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Petition calls for Hornchurch mother with a ‘severely’ disabled child to be awarded a parking bay

Pauline Henkel with her disabled son Ben Pauline Henkel with her disabled son Ben

Friday, February 28, 2014
2:40 PM

A petition has started in reaction to the council’s decision to deny a mother, whose son cannot walk and has the mental age of a toddler, a disabled parking space.

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The story in today’s Recorder has gathered a great deal of sympathy for the plight of Pauline Henkel, of Park Lane, Hornchurch.

The 35-year-old cares for Ben, 13, who suffers from a rare condition called chromosome 22 deletion syndrome. He must use a wheelchair most of the time.

Pauline, who has a blue badge due to her son’s disability, says she is often forced to park some distance from their home and must struggle to cross the dangerous, busy road they live on.

The council however have denied them a disabled parking bay close to their home because Ben does not meet the “national criteria”.

Ben’s chromosomal abnormality causes heart problems, “severe” learning difficulties as well as bone and muscle problems.

Resident Lorraine Moss, of Carlisle Road, Romford, has started the petition to call on Havering Council’s leader, Cllr Steven Kelly, to provide a parking bay for the Henkels.

She said: “I just think it’s absolutely disgusting. I’m sure there will be a lot of signatures.”

Havering resident’s took to the Recorder’s Facebook page to express their outrage over the decision.

Melissa Christofi said: “That’s really bad and annoys me, they can fix up all the bus stops, they can spend millions on Hornchurch but giving a child who clearly needs a disabled space, a safe place for his mum to park, they won’t do. This is wrong.”

Many other residents called for a petition to begin.

Barbara Runcorn said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. Get up a petition and fight for the right of what matters to you. Go to the top i.e. your MP.”

A poll on the Recorder website shows, at the time this story was written, 83 per cent of respondents believe Pauline needs a bay.

If you wish to sign the petition to call for a parking bay for the Henkel’s follow the link here: http://chn.ge/1hpswnC

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