Hundreds of people have signed a petition against plans to charge disabled people for parking.

Wrexham Council plans to bring charges for blue badge holders in line with other charges for all of its car parks across the council.

Bosses say it will help bring in £25,000 to boost council coffers.

But campaigner Nathan Lee Davies blasted the move as “absurd” and accused those who came up with the proposal of lacking compassion.

He said: “I am shocked and appalled, as a person with significant disabilities myself, to learn that Wrexham Council may well be looking to introduce car parking charges for people who hold a blue badge.

“I note that this will apparently save £25,000. I believe this to be an absurd target for council cuts, and an ideological/political decision as opposed to one of sound judgement.

“Why would the proposal even get to this stage? Have Wrexham Council got absolutely no compassion or, just from their point of view alone, PR skills?

“What does this say as a symbolic statement if Wrexham Council choose to go ahead? I am beyond embarrassed that I have to even start such a petition.

”I rely heavily on facilities within the community, often ones where car parking charges would apply.

”This would mean potentially not being able to do the limited things I can now, because of a potential decision made to start charging.

”But, of course, this is not just about me – this is about the many, many people this proposed policy will impact on.

”That these proposals also include country parks, where I and others rarely get to for a much-needed mental break, is also very insensitive and not well thought-out at all.”

The authority also plans to introduce a £1 per day charge at its country parks, which is estimated to raise about £47,000 per year.

So far, more than 700 people have signed Mr Davies’ petition.

Last week, Cllr David A. Bithell told the Leader: “We are not making a profit. That money would go back into our budget.

“If we don’t introduce these charges, the reality is there would be an impact on frontline services.

“These measures will reduce the risk of that in the environment department.

“We have spent quite a lot of money upgrading machines in all our car parks so you can pay by card, cash or mobile phone and these machines will be going into country parks as well.

“I think it is important to note that being disabled is not about the ability to pay, it is about access and making sure the space is adequate for people with mobility issues to get in and out of their vehicle.”

The measure is part of the authority’s proposed budget savings for 2018/19 and 2019/20, during which it needs to cut about £13 million.

But a statutory consultation is needed before the measures could be adopted.

The proposals were included in the authority’s difficult decisions consultation and council bosses
say the responses received were largely supportive.

Plans are also afoot to introduce charging for elected members and council staff, though that would be considered an internal matter and therefore no wider consultation is needed to implement them.

Executive board members could vote to approve the parking charge consultation when they meet at the Guildhall today from 10am.

To view the petition, go to and search for Wrexham Council.

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