Over the summer, changes were made to Blue Badge parking in the city centre as a result of Covid 19 and the need for social distancing. At the time, we received numerous emails from people in York and the surrounding area who were concerned about the impact the changes would have on their ability to access the city centre.
What we did
In July, just after the changes had been communicated, we contacted the council, our councillors and the local press to let everyone know what the issue is, why it matters and why it is discrimination.
In August, we presented our concerns at a council scrutiny meeting and spoke directly with the councillors who were attending. As a result of this, the council were advised to consult on the changes and to arrange for the communications team to meet with us. Following this, we’ve taken every opportunity possible to speak with the council about this issue and will continue to push through the thoughts, concerns and experiences of York’s disability community.
We are in ongoing conversation with the council’s Parking and Communications teams about the changes to city centre access as well as the way changes are communicated.
What the council did
Following the scrutiny meeting, the council made efforts to understand the needs and experiences of York’s disability community by asking for feedback through an online survey and a series of Zoom workshops. These workshops have included consultation with specific groups, including MySight York.
They have listened to disabled people talk about the ways they travel to and move around the city centre. We hope this will inform their future decisions on city centre access.
They have also acknowledged that a consultation after the changes is not the way it should be and aim to move forward using the correct procedures.
The council have formed an open brief using the findings from their consultation which will be discussed at the council executive meeting in November. This meeting is public, allows for public participation and this means it is transparent in its decision making. We will be making a statement at this meeting and will make that available online afterwards.
The Forum will continue to scrutinise the council and hold it to account based on its adherence to legal procedures and the application of human rights laws.
What you can do
- Sign up to take part in the council’s Big Conversation to make sure that disabled voices are heard when decisions about York’s future are made.
- Think about arranging to speak at the council’s executive meeting on 26th November where the community brief will be discussed.