40 drivers in Wakefield have disabled blue parking badges cancelled over links to names of dead people

Dozens of Wakefield drivers have had their disabled parking badges cancelled after they were found to be using them under the names of dead people.

The council said 40 drivers were affected by the findings.

Wakefield Council said it had asked for 40 blue badges to be rescinded since April.

The discovery was made through a counter-fraud crackdown, which was led by the government with the help of local authorities and other organisations.

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Cancelling the badges is estimated to have saved around £24,000 worth of public money.

The government is leading a crackdown against blue badge fraud, having given local councils more money to tackle the problem.

On Monday, the council's audit committee was told on Monday that the authority's counter-fraud team, "Have requested cancellation of 40 disabled persons blue badges after reviewing data matches linked to deceased persons data."

Rob Blair, the council's corporate counter-fraud manager, indicated that the crimes would have cost taxpayers a significant amount of money.

He told the meeting: "The Department of Transport puts a notional saving of approximately £600 to a local authority when a blue badge is cancelled, so that's quite a saving."

The government set up a taskforce to deal with blue badge fraud in 2018, amid a rise in offences across the country.

Local councils were also given more cash to tackle the problem.

The following year Wakefield Council reported success in identifying several culprits, following targeted inspections in Castleford and the city of Wakefield.

Monday's meeting also heard how 60 local people have been referred by the council to specialist fraud investigators over the last eight months.

All of these cases were linked to suspicious use of the council tax reduction scheme, which was set up to help people on low incomes pay their council tax.

Local Democracy Reporting Service