Well known Penarth retailer Justin Horton has been told by the Vale of Glamorgan Council that there could be a wait of up to 3 years – until 2020 – for a designated disabled parking space to be installed outside his terraced home in Queen’s Road.
The parking space was applied for to help the family cope with the needs of their disabled schoolgirl-daughter Emelene who requires sophisticated mobility equipment .
When Mr Horton made his request in April [to the then Labour-controlled Vale Council] – officials told him that it had been accepted …. but added that there could be a wait of up to 3 years as only 10 such bays are budgeted for in each financial year.
Mr Horton – who runs the popular Funky Monkey children’s clothing store in Penarth Town Centre – has told MediaWales that his 7-year-old daughter could be aged 10 by the time the necessary disabled-parking markings and signage are installed.
He stresses that he’s not trying to jump the queue – just publicly drawing attention to long wait faced – all over the Vale – by disabled people.
The Vale Council spokesman is quoted as saying “Every application is a high priority for those concerned and so while we have great sympathy with the family’s circumstances we are not able to prioritise individual cases.To do so would require our staff to undertake a subjective analysis of each application and more importantly would unfairly raise expectations for other applicants who felt they had equally strong cases for a priority need. We therefore implement all approved applications in the order in which they are received, something which was explained to the family at the time.”
The Vale Council also points out that there is a “lengthy legal process” involved in the installation of the disabled bays but that are normally installed “within 12 to 18 months of application”. As the current waiting time now exceeds this, the council is “looking to supplement the disabled parking bay budget with other highway funding to install a greater number of bays in 2017”.