FINES of up to £1,000 could be issued from September in a bid to clamp down on people who misuse the disabled blue badge scheme.

Cabinet members will consider approving new enforcement and prosecution measures against those who misuse the scheme on July 16.

If the report is approved, officers will be able to investigate anonymous reports of fraud or misuse of blue badges and take legal action against those committing an offence.

To identify the level of misuse in the town - where there are currently around 13,500 badges - a two-day joint initiative was carried out with South Yorkshire Police.

A total of 51 badges were inspected, with eight penalty notices being issued to people who were displaying a badge without the holder being present.

One blue badge was returned to the council after the family member admitted it belonged to their deceased relative.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for communities, said: "Using a stolen or fake blue badge, or allowing a friend or family to use them, is fraud.

"It prevents drivers with a genuine need from being able to park close to shops and amenities they need, making life much more difficult for them."

The new powers could come into force from September 1.