Free Bus Passes only for those with HIGHER rate DLA mobility component?

P. Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council

The request was successful.

From: P. Smith

31 March 2010

Dear Essex County Council,

It seems that Essex County Council has changed the rules on who is
entitled to free bus passes?

Is it true that only disabled people who are in receipt of the HIGH
rate Mobility component of DLA will qualify for the free bus pass?
Chelmsford Borough Council and Braintree District Council
application forms apparently now state that the applicant must have
the HIGHER RATE Mobility to qualify.
There were other qualifying conditions, i.e. applicant Blind or has
a Blue Badge, but nothing that would cover AUTISM.

That means that most of the Autistic community will be disqualified
from applying for a free bus pass - as very very few get the Higher
Rate MOBILITY component.

If true, this decision is utterly unfair and will mean a lot of
autistic people who are already struggling financially will be
penalised.

As usual the most vulnerable people in society will have to bear
the brunt of cut-backs?

Who made this decision?

Based on what information?

Who was consulted?

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: P. Smith

2 April 2010

Dear Essex County Council,

I have since heard that the Department of Transport have set new
rules about who is entitled to apply for a concessionary bus pass,
and that ECC are adhering to the rules.

This means a FOI request needs to ALSO be made to the Department of
Transport ...

I would still like to know ECC's point of view / what happened /
what powers ECC has to make a stand against these new (highly
unfair) rules.

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

Essex County Council

2 April 2010


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From: P. Smith

2 April 2010

Dear Essex County Council,

The Transport Act doesn't mention DLA at all,
F) should apply to people on the Autistic spectrum?

Transport Act 2000 - Government Criteria for Eligibility on the
grounds of disability:

"Disabling conditions which would enable people to claim the
statutory concession are those which are permanent or which have
lasted at least 12 months - or which are likely to last at least 12
months, and have a substantial effect on a person’s ability to
carry out
normal day-to-day activities.

a) is blind or partially sighted,

b) is profoundly or severely deaf,

c) is without speech,

d) has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a
substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to walk,

e) does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both
arms,

f) has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or
incomplete development of mind which includes significant
impairment of intelligence and social functioning,

g) would, if they applied for the grant of a licence to drive a
motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, have
their application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act
(physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent
misuse of drugs or alcohol."

Can local authorities just interperate the act however they want?

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

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Essex County Council

3 April 2010


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Essex County Council

3 April 2010


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From: Your Right To Know
Essex County Council

8 April 2010


Attachment FoI District Contacts rev2.doc
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Ms Smith,

Thank you for your requests for information, which were received by
Essex County Council on 1st and 2nd April 2010.

We believe that Essex County Council does not hold the information you
have requested as we are not responsible for administering concessionary
bus passes. We understand that the district or borough councils in
Essex should hold the information you require. If you wish to contact
the councils direct I have included their contact details in the
attached document. Alternatively, please let me know if you would like
me to pass your request to them and I will arrange this.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about
your request or your right to access information held by Essex County
Council.

Thank you.

On behalf of ISIS
Information Services and Programmes
Essex County Council | telephone: 01245 431851 | extension: 21851 |
email: [email address]

EssexWorks
For a better quality of life

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Link to this

From: P. Smith

14 April 2010

Dear ISIS / Your Right To Know at Essex County Council,

I would appreciate it greatly if you could, as you very kindly
suggest, pass on my FOI request to the districts.

Many thanks,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: P. Smith

15 April 2010

Dear Your Right To Know,

I have been sent this clipping by another parent:

"Dear Pat, I think they may be fobbing you off !! Many of the
Boroughs have differing criteria i.e.: I think Braintree state a
requirement of high rate mobility where as others do not but
according to the cut and pasted bit below from Chelmsford Borough,
Essex County Council is indeed responsible for the co-ordination
and administration of the scheme. How can a person be eligible in
one Borough and not in another? If some Boroughs in Essex are
interpreting the act incorrectly then it is the responsibility of
the co-ordinator / administrator (Essex County Council) to be aware
and to sort it out, surely??

Best wishes

..... ......

