Northern Ireland Assembly
Committee presses Department on Blue Badge backlog
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Infrastructure has pressed the Department on the way they are reducing the Blue Badge backlog at their recent meeting in Enniskillen.
Chairperson of the Committee William Humphrey MLA said: "My Committee takes the problems with issuing Blue Badges very seriously and we are pleased that our concerns have stimulated the Department to address them.
"Currently there are 2795 applications that have not been processed, which represents a fall of 601 since 26 September—the Committee is pleased that the Department is finally getting to grips with the problem.
"We are also encouraged by the Department's action in employing extra staff to process this backlog; currently there are six civil servants and seven agency staff, with another agency employee starting this week.
"My Committee has noted in earlier investigations, that this backlog has caused serious problems for those with mobility problems and has caused needless anxiety for those affected. We have agreed with the Department that it will provide us with regular updates on the way that the Blue Badge backlog is decreasing. Department officials have also agreed to give the Committee updates on options to change the Blue Badge Scheme legislation which would allow those with life-long mobility issues to retain their badges for more than three years.
"We believe that the actions we have taken and those that the Department has agreed to will provide a solution to this situation. We are also determined to keep this issue at the forefront of our concerns to ensure that this situation is resolved and does not happen in the future."
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