After recently awarding themselves with an 11% pay rise and ensuring that their own parking remains free of charge, Wrexham County Borough Councillors have again decided to resume their onslaught upon the disabled in our society.
The controversial plans were the subject of a furious public backlash and a petition, set up by the indefatigable disabilities campaigner Nathan Lee Jones, reached 1300 signatures. The WCBC Labour Group of Councillors submitted a notice of call in against the Executive Board decision forcing it to go before a scrutiny committee. Unfortunately the Tory/Independent majority on the committee voted in favour of instating the charges for blue badge holders across all WCBC car parks. The proposed revenue of this is £25,000 though cost are expected to reach £50,000 to implement it, which incidentally is how much the it will cost for the pay rises for the senior members of our Tory/Independent council.
Clwyd South Labour MP Susan Elan Jones expressed her disappointment in the council decision, “My first job in the voluntary sector was with a disability charity and I feel strongly that government at all levels should support people with disabilities to lead independent lives. Sadly, Wrexham Council’s decision here has failed to do that”.
County Councillor for Cefn, Derek Wright, was amongst the Labour Group signatories to oppose this, “I hope now that the EBI Scrutiny Committee rejected sending the item on Blue badge Holders paying for parking and charging for parking at our Country Parks back to the Executive Board, still means WCBC will allow the near 9000 Blue Badge Holders in the County to have their say in the consultation. I also hope that charging for parking at the Country Parks does not have a detrimental effect on the visitors enjoying these wonderful places, which have always been free of charge to everyone”.
This issue will now go before full council on 21st of February.
We, at Clwyd South CLP, are calling upon all WCBC councillors to follow the lead of the Labour Group and to stop with these attacks on the disabled and to begin to find innovative solutions to a government imposed austerity ideology.