Home > Parking, Streets & Transport > Concessionary Fares Scheme |
Concessionary Fares Scheme

------------------------------------------------------

How the scheme is organised
Essex County Council undertake the co-ordination and administration
of the scheme on behalf of Chelmsford Borough Council and other
Essex District/Borough Councils. Chelmsford Borough Council is
responsible for the delivery of concessions to its residents of
eligible age. We pay for all of our own administrative costs and
agreed sums to the scheme in respect of the passes we issue. All
new National Bus Passes are valid until 2011. We also fund the
issue of Railcards."

So what is going on?

Who IS responsible?

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

Essex County Council

16 April 2010


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Dear [P. Smith]

Please find attached acknowledgement to your recent request made under the
Freedom of Information act.

Yours Sincerely
Peter Samuels
Service Advice Officer

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its partners.

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From: Richard Gravatt HT PT Strategy Manager
Essex County Council

16 April 2010

Dear Mrs Smith,

 

Re Administration of Concessionary Bus Passes in Essex

 

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by Essex
County Council on 15^th April 2010.

Your request is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, under which we
must respond within 20 working days. We are now working on a reply and
will be in touch shortly.

If you are not satisfied with my response to your request, please let me
know.  If I am unable to resolve the issue immediately, I will explain our
complaints procedure.

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision.  You can contact him at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 545700.

Yours sincerely

 

Richard Gravatt

Passenger Transport Strategy Manager

Tel. 01245 437160

Ext. 51160

E mail: [1][email address]

 

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From: P. Smith

19 April 2010

Dear Richard Gravatt HT PT Strategy Manager,

Thank you, I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

Essex County Council

20 April 2010


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Dear Ms Smith,

Please find atached response to your recent request made under the Freedom
of Information act.

Yours Sincerely
Peter Samuels
Service Advice Officer

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this
e-mail

This message does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies or
procedures of Basildon District Council or its partners and does not give
rise to any contract, undertaking or agreement. eMail is not a secure form
of communication. Every effort has been made to ensure that this message
has been correctly addressed. It and any associated file(s) may contain
privileged or confidential information or details intended only for the
sender and the intended recipient. If this message is received by anyone
other than the intended recipient please delete the message and any
associated file(s) and destroy any printed copy. Please notify the sender
by a return e-mail or telephone and make them aware that the message has
been received by someone other than the intended recipient. If the subject
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personal responsibility of the sender and not Basildon District Council or
its partners.

Link to this

From: Peter Evans

21 April 2010


Attachment dft disability guidance 2008.pdf
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Dear Ms Smith

 

Travel Concession legislation allows bus passes for people of pensionable
age and for disabled people with mobility problems. It is therefore
possible that a disabled person would not be eligible for a bus pass if
they are mobile. To help all local councils and to ensure consistency, the
Department for Transport (dFT0issued guidance on how to assess if a free
bus pass should be issued, and this is widely used.

 

This guidance can be found on the DfT website  at
[1]http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses...
but I attach a copy in case you have trouble accessing it.  It lists 7
types of disability and proposes that where an applicant already has been
assessed already, then that proof can be used to assess the eligibility
for a bus pass, for example if a higher rate mobility component of DLA has
been granted then a bus pass should be issued. The document also gives you
information about how it was prepared and the relevant legislation.

 

There is a range of other options that can be used to support an
application for a bus pass. For example, it would be possible to consider
an application, properly supported, on the basis that the applicant has
some mobility issues and would not be able to apply for a driving licence
on health grounds. Indeed, we have received and granted applications in
these circumstances.

 

Local authorities are funded to provide travel concessions on the basis of
the government’s criteria and so we do need to follow them

 

I hope that this clarifies our position. You may wish to contact the DfT

 

Regards

 

Peter Evans

Revenues Manager

Colchester Borough Council

P O Box 886, Colchester CO3 3WG

Telephone 01206 282320

 

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From: P. Smith

21 April 2010

Dear Peter Evans,

Thank you for your response.

Please see the NAS website:
http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.j...

Here are some extracts:

"What type of disabilities are autism and Asperger syndrome?
developmental - affecting social and communication skills
life-long - part of a range within what is termed 'the autistic
spectrum'
wide ranging - some people have accompanying learning disabilities
while others have average or above average intelligence

------------------------------------------------------

Important note 1:
Autism and Asperger syndrome are all part of the same autistic
spectrum and the differences between them relate more to degree
than anything else. However, people at the more able end of the
spectrum, such as those with Asperger syndrome, tend to have
average or above average intelligence and generally have fewer
problems with language, often speaking fluently though their words
can sometimes sound formal or stilted.

-------------------------------------------------------

The triad of impairments
The whole spectrum is defined by the presence of impairments
affecting social interaction, communication and imagination. This
is known as the triad of impairments. This is always accompanied by
a narrow repetitive range of activities.

Social interaction
Problems engaging in reciprocal social interactions
A severely affected individual will seem aloof and uninterested in
people where someone less affected (but still affected) passively
accepts social contact, even showing some pleasure in it, though
he/she does not make spontaneous approaches.

Social communication
A lack of appreciation of the social uses and the pleasure of
communication is always present in some form or other
A significant proportion of people with classic autism fail to
develop useful speech. If language is used, there is a failure to
understand that it is a tool for conveying information to others.
Some ask for their own needs but have difficulty in talking about
feelings or thoughts and in understanding the emotions, ideas and
beliefs of other people.

Social imagination
Inability to play imaginatively with objects or toys or other
children/adults
Pretend play can be absent or repetitive. A tendency to select for
attention minor or trivial aspects of things in the environment
instead of an imaginative understanding of the meaning of the whole
scene is often found. Some imaginative activities may be displayed
but these are usually copied, for example from TV programmes. This
play may seem complex, but careful observation shows its rigidity
and stereotyped nature.

-------------------------------------------------------

Important note 2:
These manifestations vary with the severity of the disability -
changes occur with age, especially in those with higher levels of
ability.

-------------------------------------------------------

Important note 3:
The presence of additional disorders, such as epilepsy, sensory
impairments, Down's syndrome, or other physical disabilities can
affect the clinical picture.

-------------------------------------------------------

Important note 4:
All people have their own personality, which affects their
reactions to their disabilities. "

(Actually it is now referred to as the "TETRAD of impairments", as
the importance (and negative effect of) sensory impairment has at
last been acknowledged.

Autism is a genetic lifelong neuro-biological disorder, and can be
accompanied by learning difficulties. It involves a whole range of
impairments /difficulties, which combine and compound at any one
time, to make life for the person affected very difficult indeed.
Those with autism tend to suffer from sensory overload, information
overload, people overload, they have phobias and obsessions, they
have chronic anxiety and are prone to meltdowns or shutdowns.
Communication difficulties mean misunderstandings.
Travel can be enormously stressful for them.

Autism has a very severe impact on an individual's life and
severely limits their opportunities.

Yet, VERY VERY FEW of them are awarded higher rate DLA, for
whatever reason only known to the DWP. Probably because the DWP do
not have enough training in autism and they are not autism aware.

So, if someone is denied a bus pass because they do not get higher
rate DLA, it would be a double wrong, double discrimination, the
second coming about because of the first - which would be caused
probably because of ignorance re autism and its effects.

Do applicants with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism
usually obtain the concessionary bus passes they need?

Do you keep figures as to whose application is successful and whose
is unsuccessful, and why?

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

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From: Caroline Barker

22 April 2010


Attachment P.Smith.doc
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Dear Sir/Madam

 

Please find attached our acknowledgement letter.

 

Thank you.

 

Caroline Barker

 

Monitoring Officer Assistant/Paralegal

Legal Services Castle Point Borough Council

Telephone No: 01268 882434

Fax No. 01268 882453

e-mail: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.castlepoint.gov.uk

 

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From: FOI Mailbox

26 April 2010

CBC REFERENCE NO. 865

Sir/Madam,

I acknowledge receipt of your freedom of Information request of the
31st. March, 2010, a copy of which has been forwarded to this Council by
the Essex County Council on the 15th. April, 2010.

I have passed your request to Financial Services for a reply. It is the
Council's intention to respond to you fully on or before 13th. May,
2010. If we are not able to do so, I will write to you explaining why.

Yours faithfully
Mrs. L. Oliver
Legal Services FOI Officer
Corporate Services
Chelmsford Borough Council
T: (01245) 606435
www.chelmsford.gov.uk
Accredited with the IiP Gold Standard

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Link to this

From: Marie Bentley

28 April 2010


Attachment response.pdf
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[P. Smith]

 

Please find attached Harlow Council’s response to your request for
information.

