Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Mark Kenyon has discovered that Oldham Council’s budget for disabled parking spaces is only enough to provide five this year, even though the Council now has a backlog of 122 residents waiting, after none were provided last year.
He said: “Residents should be told what is going on when they are applying. At this rate, it would be over 20 years before the people currently on the list would get a parking space.
“The cost of getting a space put in is £3,000 per space. If it costs this much, a budget of £15,000 for the year really is a drop in the ocean. We either need to get them done for less, or get realistic about how much we would actually need to spent.”
The waiting list is only getting longer at the moment, with approval still needed for an updated policy on applications.
Local councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “Budgets are tight, but there is a gulf between what is needed and how we are responding. There are always going to be more demands for money than resources, but when there is such a clear issue as this we need to talk to residents openly and clearly.
“It is no wonder that people get frustrated with our services when they disappear into a black hole of a waiting list like this.
“National funding for councils has been cut severely, and these are the sort of services which are losing out because of it. But Oldham Council needs to tell disabled residents what is happening, and not let them think that they are in a waiting list to get a parking space, when it is not remotely realistic.”
Mark Kenyon continued: “This is not a good enough service for residents. We need a good dose of honesty and realism about this. This is a failure for the residents in our community who are most in need of our support.”