Iam writing as a father of a severely autistic child to expose the blatant discrimination being applied to autistic children when applying for a blue parking badge.
As the situation currently stands, in order to qualify for a blue badge, an autistic child needs to be on the higher rate of mobility. Due to recent changes in qualification criteria put in place by the current government, this is virtually impossible.
The vast majority of severely autistic and downs children are able to walk but they cannot walk without having an adult with them AT ALL TIMES for personal safety reasons.
They are actually far more disabled than the vast majority of those who currently qualify for blue badges under the mobility criteria. This is a clear case of discrimination against individuals with mental health problems.
Ironically for those who are over 16 and on PIP (personal independence payment) the criteria now has a system where this very point as worded in the criteria ‘planning and following journeys activity’ is used as a key component in them qualifying for a blue badge.
Why is this only applied to over 16s and why to those on PIP only? The current system is discriminatory to those on DLA and under 16.
I know that on June 2 this year a motion was raised in the Scottish parliament by MSP Duncan McNeil to address this very subject, which is now law in Wales.
I thank him personally for this, as it shows someone is taking this case seriously. The sooner this is put into statute in Scotland the better, and I urge all those in the Scottish parliament to act swiftly.
Owain Martin, Falcon Gardens, Edinburgh
We still need coal for growing population
Pope Francis has entered the climate change debate hoping to influence public opinion before the UN climate change conference in Paris in December, which wants to ban fossil fuels.
The West became ‘developed’ by using fossil fuels yet now wants a binding global agreement in Paris which would prevent developing countries exploiting fossil fuels and raising their people out of poverty.
This is hypocrisy.
Pope Francis said: “The present world system is certainly unsustainable” but much of this is due to a population explosion.
The world population is forecast to increase from 7.3 billion today to 8.4 billion by 2030 and to an ‘unsustainable’ 9.6 billion by 2050.
Renewable energy will never support these numbers.
Coal drove the industrial revolution and coal can provide cheap energy for developing countries.
Did Pope Francis’s God not provide fossil fuels for mankind to use and prosper?
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Council should rethink homeless charity axe
IT is extremely concerning that more people will be left sleeping rough on the Capital’s streets after a homeless charity had its funding cut (News, June 29).
Streetwork has contracts with the city council but have had to close the night service at the crisis shelter in Holyrood Road and forced to make several staff redundant, which is an awful shame.
Streetwork is a grand charity, helping poor, needy people and it’s very sad that the council has slashed spending.
I hope new funding can be found. It is heartbreaking to see anyone forced to live on the streets in the 21st century.
June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburrgh
Cuts to handicapped are national disgrace
IT is a national disgrace when we have people in wheelchairs protesting outside the Houses of Parliament, because the Tories have taken away the money they need to pay for crucial help. I hope that the people in England who voted Conservative feel proud of themselves!
Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar
Scots not republican, just on the other side
THE recent row about funding for the royal family raises the hoary myth that Scotland is more republican than England. The very opposite is true.
England became a republic under Cromwell, which Scotland never did. Indeed, it was a stronghold of the Stuarts.
For 1000 years royalty has been a part of Scottish DNA, linked to the idea of the clan chief.
The Jacobites had no goal of republicanism, just a different royal house.
In the American revolution, overwhelmingly waged by settlers of English origin, the Scots were notoriously loyal to the British crown.
Republicanism is only relevant here due to Ireland, which never had its own royal house.
D Wilson, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh
My number’s up in the national lottery
AFTER reading of Camelot’s intention to increase the number of balls in the national lottery from 49 to 59, we should boycott the lottery.
It was bad enough when they increased the cost of a line from £1 to £2. As usual, Camelot have ignored players’ wishes. The more numbers there are, the less chance you have of winning.
I will not buy any more lotto tickets.
James Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh