The Vale of Glamorgan Council has quickly responded to the plight of disabled Penarth schoolgirl Emelene Horton – which was highlighted by PDN on Wednesday September 20th.
Emelene’s father – well known Penarth retailer Justin Horton of “Funky Monkey”childrens’ clothing – had b een told he could have to wait three years for a disabled parking space to be markedf up outside his home in Queen Road – ebven though the council had already accepted the case for the installation.
Now – following the media publicity – the chairman of the Conservative-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council – Cllr John Thomas – has written personally to Mr Horton explaining the problems faced by the council and told him that there is to be an “immediate increase” in the budget for disabled parking bays – which should allow Mr Horton’s space to be provided much sooner,
This is the text of Cllr Thomas’s letter to Mr Horton:-
Dear Mr Horton
The concerns that you have raised recently via the media have been brought to my attention. I wanted to write to you as Leader of the Council to explain the position and to advise of an intended course of action.
Firstly, I wanted to make you aware that the Vale of Glamorgan Council, unlike a number of other Councils in Wales, operates an ‘Individual Disabled Persons Parking Bay’ Scheme, where Vale residents can apply to have a disabled parking bay installed close to their property. Many other Councils do not provide this service, but we do. Currently our budget permits the installation of 10 disabled bays per year and it is my understanding that your case was part of a wider waiting list. Based on current programming, implementation was likely in the 2019/20 financial year.
There is a lengthy legal process involved in the installation of the bays but we seek to install them within 12 to 18 months of application. I was concerned to find that our current waiting time exceeds this, which can clearly be distressing to individual families. Unfortunately, this is a reflection of the pressure on all budgets across the Council and the fact that different priority areas have to compete for ever-reducing budgets. However, I remain concerned at the backlogand I appreciate fully the difference the provision of such spaces can make to people’s everyday lives. As a result,I can advise that I have agreed to supplement the disabled parking bay budget with other highway funding to install a greater number of bays in this financial year (2017/18). It is hoped that this will benefit all families currently waiting for disabled bay provision, including yourselves.
Officers will be in contact with you to outline in greater detail a revised timescale for implementing the bay that you are seeking. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me via my PA who’s details are below.
Councillor John Thomas”
Leader of the Council