A stroke survivor who needs a stick to walk and struggles getting in and out of his car has hit out at the county council for taking his blue badge away from him.
Tim Davis, from Warwick, suffered a stroke in 2013, which left him with a pronounced limp and a weak left side.
After being in hospital for a couple of months the Stroke Association helped Tim get a blue disabled badge.
The 57-year-old said: “The badge enabled me to park close to shops and on double yellow lines when needed. I had it for three years but it expired in October 2016. Warwickshire County Council contacted me for a reassessment and they decided I no longer met the criteria for a badge.
“There has been no change to my condition but they took the badge off me.
“I know others who have had strokes and have been able to get badges. One person in Newcastle, who had a similar stroke as me and who has similar disabilities as me, had his blue badge reinstated.”
By being able to park in a disabled space, it gave Tim the space he needed to open his car door completely so he could get out of the car.
He said: “The spaces give extra room around the car and I use a stick when walking, which I have in my right hand meaning I can’t carry anything. Apparently if you have difficulty getting in and out of a car and can’t carry anything you no longer meet the criteria.
“If you are stroke survivor in Warwickshire don’t go to get a blue badge because you’ve got to be more disabled than having a stroke.
“The badge is helpful to lead an independent life.”
Tim, who was born and raised in Kenilworth, appealed to the local ombudsman in the hopes of overturning the council’s decision.
But he added: “They upheld the council’s decision. They took eight months to come back to me but it took the council 20 minutes to decide not to give me a blue badge. I haven’t had my badge since October and it has had an impact on my life. Now when I go shopping I take a rucksack on my back and get the cashiers to put my items in the bag. This means I can’t do a big shop.
“The council are denying stroke survivors blue badges.”
A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: “It is the policy of Warwickshire County Council not to comment on individual cases. Customer’s applications for disabled parking badges are based on an assessment of their mobility, and the degree of difficulty they have in walking: the guidance and criteria for eligibility on this is set nationally.
“Customers make a form-based application, which dependent on the answers provided may have been followed up by a face-to-face assessment with an occupational therapist.
“The decision to award or refuse a badge is based on the information received during this assessment in relation to mobility and how that is impacted by their medical conditions.
“If a customer feels their condition has changed they are welcome to apply again.”