Oldham’s Labour Council has against delayed agreeing its equality objectives, some 15 months after they were legally required to be updated – meaning that they are now unlikely to be introduced until well after the elections in May.
After numerous delays, they updated objectives were due to come to Council for agreement in March, but after an administrative error, they still have to go to be reviewed by four other bodies before they can be approved by the Council.
Local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “The Council’s equality objectives should be championing the needs of the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the working class – anyone who is disadvantaged, for whatever reason.
“For 15 months, the Labour Council has failed to support those people, by setting any objectives. If you are discriminated against, these objectives are supposed to be here to help you.”
The objectives must legally be updated every four years, meaning that the Council has not had anything in place since the 2015–19 objectives went out of date.
Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “Another delay to this is ridiculous. I fail to understand how this Labour Council can have again failed to get this organised.
“I first raised this early last year, when I realised that the Council had missed the statutory deadline for updating the objectives. I was assured, repeatedly, that matters were in hand, and that it was merely a case of ensuring that the objectives and the strategy for delivering them were developed hand-in-hand. A year later, and nothing has yet come forward.
“Again, I ask the Council leadership, if you really care about equality and fairness, how can you not have brought this forward yet?”