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Mother’s bid for disabled badge for son backed by MP

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 July 2011

Cobey Matthews

Cobey Matthews

Archant

An MP is backing a desperate mother’s bid to get a parking permit so she can safely get her disabled son to doctor’s appointments.

Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said Elisha Nicholls appears to be a “prime candidate” for a Blue Badge and has written to Tower Hamlets Council’s mobility department to pressurise them into reassessing her case.

Ms Nicolls’ four-year-old son Cobey Matthews has to undergo serial casting on his legs for weeks at a time because his feet roll in and calves tighten up.

She said she regularly has to carry him to doctor’s and hospital appointments but his four-and-a-half-stone weight makes it difficult.

His physiotherapist wrote to the council to recommend a parking permit but the council insists he does not fulfill the criteria.

Now Mr Fitzpatrick is hoping his intervention will make the mobility team look at the case again.

He said: “I am always moved and impressed by those who do their very best to battle against great odds, and Miss Nicholls clearly falls into that category.

“Cobey has multiple health problems, and his mother cares for him as a single parent, as all her family lives in Liverpool and Cobey’s father lives abroad.

“Given these factors, Miss Nichols appears a prime candidate for a Blue Badge, in order to make life a little easier for herself and Cobey.”

Cobey, who also has allergies and developmental problems, was assessed inside a building earlier this year.

Ms Nicholls, of Nelson Walk, Bow says she was told by the council she cannot appeal against the decision.

She said: “I think it’s rude to say I don’t have a right to appeal. Every person disability affects them differently and Cobey is virtually unable to walk, which is in the criteria.”

The council said it is advising Ms Nicholls to apply for the Disability Living Allowance for Cobey as this would make him eligible for a badge.

a spokeswoman said: “We understand the difficulties that Ms Nicholls is facing and are sympathetic to her situation. However the criteria for issuing the European Disabled Person’s Blue Badge are legally binding and are not negotiable. We have advised Ms Nicholls of alternative options that are available to her.”

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