Decision details

(FCS) Blue Badge Discretionary Enforcement Arrangement

Decision Maker: Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


That the Blue Badge discretionary enforcement arrangement in place until 31 July 2021, continues indefinitely (subject to this arrangement remaining compliant with the local authority  responsibilities set by the Department for Transport) . 







Date of Decision:


14 July 2021

Decision Maker:

(Including Job Title)


Judith Badger

Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services

Specific Delegation:

(If any)



Brief Description of Decision:



The Department for Transport (DfT) is responsible for the legislation that sets out the framework for the Blue Badge (Disabled Persons’ Parking) scheme. The Council is responsible for the day-to-day administration and enforcement of the scheme.


Effective  from 30 August 2019, the DfT introduced a number of legislative changes to the Blue Badge parking scheme; requiring the Council to change its administrative processes and applicants to provide more detailed and descriptive responses. The time it can take for some applicants to obtain the newly required documentation and evidence can create anxiety for existing Blue Badge holders who now have to reapply rather than renew their Blue Badge when it expires.


In November 2019 the Council took steps to mitigate the adverse impact this might otherwise have on existing Blue Badge holders and implemented a permissible local discretionary arrangement.  The arrangement was reviewed in September 2020 and a continuation of the discretionary arrangement approved by SLT Gold until 31st July 2021.


Following a further review in June 2021 it was agreed that the discretionary enforcement arrangement should continue indefinitely whereby:


·       the enforcement team are instructed to avoid issuing a PCN purely on the grounds of an expired blue badge being displayed; subject to the displayed badge being no more than three months out of date.

·       this is a local discretionary arrangement which only applies to use of an expired Blue Badge within the Rotherham Borough and only when using ‘on street’ parking or when parked in a Council owned car park.

·       the arrangement will be kept under regular review to ensure continued compliance with the Council responsibilities as set out by the DfT


Reasons for the Decision:



·       The rationale put forward in October 2020 to support the recommendation for the local discretionary enforcement arrangement remains valid. Customers continue to experience delays when trying to acquire evidence/professional input and there is no current indication that the DfT plan to introduce any new and/or significant changes to the scheme that might alleviate/remove these challenges.


·       The Council can legally apply leniency for existing blue badge holders and the three-month grace period does not appear to contravene any legislation or guidance.


·       The current discretionary arrangement provides a temporary and local extension of three months beyond the date of an expired Blue Badge. Where there are delays in obtaining information and evidence, this grace period helps minimise the impact any delay might otherwise have on the customer and their ability to make an essential journey. It is considered that a three month grace period is sufficient but this will be kept under review.


·       The Parking Services Manager considers that the continuation of this arrangement presents low potential risk of abuse; but this will be kept under review.


Details of alternative options considered and rejected:


An option to withdraw the local discretionary arrangement was considered and rejected on the basis that:


·       There is no indication that the DfT plan to introduce any new and/or significant changes to the scheme that would change the information/evidence the Council needs customers to provide and the associated timescales.

·       Customers continue to report difficulties/delays when trying to obtain the appropriate information/evidence to support their application and the varying nature of individual health conditions mean such delays are always likely to occur for some people. Whilst it is the customers’ responsibility to provide the Council with this information, it can be difficult for applicants to secure an appointment with their health professional.

·       If the 3 month grace period for existing Blue Badge holders is removed, those  customers with an expired badge who are awaiting an award decision are likely to be unable to undertake essential journeys because they would not be able to park close enough to their destination and/or make use of wide bays to help them exit/enter the vehicle.

In view of all of the above, it is considered highly probable that removing the current discretionary arrangement would immediately reintroduce similar issues to those first experienced in September and October 2019 before the local parking enforcement arrangement was applied.  ie. limit the ability of some residents to make essential journeys, increased customer anxiety and a greater number of complaints.

Conflicts of interest declared by any Executive Member consulted by the decision maker which relates to the decision:

No conflicts of interest

Dispensations Granted:

(If any)




Reports or parts of reports considered

Briefing Paper:

Blue Badge Parking Scheme – Review of Enforcement Arrangements


I certify that this is a true record of the executive decision in relation to Blue Badge Enforcement Arrangements






Signed by the Decision Maker                                    


Dated:          14 July 2021


Name:          Judith Badger

Job Title:     Strategic Director, Finance and Customer Services



Publication date: 16/07/2021

Date of decision: 14/07/2021

Accompanying Documents: