Wiltshire Council refused over 900 blue badge parking permit applications in 2023, according to data revealed by a Freedom of Information request.

The most recent numbers show that 30,403 residents in Wiltshire are currently blue badge holders.

Blue badges are designed to help disabled people with mobility issues park closer to their destination.

Wiltshire Council made the decision to re-introduce parking charges for these individuals in September 2022, a move which remains controversial among some councillors.

The leader of the council, Richard Clewer, sparked anger in a recent meeting, after he claimed that 80 per cent of blue badges are given to residents who have developed mobility issues as they have “got older.”

Upon receiving a Freedom of Information request asking for numbers to verify this, the council stated it was “unable to search the data by age.”

It did show, however, that it had received 11,167 blue badge applications in 2023.

924 of these applications were refused, due in majority to a failure to provide evidence such as proof of address or proof of ID.

255 of the applicants “did not meet the criteria” and 118 did not pay the £10 blue badge issue fee.

Seven of the applicants turned out to not be residents of Wiltshire and a total of 97 applications were revealed to be duplicates.