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Local Government: Equality

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL14020, tabled on 8 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman about the equalities duties of local authorities.

Answered on

22 March 2021

It is the role of each local authority’s Monitoring Officer to report to the local authority where it appears to them the authority has done, or is about to do, anything which would contravene the law - including contravention of its duties under the Equality Act 2010 - or would amount to maladministration, at all times.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is charged by Parliament with the investigation of complaints from members of the public who have suffered personal injustice arising from maladministration by local authorities, including injustice arising from failure to uphold the local authority’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010, once an authority’s formal complaints process has been exhausted. Information regarding how to raise a complaint with the Ombudsman and the types of faults the Ombudsman will investigate may be found on its website at; www.lgo.org.uk.

The Ombudsman is independent in matters relating to the investigation and reporting of complaints. Decisions are published on the Ombudsman’s website as well as thematic focus reports to highlight common or systemic concerns.

Where the Ombudsman finds no maladministration or cannot investigate, a member of the public who disagrees with the decision of their local authority may seek judicial review of the local authority’s decision through the courts. I would however advise anyone considering taking legal action to seek independent legal advice before doing so.

Answered by

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government