UNOFFICIAL BLUE BADGE APPLICATION SITE CLOSED DOWN…….SOUTHWARK GETS RECORD NUMBERS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL APPLICATIONS……..BROMLEY COUNCIL VOTE ON EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERSHIP……”MAYOR’S SPECIAL CONSTABLE PLEDGE IN TATTERS” – LABOUR
UNOFFICIAL BLUE BADGE APPLICATION SITE CLOSED DOWN
Vulnerable drivers are being urged to remain vigilant to the threat of websites that promise to ease the blue badge application process but leave their clients high and dry, and out of pocket.
The warning comes in the wake of news that one such site has been closed down after conning disabled motorists into believing that it offered a bespoke service to help clients apply online for a blue badge.
Authorities became aware of the unofficial site – http://bluebadgeonline.org – following a number of complaints from disgruntled motorists who had handed over £49 and not received the service they had expected.
“The site is one of a number that have been identified in recent years, and eventually closed down. In each case, they have failed to provide the service that customers paid for, did not capture sufficient data to submit a proper application, did not pass on the customers’ information, and left the customers out of pocket” said a council spokesman.
“The council’s travel services team, which oversees the blue badge scheme in Croydon, advises that only the official website – www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge – should be used, where applications are subject to a £10 administration charge only if approved.”
Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice Cllr Mark Watson said: “It’s important that people realise that this site, and other similar unofficial sites, should not be patronised.
“While they appear to be able to smooth the application process, in reality they’re doing no such thing, and they’re charging an extortionate price for what is often an unsuccessful application.
“Applications for a disabled parking permit should be made only via the official site – it’s the simpler, and far less expensive, option.”
Anybody becoming aware of an unofficial website offering paid-for assistance with an application is asked to email details of the site to firstname.lastname@example.org (Source: Croydon council press release)
SOUTHWARK GETS RECORD NUMBERS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL APPLICATIONS
Record numbers of applications for secondary school places have been received in Southwark this year.
“Despite this unprecedented pressure on places, Southwark council has found secondary school places for all applicants” says a council statement.
The majority of pupils – 2,639 (92.4 per cent) – received a secondary school place of their preference, and the remaining 218 families have been allocated an alternative school place.”
Families who were allocated an alternative school have been sent information on how to contact the council if they want to raise any queries or discuss their options directly with an admissions officer.
Southwark’s cabinet member for children and schools Cllr Victoria Mills said: “This year we were looking at record numbers of applications and this trend is set to continue.
“Despite us working closely with our schools to open a new school and to expand existing schools, the government must recognise that we need greater powers to plan and deliver places and this should be backed up by money to build the high quality school places our children deserve.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
BROMLEY COUNCIL VOTE ON EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERSHIP
A motion stating that Bromley council would be better off if Britain was out of the European Union was carried at full council on Monday 22 February by 23 votes to 7 with 30 abstentions.
Council leader Cllr Stephen Carr, who abstained during the vote, said: “Whilst I could argue the EU does have negative impacts on Bromley council, including directives on waste and recycling which bring added cost to the borough, the EU is not a matter for Bromley council, it is for the electorate of Great Britain to decide.
“I encourage residents to weigh up the arguments over the next few months and vote according to their personal choice in the referendum on 23 June.”
The motion regarding the impact of the EU on council business was moved by UKIP Councillor David Livett and seconded by Councillor Terrence Nathan (UKIP).
It read as follows:
“This council agrees that the negative impacts that the European Union has upon the efficiency and cost of Bromley council activities mean Bromley council would be better off if Britain was out of the European Union.” (Source: Bromley council press release)
“MAYOR’S SPECIAL CONSTABLE PLEDGE IN TATTERS” – LABOUR
Mayor of London’s Boris Johnson promise to “double the number of special officers to 10,000” looks to be in tatters after the Met’s latest figures showed that there are now only 3,253 Specials in the capital, 43 per cent fewer than in May 2012 when he made the pledge, say London Assembly Labour.
“The falling number of special constables comes on top of significant cuts to the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) over the past few years” said a GLA Labour party statement.
“Since 2010 Met statistics show that 2,826 PCSOs and 1,535 Police officers have been cut from London’s streets, 13 per cent of the original number. “Our London Assembly police and crime spokeswoman Joanne McCartney warned that the cumulative impact of the drop in specials, PCSOs and police officers risks leaving a ‘much reduced police force for his successor.
“When the Mayor was re-elected in May 2012 there were 5,677 specials in London, according to the latest figures there are now only 3,253. “The figures represent an embarrassing failure for the Mayor who previously said that specials represented a ‘vital link’ between the police and the public.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).