Ilford mum fined hundreds for parking tickets as ill daughter doesn’t qualify for blue badge

Wendy Small with her daughter Elizabeth

Wendy Small with her daughter Elizabeth - Credit: Archant

The mother of a five-year-old girl, who needs regular operations due to a rare bladder condition, has been fined hundreds of pounds for parking offences as her daughter does not qualify for a blue badge.

Lizzie Small was born with bladder exstrophy – a condition where part of the organ develops on the outside of the body.

The condition requires Lizzie to have life-long care and means she cannot control going to the toilet – so when she needs to go she has to go immediately.

This means mum Wendy often has to park at short notice.

The condition also means long stays in hospital where Wendy also cannot park for long periods without a disabled blue badge. And Weny has been told Lizzie does not qualify for one.

“For my little girl not to be recognised as having a disability is disgusting,” said Wendy, who lives with her six children and husband Baltimore, in Wanstead Park Road, Ilford.

“The way they are measuring if people are disabled is wrong and something needs to be done about it.”

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Born at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lizzie has already had five operations.

Wendy has been fined 12 times for stopping on Redbridge roads and also at Whipps Cross Hospital, Waltham Forest.

“When my little girl needs to go she has to go there and then, so I have to park straight away so I can help her,” she said.

Bladder exstrophy occurs once in every 10,000 to 50,000 births.

It can cause a variety of complications and problems, including incontinence, infertility and the need for repeated reconstructive surgery.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes helped Wendy in her blue badge application but Redbridge Council said that badges were only issued where there was evidence of a “permanent and substantial disability that would cause inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking”.

A council spokesman said: “Where residents feel that they have received a parking ticket unjustly they should always appeal through the process described on the back of the ticket.

“When motorists appeal, the council does give consideration to medical conditions that may have led to the need to park a vehicle in contravention. This is still the case where individuals do not qualify for the disabled blue badge scheme.”