What would Rumpole of the Bailey make of Chester West and Chester Council’s car parking problem?
I used to give long speeches in court.
Were I as litigious as I used to be I wouldn’t be trying to persuade Chester West and Chester Council to do the right thing as you can see from the blog posts linked below. Here’s a draft of the speech I would make though if I that hypothetical situation happened.
Sir/Madam*(delete as applicable), it is obvious from the traffic regulation order starting on page xx of your pack (please refer to Part IV, section 33 of that order) that vehicles displaying a blue badge (or Disabled Person’s Badge as it is referred to in this traffic regulation order) at this car park (and many others in the Chester area run by Chester West and Chester Council) were entitled to 4 hours free parking.
That is the correct legal position.
Over the summer of 2015, Chester West and Chester Council, without paying due regard to The Local Authorities’ Traffic Orders (Exemptions for Disabled Persons) (England) Regulations 2000, advertised a variation to this traffic regulation order.
The effect of that variation was to remove the four hours free parking for disabled persons, but those with a Chester West and Chester blue badge could apply for a microchip to continue free parking as before.
This variation to the traffic regulation order was therefore not lawful as the legislation requires Chester West and Chester to treat all blue badge users equally. It cannot discriminate in favour of its own residents.
As a result of this tangled web of poor corporate governance, my wife, a blue badge user when visiting Chester on Saturday 19th December 2015 was denied the opportunity to park in this car park.
Chester West and Chester Council could’ve quite easily raised the barrier and let her park for four hours, but it chose not to.
Instead one of its employees decided not to act with common sense but instead like a bureaucratic jobsworth.
She has clearly faced discrimination because of her disability.
I have raised this with the Leader of Chester West and Chester Council, her MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People, the Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance and the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing.
You can see the long response received from Cllr Samantha Dixon (Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council) dated 4th January 2016 starting at page xx in your pack. Sadly, whereas her apology is appreciated, her response does not address the issue but