PEOPLE are being encouraged to have their say on plans to reform the Blue Badge disabled parking permit scheme.
From January next year, the government is set to give greater powers to local authorities to tackle badge fraud.
New designs will be introduced to make badges harder to forge, along with a new central database that will hold details of all permits issued nationally.
The most significant change will be the way in which assessments are carried out.
For those people who do not automatically qualify for a badge, independent mobility assessments may be required.
Hampshire County Council is now encouraging people to have their say.
Around 70,000 people have blue badges in Hampshire and each year the county council issues around 25,000 for a charge of £2.
Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The Blue Badge scheme was introduced in 1971, so it is time that the scheme was updated to better fit the needs of today’s society and to take advantage of the technological advances that have occurred over the last 40 years.’ To take part visit www.hants.gov.uk/bluebadge or telephone 0845 603 5633.