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Will 769 Signatures Make a Difference?

June 25, 2010 11:25 AM
Wheelchair user signing petition

Wheelchair users supported the petition run by Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats

Epsom & Ewell Lib Dems petition against Blue Badge charges forms part of a report to be debated at a meeting of the Environment Committee on 30th June. This meeting is open to the public and starts at 7.30 at the Town Hall.

The report accompanying the item on Blue Badge charging presents various options but the key change is that a "free hour" suggestion made by ruling RA councillors (and which was widely assumed to mean a free-first-hour) has now become "free after the first hour" meaning that there is no chance of avoiding being charged. According to the statistics presented within the report, 82% of Blue Badge holders would be charged and then benefit from free parking after the first hour since only 18% stay for less than an hour. With spaces at a premium and support for more spaces, particularly in the Ashley Centre car park, Epsom & Ewell stands out amongst Surrey boroughs in its proposed charging regime.

Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats remain committed to opposing charges for Blue Badge holders. Options to balance the budget without Blue Badge charging remain : one such item is number 3 on the Environment Committee agenda, another is tabled within the Strategy & Resources agenda meeting the previous evening and involves reducing "servicing" costs to councillors. Both have been brought forward to the council by Liberal Democrat councillors.

Lib Dems also wanted greater emphasis on encouraging traders and businesses to use the council's recycling service which would generate revenue.