant explaining to Haringey Parking Services that this continued strain could lead to her developing lymphoedema, a disabling and painful condition which causes permanent damage to her arms, her application for a badge was refused.

The Parking Services, who do not use any staff with medical expertise when assessing blue badge applications, asked Ms Fox to walk around a room a few times at her assessment. Ms Fox, who has no problem walking, asked if she could walk with bags of shopping to demonstrate the problem. The Council refused her this, and refused her the badge on the basis that she could walk around the room.

Lynne Featherstone MP, who has written on Ms Fox’s behalf on many occasions, has now stepped up her efforts with a strongly worded letter to the Council, demanding that they use common sense and look at Ms Fox’s wider case instead of just assessing by narrow criteria. If that fails, Ms Featherstone will demand a meeting with the Council to fight Ms Fox’s corner.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“This is a dreadful case. Having met with Ms Fox on many occasions, and having fought her corner for a year now, I don’t think there’s any doubt that she should get the badge renewed.

“There was no justification for taking it away in the first place, and their tick box approach to giving out permits is frankly ridiculous. If they just used common sense, they would grant her the blue badge and make her life so much easier.”

Ms Betty Fox adds:

“It was really difficult to lose the blue badge, and now I’ve been fighting for a year to get it back. In the meantime my arms are getting worse, and I really fear that having to carry my shopping so far will mean that the damage will soon be irreversible.

“The council did say that if I got lymphoedema they would most likely grant me the badge. What they haven’t thought about is what that would do to my quality of life. Getting the blue badge would make such a huge difference to my life and I hope that common sense will soon win out.”