I am stressed beyond compare. Yesterday, I was stuck in a waste-of-time meeting all morning and I missed an important request from ITV Wales to be interviewed today for my opinions on the scandalous proposal by Wrexham council to introduce charges for Blue Badge car parking in the town centre.
More on this story can be read here:
Unfortunately, ITV Wales missed the chance to speak to me, but they are not going to stop me from having my say on this blog and in letters to the local and national press.
Disabled people have been unfairly targeted by penny pinching local authorities and government for too long now. Wrexham council stand to make £25,000 per annum by introducing such charges to Blue Badge holders. This is a miniscule amount in the grand scheme of things, as it is not even as much as a weekly salary for a decent Premier League football player.
It will only serve to increase isolation and segregation. Many disabled people are already struggling to make ends meet and will be unable to afford extra parking charges. As far as I know, parking charges do not apply to the Chief Executive or his official minions at the council. Equality is a distant dream…
I would also like to remind the council of their legal duties under the Equality Act to avoid disproportionate impact through equality impact assessments. There are also numerous sources of information which tell us that disabled people are being hit disproportionately through ideological austerity, including reports from the European Human Rights Commission.
I, for one, would refuse on principle to pay for Blue Badge parking for the same reason I refuse to pay for the Care Call System that I used to have in my home. I needed this system due to my progressive, genetic disability, but I can no longer access this service as Wrexham Council unfairly decided to charge for a service that they know I need. Since having Care Call uninstalled I have had no option but to call the costly ambulance service on two occasions during the night time when I receive zero care or support.
Wrexham council have also threatened me with a reduction in my care hours should we lose the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG). This grant pays for my package of care along with Direct Payments from the council. Back in 2015, I was told that without WILG my hours of care and support would reduce from an already inadequate 86.5 hours per week to a totally useless 31 hours.
The actions of our Tory/Independent council deserve to be shared. You need to know what a repressive shower you’ve unwittingly elected and should not be distracted by new developments such as the soon-to-be-opened Arts Hub, while the homes and hungry freeze on our streets.
In the meantime, we can only keep fighting because at the end of the day, this is our multicultural town and community…