So, David Cameron, your cuts won’t hurt disabled children?

Posted on Sep 14, 2011 | 6 comments

Well, what of their families then?

Cuts to local councils make our lives ever more challenging. Here is a simple story to help illustrate this. One, I think, even Tory ministers can understand.

Several months ago, we applied for a disabled parking spot to be placed outside our flat. Our road is one of the few ones near the shops that isn’t permit parking only. It crowds very quickly with cars.

May is 2 1/2 now. She is heavy and can’t support her own weight. Most days, I have to park far down the road and carry her across the street and into our house. Along the way, I have to fiddle in my bag for the keys, open the door and climb a couple of flights of stairs, all while holding her.

We received a letter about a month after we applied saying that due to financial constraints, they wouldn’t be able to investigate our request until September and put in the space before December.

That was bad enough. Today I opened a new letter. It’s worse:

Unfortunately due to the delays caused by the financial diffculties the Council has recently faced the estimated timeframe for the installation of your Disabled Parking Place has had to be adjusted… we are due to begin work on this batch in December 2011… it takes a minimum of 3 months to introduce a Disabled Parking Place and we estimate that the eariliest date the installation of the Diasbled Parking Place you have applied for shall be March 2012.

Almost a year before someone paints some lines on the road outside our house?

And, that’s the “earliest” that Lambeth imagine this issue will be resolved. May will be three years old then, and heavy. She is completely disabled. She can’t even throw an arm over my shoulders. How long before it is completely unfeasible for a small woman such as myself to carry her down the road? Do we have to be completely housebound before someone in Lambeth or the government see this is an irresponsible way to manage disabled parking?

6 Comments

  1. That is awful. Plus will other handicapped drivers be able to park there as well if it is a busy street and close to the shops? Or do they label it something different just for you?

  2. What are you expected to do with Ieuan while you get May in the house?I have never heard anything so ridiculous.Bureaucracy gone mad.I should contact your local councillor and your MPAsk to see someone and take May with you so they can actually see your problem..I should contact the local paper or national paper.Shame them!!In the meantime I’d acquire a few cones and put them in front of the house.

  3. Oh that’s dreadful :-( Shame on them.

  4. Grrrr……bloody red tape :(

  5. From you we get not only a picture of parenting a child with special needs but a look at how different things can be between the U.S. and U.K. I’m not sure a designated on street, accessible parking place in or near a private residence is even a possibility where I live in the U.S. I can hear me making the ask and some bureaucrat suggesting we move (and me spending some time in adult time out–better known as jail). Did you just apply, write a letter or call? An in person visit may make it harder to brush off the woman with 2 kids that is standing right there.

    In a glass half full way, hold on to the hope and know that you will have a parking option soon. A disabled spot near shops may often be filled at the very times you need it most. I too am wondering that once the spot is designated, will it be open for anyone to use or just your family with something like a numbered permit? .

    • Thanks for this Anne – and it is good to get a little world-wide perspective on the issue. The space would be for any disabled person to use. We have special badges on our cars that designate it. You are right though – people park in disabled spots all the time. The point shouldn’t be though – well, it is difficult to park anywhere, why shouldn’t your home be different. The point should be that enabling disabled people to move freely, allows them to be more independent and less dependent on the State. Surely, that saves money? It could in the States too – how unfortunate that it is not.

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