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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Legal Challenges in Local Government

The Equality Act, combined with the local government financial crisis engineered by Eric Pickles, has led to a slew of court cases across the countries.  The latest is a challenge to Surrey County Council, which has interesting implications for the "Big Society" as you can read here.  Essentially when a public authority makes a political decision that a particular group doesn't like, a choice is made to use the Courts to try to obstruct the decision.  The Equality Act is particularly useful in this regard because it is fairly new legislation (coming into force in April 2011), and it makes Equality assessments far more complicated by in troducing multiple new trends.   Since authorities have to pay "due regard" not only to each individual strand but also to possible combinations, one can construct at least a theoritical case against more or less any decision.  Whether this actually helps promote Equality is another matter.


Yes, the Equality Act came into force on 5 April 2011.  This was only six days before Brent Council decided on its Libraries Transformation Project.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes one has no choice when local authorities refuse to listen or 'engage' with communities.

Anonymous said...

Do you really mean April 2011?

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