Blue Badge rejections
While there are more prosecutions for illegally using Blue Badges for free parking, (More people prosecuted for falsely using blue badges in Sheffield), disabled people are now finding it much more difficult, if not impossible, to get one.
My Freedom of Information requests show that 3,025 people have had their Blue Badge application rejected in Sheffield in the last 32 months. The proportion of rejections has risen from 6 per cent in 2015 to 10 per cent so far this year.
More people have been prosecuted for falsely using blue badges in Sheffield.
Over 60 people have now been successfully prosecuted for using someone else’s blue badge to park for free in Sheffield.
Following a court case, which the Government lost, people with hidden disabilities such as autism may now get a Blue Badge. This is good news. However people with ME, (myalgic encephalomyelitis), for instance, are unlikely to succeed. This is because ME is not considered to be a permanent disability because approximately 5 per cent of sufferers make a recovery.
ME is a serious, disabling and chronic organic, (ie physical not mental), disorder. It has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a neurological illness. Approximately 25 per cent of those affected go on to develop severe ME which is extremely debilitating, often rendering the sufferer completely dependent upon carers for their everyday needs.
The chance of recovery for long-term sufferers is negligible, but they can still be refused a Blue Badge by Sheffield City Council.
The exact cause of ME is uncertain and to date there is no known specific medical diagnostic test to determine or confirm a correct diagnosis nor is there any specific treatment.
In the UK it is believed that about 250,000 suffer from the disorder.
Sheffield City Council should change its approach, assist people with ME and make it easier for them and their carers to park.
Sheffield Green Party, (S2)
Lost track of a pension?
At a time when over half of people in Yorkshire don’t know how much they have in their pots, and nearly one in five have lost track of a pension, reports that the government is planning to ‘kill off’ the long-awaited and much needed pensions dashboard are concerning.
The pensions dashboard should be a one -top shop for people across Sheffield and the UK to see all their pension pots in one place online. The government pledged to implement it by 2019, with MPs from all parties voicing their support. The pensions industry has worked with regulators and technology companies to create a working prototype, but without the government’s continued backing, the dashboard simply can’t succeed, and savers will be left confused as to what pension savings they have and where they are.
There won’t be a central source of data; without legislation many pension providers simply won’t play ball meaning savers will only see some, not all of their pension pots; and the state pension and public pensions may not be included. It would be like trying to use a roadmap that has half the motorways missing.
More than seven in 10 have told The People’s Pension that they want to be able to see all their pensions in one place. The dashboard has real potential to revolutionise retirement planning for millions of people across the UK and we urge the government not to shelve this vital project.
Head of Policy, The People’s Pension
Stocksbridge to Sheffield
While Sheffield struggles with its packed roads and poor transport links, how heartening to read about the Stocksbridge to Sheffield Victoria shuttle plan.
This scheme has been flagged by the Don Valley Railway for years.
With the track having no signalling and the track though curved most of the way but in good condition the maintenance costs would be low.
With one unit Stocksbridge and the Fox Valley could be served.
If the scheme is a success there could be stops at Oughtibridge, Wadsley Bridge and Neepsend, as these would require only one platform.
Although Sheffield Victoria is quite a walk for some city centre locations maybe a shuttle bus could be provided.
Maybe in future it could link to Sheffield Midland via Woodbourn Junction or a new crossover into Nunnery Tram Depot.
The options are endless and maybe not viable.
Anyway good luck Mr Breen and Don Valley Railway and let’s just hope the route isn’t just left to the early evening freight train from Aldwarke Liberty Steelworks to Stocksbridge Liberty Steelworks.
What is the point?
If John Mothersole is saying on Twitter “We haven’t been replacing trees to save money, we have been doing it to have a healthy tree stock for the future”, then the council has learned nothing from the last few years.
The Elliott Report did not say chop down 6000 trees or 17,500 trees as they were mature or over mature.
Healthy trees have ben chopped down to create perfectly straight kerbs.
14 costed solutions in the contract and the council cannot find one to save even one of the threatened trees on Western Road.
What is the point of having an Independent Tree Panel when their recommendations are routinely ignored?
Fulton Road, Sheffield, S6
Gym slip mum
Cher plays Meryl Streep’s mother in the new Mama Mia film, and she’s only three years older than her.
Only in Hollywood, eh?
Chansiri would rob his own grandmother.
J Vintin, Owl