A crackdown on council staff who abuse blue badge parking has been launched in Perthshire.
New measures are being introduced by Perth and Kinross Council after an employee was caught using his wife’s disabled driver’s pass.
Since 2011, at least four members of staff have been reported for misusing blue badges to fraudulently claim free parking in disability bays.
Now the local authority’s audit committee has approved a fresh strategy to curb cases of badge abuse amongst staff and the public.
A double-pronged action plan will offer better guidance to parking attendants to report all suspected cases of misuse, while an internal protocol will be developed to specifically target staff.
In her report to the committee, chief internal auditor Jacqueline Clark said an allegation was received by the council’s environment service that someone was misusing his wife’s blue badge.
“The service was provided with the details of the person using the blue badge, the person to whom the blue badge belonged, their home address and their blue badge number,” she said.
The internal audit team were contacted for advice and it was found the process of reviewing blue badge abuse was incomplete and in need of a review.
“Furthermore, there have been instances where blue badges have been misused and there did not appear to have been consistent arrangements in place for ensuring that these situations had been properly highlighted,” Ms Clark wrote.
She added: “The updated procedure will include both guidance for parking attendants who come across suspected misuse in the course of their duties and the process to be followed in other situations where misuse is reported to, or suspected by, parking services.”
The audit committee heard that a protocol would be set up at the council so that allegations of staff misuse could be better passed to department heads.
Two years ago, the council came under fire from a disgruntled driver who saw the price of his permit rocket from £2 to £20.
Each blue badge allows free parking (in council car parks and parking bays) for the holder for a three-year period from the date of issue.