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Read this if you’ve been refused a disabled parking bay by Tower Hamlets Council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:44 29 October 2020

Tower Hamlets Council's entrance for disabled... but authority criticised by Ombudsman for refusing a disabled parking bay. Picture: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council's entrance for disabled... but authority criticised by Ombudsman for refusing a disabled parking bay. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

A young autistic boy and his family were denied a parking bay outside their house by Tower Hamlets Council despite having the highest rate of disability, the Local Government Ombudsman has found.

Just a simple diasbled parking bay... but the council said 'no'. Picture: GoogleJust a simple diasbled parking bay... but the council said 'no'. Picture: Google

The council applied the rules “too rigidly” when considering the family’s application.

But the authority has since agreed to create the bay—and also re-examine its parking bay policy affecting all applicants over the past year.

That means the town hall is now having to contact anyone refused a disabled parking bay in the last 12 months to tell them about the changes.

The boy, who is primary school age, has physical conditions and severe behavioural problems which mean he sometimes has to use a wheelchair, Ombudsman investigators found. His needs were felt by an assessor to be among the highest they had seen.

“The criteria for a parking bay shouldn’t be applied so rigidly,” Ombudsman Michael King said. “I hope the actions I have recommended will ensure applications will be considered more holistically in future.”

Tower Hamlets investigations into housing fraud. Picture: Mike BrookeTower Hamlets investigations into housing fraud. Picture: Mike Brooke

The town hall has now agreed to create a parking bay for the family and to amend its rigid policy, following the ruling.

It is to write to other people who have been refused bays to tell them about the changes.

The family pleaded with the council that they needed to park outside their house because of boy’s the medical conditions. The youngster was unaware of dangers and would run out into the road, or have “meltdowns” if he couldn’t see the front door from the car or see a straight line from the house to the car.

The investigation found the council at fault for not giving the family clear reasons when it denied a Blue Badge. The family could have used that information to appeal had the council done so.

The family is finally getting the parking bay outside their home they asked for, plus £1,000 compensation “to reflect the significant distress caused by the delay” — and the council saying sorry.

A town hall spokesman told the East London Advertiser: “We are sorry for the distress the family experienced during their application and accept their need for a parking bay. We are also reviewing our policies to ensure thorough consideration and clear communication.”

It was a result for the family, one of 11,000 complaints the Ombudsman free service resolves every year. Investigations are in private without identity, while decisions are published online.


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