 

 

Marie Bentley
Corporate Information Manager
Governance Service
Harlow Council, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens,
Harlow, Essex.  CM20 1WG
Tel:   01279 446736
Fax:  01279 446637

www.harlow.gov.uk 

 

Link to this

From: Richard Gravatt HT PT Strategy Manager
Essex County Council

28 April 2010

Dear Mrs Smith

I am sorry that we seem to be having some problems contacting you – an E
mail was sent last week and yesterday but they both bounced. Please find a
copy below

Yours sincerely

Richard Gravatt

Passenger Transport Strategy Manager

Tel. 01245 437160

Ext. 51160

E mail: [1][email address]

_____________________________________________
From: Richard Gravatt HT PT Strategy Manager
Sent: 19 April 2010 10:00
To: '[email address]'
Cc: Rita Parsons; Mark Ralling HT Programme Manager; Eleri Roberts
Campaigns Manager; Dominic Lund-Conlon Principal Transport Development
Officer; Ruth Byford Taxonomy Officer
Subject: RE: FOI ref 1380 : Free Bus Passes only for those with HIGHER
rate DLA mobility component (II)

Dear Mrs Smith

Operation National Concessionary Fares Scheme in Essex...

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by Essex
County Council on 15^th April 2009  

I am sorry that the original reply you received did not fully answer your
question. This is perhaps a more complex issue than it would at first
glance appear to be and I think it might help to clarify the position if I
explain some the background.

The English National Concessionary Fares Scheme is, as the name would
suggest, a nationally mandated scheme and the broad categories of those
who qualify for a pass are set out in national legislation ( the
Concessionary Fares Act 2007 and Transport Acts 2000) along with the
minimum ‘offer’ in terms of times of availability.

In short, people over 60 before 6^th April 2010, or who are over 60 by the
specified date after 6^th April 2010 (the Government recently began
altering the age qualification to bring it in line with changes to the
pensionable age for women that is being raised to 65 by 2020 – the change
in bus pass age qualification applies to men and women equally) as well as
those with a qualifying disability as set out in the Act are entitled to
hold a pass, offering free travel between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday
and anytime on weekends or bank holidays.

District Council and unitary level ‘Travel Concession Authorities’ (TCAs)
are legally responsible for providing the passes. In Essex the various
Districts and Southend Unitary have agreed that the administration of the
financial side of the operation (repayments to operators, contracts to
print the passes etc) should be managed by Essex County Council, while the
personal aspects of production (application and qualification process) are
managed by the TCA concerned.

Therefore the scheme is managed at present both by the County Council and
by the Districts.  However, Essex cannot compel District TCAs to alter
their own offer – this is a local decision for the district concerned

The Act allows district authorities certain additional discretionary
powers and leaves some aspects of the qualification process to their
discretion. As an example of the former, the Districts have together
agreed that the scope of the pass use should be extended to 09:00 and
24:00 on weekdays and that people with serious disabilities who require a
companion to allow them to travel should have a pass allowing the
companion to travel free as well. Some authorities also offer additional
options, such as having a fixed value of taxi tokens in place of the bus
pass, while others do not – this is down to local discretion.  

 

Another area where local authorities have discretion results from the Act
not having clearly specified what constitutes proof of having a particular
disability or the point at which some levels of disability have a
sufficient impact to qualify. While I am sure that you can see that the
authority concerned clearly needs to be certain that the person involved
actually does qualify to protect the public purse, each TCA is allowed to
make its own rules to cover this aspect of the requirement. Some may for
instance require a Doctors letter (for which the applicant can be
reimbursed) while others may accept proof of entitlement to specific level
of benefit instead/as well.

 

In addition some local authorities may use their discretionary power to
lower the threshold for qualification, so that for instance in one
authority, receipt of any level of incapacity benefit may be taken as
proof, while in other only the highest level may qualify. It is therefore
quite possible for a person to qualify for a pass in one authority and not
in another, if they fall into the area with a different discretionary
condition. 

  

I realise that this is somewhat confusing, but unfortunately due to the
way the act was set out by the Government such differences were made
almost inevitable. You may therefore be pleased to hear that, following a
decision the Secretary of State for Transport in December 2009, from 1^st
April 2011, total legal responsibility for the managing all aspects of the
scheme will transfer to Essex County Council (and other English shire
counties) from the District TCAs (the position of London and any Unitary
authorities with TCA status such as Southend will remain unchanged from
the present). The County Council will therefore be looking at the
application and qualification process in some detail so that a more
consistent approach can be adopted across the county from then forward.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about
your request or your right to access information held by Essex County
Council.

