A SECOND Conservative councillor has defected to UKIP in protest at plans to make disabled motorists pay to park in the New Forest.

Cllr Ron Scrivens, who represents Totton Central on the district council, said he was also angry at some of the national policies being pursued by the Coalition.

His decision to quit the Conservatives follows a similar move by Cllr Chris Lagdon, who represents Totton East.

Last night Cllr Derek Tipp, a member of the ruling Tory group, said: “I think they’ve made a mistake.

“They should have stayed with the Conservatives and stated their case.

Outside the group they will have little or no influence.

“The honourable thing to do now would be to resign and fight byelections, although there is a financial cost involved.”

Cllr Lagdon is standing as a UKIP candidate in the county council elections on May 2. But he and Cllr Scrivens confirmed that their district council seats would not be up for grabs until the next Forest poll in 2015.

Cllr Scrivens said: “It would cost the council thousands of pounds it doesn’t have. Otherwise I would be happy to contest a by-election.”

The two men are angry at plans to scrap the free parking enjoyed by more than 10,000 Blue Badge holders in the district.

Disabled motorists will have to pay to use district council-owned car parks if the scheme is approved at next week’s meeting of the authority.

Cllr Scrivens accused the council and the Government of treating disabled people with contempt.

He said: “Only recently I was approached by a disabled resident who asked me why the council was considering charging for disabled parking and why they were targeting the disabled in such a callous way. The same resident applied for disability allowance recently and was told he’d have to wait some time for a decision.

“He asked for an emergency crisis loan to buy food and pay his rent but was told this was no longer available under new Government rules.

“I find this situation unforgiveable.

It’s disgusting that our most needy residents are being treated in this way.”

The council has defended its plan, saying all motorists should contribute towards the cost of operating and maintaining its car parks.

A spokesman said parking cost as little as 40p a week if drivers bought annual permits known as parking clocks.