Blue badge snub for hero
7:10am Fri Aug 27, 2010
A soldier who lost a leg in Afghanistan has been denied a disabled parking badge three times.
Lance-corporal Johno Lee has accrued £800 in fines for parking in disabled bays in Newark on days when he uses a wheelchair or feels unable to walk very far.

Lance-corporal Lee, from Coddington, said when he first applied to Nottinghamshire County Council for a blue badge he was advised he was young and ‘may get better.’

His right leg was amputated below the knee after he was caught up in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2008.

He said: “I replied that they possibly didn’t quite understand the situation and that I thought it unlikely that my leg would grow back.

“Sometimes the leg swells so badly I can’t even get the prosthetic leg on.

“I then have to park in disabled bays otherwise I can’t get into town, but then I get a ticket.

“Yes I am young and, yes, I drive a nice convertible but it’s an automatic and the insurance I took out for the tour on which I was injured paid for it.

“I’d give it all back in exchange for my leg and my career in the Army.

“If I live for another 60 years am I expected to continue to have to struggle for all of that time?”

He said he felt let down by the county council which should have shown more understanding and compassion.

All Lance-corporal Lee’s applications have been supported by Blesma, the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

The Advertiser took up his case with the county council on Monday.

On Tuesday the council contacted the paper requesting further information.

Later that day officers in the relevant county council department called Lance-corporal Lee twice in 30 minutes.

Arrangements were made for a home visit on Wednesday so his application forms could be completed, checked and taken back to County Hall for assessment.

In a statement issued at lunchtime on Wednesday the council’s service director, Mr Paul McKay, said: “In light of the concerns raised by Mr Lee, we’re promptly looking into the matter and have arranged for a member of staff to meet Mr Lee today (Wednesday) to review the situation.

“We will urgently assess whether Mr Lee meets the eligibility criteria for a disabled parking badge as laid down by the Department of Transport. We will progress this matter as quickly as possible.”

Lance-corporal Lee, who promotes armed forces charities locally and nationally, said: “I knew full well immediately that the Advertiser had been on to them and that they were panicking.

“The only reason they were sitting up and taking notice was because the paper was involved.

“I’ve lost count of the number of phone calls I have made to them, then all of a sudden I receive two in half an hour.

“A lot of young people are coming home [from Afghanistan] severely wounded and are deserving of recognition rather than to be disrespected by the bureaucrats.”

A spokesman for Newark and Sherwood District Council said it had rescinded several parking tickets incurred by Lance-corporal Lee as it sympathised with his situation.

Lance-corporal Lee served two tours in Iraq with 2nd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment prior to deploying to Afghanistan.

He was in a snatch Land Rover on a patrol around Gereshk when an explosion flipped it onto its side, catapulting him into a minefield.

He ordered his comrades not to come for him until it was safe to do so, so spent two hours in the minefield bleeding profusely while bomb disposal experts cut a path to reach him.

His heart stopped twice, once on the evacuation helicopter taking him to Camp Bastion and once on the operating table, but he was revived each time.

Posted on 4:19pm Mon Aug 30, 2010

By BobBennett

Of course the council will react when their hypocrisy is exposed, but the question is will they have the stones to fire anyone?

Report abuse

Leave a comment:

Email address:

Re-type Email:




Disclaimer | Website Designed and Maintained by Advertiser Web Services

The Newark Advertiser Co Ltd website and the contents of its pages are © Advertiser Media Group, Unit 9 & 10 Halifax Court, Fernwood Business Park, Cross Lane, Newark, Notts, NG24 3JP. Reproduction in any form, printing or downloading of part or all of the contents is forbidden without specific written authorisation from the company. No part of contents of the Newark Advertiser Co Ltd website may be reproduced on or transmitted to or stored in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.