If you are not satisfied with my response to your request, please let me
know.  If I am unable to resolve the issue immediately, I will explain our
complaints procedure.

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision.  You can contact him at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 545700.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Gravatt

Passenger Transport Strategy Manager

Tel. 01245 437160

Ext. 51160

E mail: [2][email address]

_____________________________________________

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Link to this

From: Barbara Pole

4 May 2010


Attachment The Seven Eligible Categories.doc
44K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms. Smith

 

Operation National Concessionary Fares Scheme in Essex

 

We have been sent a copy of your Freedom of Information request from Essex
County Council, which we received on 15^th April 2010.

 

At Tendring District Council (TDC) we follow the eligible categories as
defined by the Department for Transport (DFT).  The attached document has
been taken from their website for guidance.

 

TDC has not changed any qualifying criteria for disabled concessionary
fares, we have always followed the DFT criteria.

 

I hope this answers your query but if you have any further questions you
can contact us on [1][email address]

 

Regards

 

Barbara Pole

Policy & Communications Manager (Customer & Support Services)

Benefits, Revenues & Cashiers

Tendring District Council

 

E-mail:         [2][email address]

Tel:              01255 686230

Fax:             01255 686402

Minicom:      01255 422470

Web:            www.tendringdc.gov.uk

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Link to this

From: Freedom of Information Act

4 May 2010

Dear Sirs,

I refer to your Freedom of Information request addressed to Essex County
Council, which has been referred to Braintree District Council to
respond.

With regard to your request, I write to advise you of the following:

The criteria for a disabled bus pass has not changed, eligibility is
determined by guidelines laid down by the Department for
Transport(Transport Act 2000).

I refer you to the Council's website which contains the information that
the Council holds in respect of concessionary fares, in particular the
disabled application form which contains the Government Criteria for
Eligibility on the grounds of disability. For your assistance please
use the following links to direct you to the relevant pages of the
Council's website.

http://www.braintree.gov.uk/Braintree/tr...
http://www.braintree.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres...
CB82D/0/DisabledApplicationForm2010.pdf

If you disagree with the Council's decision in respect of your freedom
of information request or are otherwise unhappy with how the Council has
dealt with your request in the first instance you may approach Sharon
Lowe, Assistant Chief Executive in writing at the following address:-

Braintree District Council, People & Democracy, Causeway House, Bocking
End, Braintree, Essex, CM7 9HB.

Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you have a right of
appeal under S50 of the Freedom of Information Act to appeal against the
decision by contacting the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF, [email address]

Yours sincerely,

Emma Wisbey
Governance Lawyer
Ext: 2610

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Link to this

From: Martin Roberts

5 May 2010

Hello,

Thank you for your enquiry relating to the disabled qualifying criteria for concessionary bus travel.

I can confirm that the Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA is considered automatic qualifying criteria as well as War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement.

Local authorities are issued guidance by the Department for Transport in determining eligibility. There are seven categories that local authorities must have regard in reaching a decision. These are listed below.

* Blind or partially sighted.
* Profoundly or severely deaf.
* Without speech.
* Has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term
adverse effect on his ability to walk (DLA High Mobility).
* Does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both arms.
* Has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning.
* Would, if he applied for the grant of a license to drive a motor vehicle under Part 111 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, have his application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act.

In some instances discretion can be used and in these cases I would look for evidence to be provided confirming that the claimant is supported by other specialist services or special educational provision.

I hope this helps to clarify the situation. I have placed a link below from the Department for Transport website that provides guidance for local authorities.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses...

-------
If you require any further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Council considers that the above response fully complies with the requirements placed on the Council under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 but a person making a request for information under the FOIA 2000 may complain to the Review Officer if they are dissatisfied with the Council's response. Details regarding the complaints procedure may be obtained from the Monitoring Officer at the Council Offices in Benfleet.

