BLUE badge-holders in Lancashire with certain conditions and disabilities might not have to start from scratch each time they have to reapply for the concession.

The badges, which entitle users to various car-parking benefits, currently have to be reapplied for every three years – with each application being treated as new.

But a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s internal scrutiny committee heard the authority was considering local measures which could see it deviate from national guidelines.

Committee member Cllr George Wilkins told bosses from the County Hall department that deals with the scheme that he is regularly approached by badge-holders who do not understand why they have to be regularly reassessed. “People tell me their limbs haven’t grown back and their arthritis hasn’t got any better,” Cllr Wilkins said.

Ben Zebrowski, quality team manager in the council’s customer access service, accepted that some conditions were not going to see “any significant improvement” – and revealed that the authority was looking at building on an element of discretion which is already permitted on the system.

“There is some functionality to allow us to override that need to do a full application.

“So [an applicant] might have to provide some basic demographic details – but we are looking at bringing in something so they wouldn’t have to provide the reams of information that they would do under an initial application.

“We want to make it easier for customers to do that,”  said Mr Zebrowski, adding any changes might be up to 12 months away.

But the meeting heard that there was little flexibility permitted regarding the questions asked in full applications relating to how far somebody could walk. Cllr Wilkins suggested that the focus should be on an applicant’s capability “on their worst day”.

Members were told any lack of information on a blue badge application were followed up, rather than just dismissed out of hand.

The authority is now planning to re-examine its enforcement policy because of the number of blue badges in use.