The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We have discontinued our investigation into Mr B’s complaint that the Council refused him a disabled parking badge. The Council has now issued him a badge, so he is no longer suffering any injustice.
- The complainant, whom I refer to as Mr B, complains that the Council refused his application for a disabled parking badge (blue badge). He says the Council did not properly take his medical evidence into account.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information from Mr B and the Council. Both parties had an opportunity to comment on my draft decision. I considered any comments received before making a final decision.
What I found
- Mr B complained to us in May 2021, saying the Council had refused his blue badge application. He described his physical conditions and said they cause him severe pain and, consequently, great difficulty walking. He said the Council failed to consider his medical evidence and made the wrong decision.
- In July the Council reconsidered Mr B’s application and decided the evidence he provided did, in fact, justify a blue badge. However, it says it has not seen evidence that his condition is long-term, so it has issued the badge for one year instead of the usual three.
- This means Mr B is no longer suffering any injustice from the Council’s original refusal and it would not be proportionate to continue with my investigation.
- If, in July 2022, the Council decides Mr B should no longer have a blue badge,
Mr B can challenge that decision and approach the Ombudsman again if he wishes.
- I have discontinued my investigation. The Council has now issued a blue badge to Mr B, so he is no longer suffering any injustice.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman