Bosses criticised over parking plea
A mum has criticised parking bosses because she cannot get a temporary disabled sticker for her car while her six-year-old son is confined to a wheelchair.
Six-year-old Albert Abel has had to have an operation to correct the alignment of his foot which means he cannot walk.
His mum, Nicky Goodall, said it is impossible to find normal parking spaces that are wide enough when they travel into in Market Harborough.
She said: "Manoeuvring the wheelchair out of the car and getting Albert into it is virtually impossible if the car parks are busy, as there's not enough room with a normal bay.
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"Albert has undergone several procedures to straighten his foot during his six years, this being the major procedure out of them all and it will be at least six weeks before he is able to walk.
"I don't want to use a disabled bay without permission."
Access to those bays is reserved for drivers who have a blue badge. She has asked if it would be possible to get a temporary blue badge to last the six weeks her son is off his feet.
She was told it was a national scheme administered by County Hall and no temporary badges were available.
She said: "How difficult would it be for Harborough District Council to issue a laminated notice I can put in my windscreen with my registration number?"
Harborough disabled access campaigner Mike Cheeseman said he sympathised with Ms Goodall's plight. Mr Cheesman, who is a blue badge holder, said: "I am not sure a local badge scheme could be devised that would not be abused. "There is a shortage of spaces for disabled people in the town.
"I often see blue badge holders using the disabled spaces when they do not need to."
A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council confirmed there were no temporary blue badges. A spokesman said: "There is no power to issue a blue badge in respect of temporary disabilities."
However, county councillor Blake Pain said: "It appears County Hall, following a debate in Parliament in November, may have discretionary powers to set up a scheme to cover temporary disability. I shall be talking with our highways department to see what can be done."