Search

Hornchurch mum denied parking bay as severely disabled son doesn’t meet ‘national criteria’

14:25 27 February 2014

Pauline Henkel with her disabled son Ben

Pauline Henkel with her disabled son Ben

Archant

A mother whose son cannot walk and has the mental age of a toddler has been denied a disabled parking bay close to her home because Havering Council said her son does not meet the “national criteria”.

Instead Pauline Henkel, of Park Lane, Hornchurch, must struggle to find a space and must often cross the busy road where they live, pushing her severely disabled son in his wheelchair.

The 35-year-old cares for Ben, 13, who has a rare condition called chromosome 22 deletion syndrome which means he is unable to walk unsupported and must use a wheelchair most of the time.

Pauline, who has been given a blue badge due to her son’s disability, says she is often forced to park some distance from the house they have lived in for a year and must struggle down the busy, narrow and crowded road where “nobody stops for you”.

The chromosomal abnormality that Ben suffers with causes heart problems, “severe” learning difficulties as well as bone and muscle problems.

He has become very heavy for the mother-of-four to push but the council has said he doesn’t meet the ­requirements for a bay.

“I would like a parking bay but at first the council refused me because my son can’t drive,” said Pauline. “He’s 13 though and he never will [be able to] drive.”

At Ben’s last assessment, it was deemed that he had the mental capacity of an 18-month-old.

Cllr Steven Kelly, leader of the council, said: “It was made clear at the time we rehoused Mrs Henkel that there was no parking ­immediately outside the property, but there is space in the road for her to park safely, without having to cross a busy road with her son. Although it is always difficult to apply eligibility criteria to people, we must do so to ensure we are fair to all and Mrs Henkel’s son does not meet national criteria for a disabled bay.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:21
We Are FSTVL

An award-winning dance music festival has announced the first set of acts to play next year’s event.

Yesterday, 15:57
Huge industrial pincers bite into the tower (Picture: Paul Bennett)

Demolition of the last tower block on a once crime-ridden Rainham estate started today.

Yesterday, 12:24
Brendon Smith, 31, is wanted in connection with a burglary in Chigwell. [Picture: Essex Police]

Police are hunting a man known to frequent the Romford area over a burglary.

Yesterday, 09:50
A portrait of Hayley Anderson (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Gemma Collins has walked out of the I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! jungle - Hayley Anderson asks - are we surprised?

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The Labour MP has resigned after posting a photo of a house draped with three Cross of St George flags on the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.

The club said the reaction following their decision to allow Evans to train had been at an intensity they did not anticipate.

The celebrity chef is embroiled in a bitter dispute over the contract for the lease of one of his restaurants.

The Labour MP has apologised after posting a photo of a house draped with three red-and-white Cross of St George flags on the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.