To: Newcastle City Council
Say No to unfair parking charges in Newcastle
Say no to unfair, unjustifiable and discriminatory parking charges in Newcastle.
Don't charge disabled Blue Badge holders to park in the city - Blue Badge holders should have at least three hours free parking in all Council car parks
Don't charge disabled employees to come to work - All disabled employees with Blue Badges should be given a free parking space
Don't make staff on the lowest incomes subsidize the highest paid employees - Parking charges should be proportionate to income
Why is this important?
Disabled Blue Badge holders rely on their cars to visit the doctor, go shopping or take part in leisure activities. They can't use public transport. Charging them to park is punishing them for being disabled. Blue Badge holders may choose to go elsewhere, impacting on the city's economy or park on double yellow lines causing congestion. How is this Creating Decent Neighbourhoods? Charging disabled residents and visitors to the city to park is detrimental to both the disabled person and Newcastle.
Disabled staff with Blue Badges have to drive to work. It is not a choice. They can't use public transport. They can't walk to work. A free parking space for disabled employees with Blue Badges is not a luxury it is a reasonable adjustment. It is unlawful to ask a disabled person to pay for a reasonable adjustment. Disabled employees should not be made to pay for a reasonable adjustment. Charging disabled employees will raise £4,500 a year. This will make no difference to the Council but some disabled employees will no longer be able to afford to work. How will this make Newcastle A Working City? This action targets those Hardest Hit by Welfare Reform and government cuts and discriminates against the most isolated and excluded in society.
Parking charges for the lowest paid staff will go up by 580% but those on the highest salaries will have no increase. People in low paid jobs are more likely to be from BME communities, carers, disabled or women. How does this Tackle Inequalities. Council staff earning less than £15,000 will be subsidizing parking for those earning over £100.000.
How are these changes fair? How are they justifiable? Does this make Newcastle City Council Fit for Purpose?
Newcastle is often voted the friendliest city in the UK. The Geordie welcome is world famous. Do the people of Newcastle really want their city to be known as a place that doesn't welcome disabled people? Does Newcastle City Council really want to be seen as widening the pay gap between their highest and lowest paid employees? Or does Newcastle want to be seen as a vibrant, forward thinking, Socially Just city that supports the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and excluded in society?