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Link to this

From: FOI Mailbox

30 April 2010

CBC REFERENCE NO. 865

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request forwarded to us by
Essex County Council. In answer to your questions, the Concessionary Bus
Travel Act 2007 provides for a statutory guarantee of free off-peak
travel for eligible older and disabled people on local bus services
anywhere in England. For the purposes of the 2007 Act, disabled people
are defined by reference to seven categories and are assessed using
guidance from the Department for Transport.

The grant of concessions is governed outside Greater London by the
Transport Act 2000. The 2000 Act provides the Secretary of State to
issue to local authorities guidance to which they must have regard in
reaching a decision. In doing so, the Secretary of State is obliged to
consult the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC - the
Government's statutory advisors on the mobility needs of disabled
people) and local authority interests. This statutory Guidance, which
has been subject to the required consultation, applies only in England.

Under Category D. Has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has
a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to walk:
The degree of impairment should be at comparable level to that required
to claim the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living
Allowance.

Autism is covered under Category F. Has a learning disability, that is,
a state of arrested or incomplete development which includes significant
impairment of intelligence and social function:
The disability must have started before adulthood and have a lasting
effect on development. The person should be able to qualify for
specialist services and he or she may have had special educational
provision.

I hope this answers your request.

Yours faithfully
Mrs. L. Oliver
Legal Services FOI Officer
Corporate Services
Chelmsford Borough Council
T: (01245) 606435
www.chelmsford.gov.uk
Accredited with the IiP Gold Standard

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From: P. Smith

5 May 2010

Dear FOI Mailbox,

Many thanks indeed for your response.

Re: "Autism is covered under Category F. Has a learning disability,
that is,a state of arrested or incomplete development which
includes significant
impairment of intelligence and social function:
The disability must have started before adulthood and have a
lasting effect on development. The person should be able to qualify
for specialist services and he or she may have had special
educational provision."

Indeed, autism (INCLUDING HF autism and Asperger Syndrome) affects
global development, includes a lack of a social sense and skills,
is genetic and lifelong, and often has (especially because it is
still largely "off the radar" of service providers, largely
unsupported) a devastating effect on the individual and their
families.

Do I understand correctly, please? ... So, because autism
(including High Functioning Autism and Asperger syndrome) is in
categfory F, - a DIFFERENT CATEGORY to D which is about physical
disability - - they do NOT need to have higher rate mobility
allowance? (Someone with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers may
be in receipt of DLA, but not get the highest level mobility.

If so, that will be a big relief to many vulnerable people with
Aspergers who very much need their bus pass!!!!

Re: "The person should be able to qualify for specialist services
and he or she may have had special educational provision."

Is this a requirement? If so it will be impossible for many with HF
Autism or Aspergers to meet, because autism is unique, a separate
strand, THERE ARE NO specialist services, (they are made ineligible
by impossible criteria, and fit neither LD or mental health) and
special educational provision is also often like the mythical beast
or flying pig.

Thank you again,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

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From: OLIVER, Lillie

11 May 2010

Dear Madam,

Further to your e-mail of the 5th. May, 2010. I have received the
following response from our Financial Services:-

Thank you for your recent questions in connection with Disabled Bus
Passes. In answer to your questions, Autism is covered under category F.
As stated in Government legislation this is: Has a learning disability,
that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development which includes
significant impairment of intelligence and social function: The
disability must have started before adulthood and have a lasting effect
on development.

The requirement for eligibility under category F is that the person
should be able to qualify for specialist services and he or she may have
had special educational provision.

In regard to Higher Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome, an
applicant should also apply under category F, and if possible would
still need to meet the requirements, but because symptoms can vary in
severity from person to person, they would be looked at, on a case by
case basis, and we would normally require independent medical advice.

I hope this answers your enquiry.

Yours faithfully
Mrs. L. Oliver
Legal Services FOI Officer
Corporate Services
Chelmsford Borough Council
T: (01245) 606435
www.chelmsford.gov.uk
Accredited with the IiP Gold Standard

show quoted sections

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From: P. Smith

12 May 2010

Dear Mrs Oliver,

Many thanks for your clear and helpful explanation.

I will wait and see what actually happens, as people I know with
Aspergers apply for their passes, from now on.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

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P. Smith left an annotation (12 May 2010)

Quote-marks Hi to everybody who provided me with a response on this issue.

THANK YOU!!

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!!

Kind regards to all,

Pat Smith

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