Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn council rapped for over building work after complaint by guide dog user

By Staff Reporter

Construction work in Lisburn city centre breached a council's equality scheme commitments, a watchdog has found.

The Equality Commission investigation followed a complaint from a guide dog user.

He claimed Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council failed to comply with its equality scheme commitments in relation to the implementation of Public Realm construction work in Lisburn.

The investigation found the council made a series of failings.

These included not screening the project to identify whether it was likely to have an impact on equality of opportunity, and failing to consider an equality impact assessment. The council also failed to review its decision not to screen, despite the complainant's request that it do so, the evidence of his complaint, and difficulties and hazards about which the council became aware as work progressed.

Michael Wardlow from the Equality Commission said: "The findings of this investigation are relevant to public authorities across Northern Ireland.

"There is a great deal of renewal and development under way in our towns and city centres, and the construction phase can be long and present particular challenges in balancing the needs of those using the public sphere with the inevitable disruption during construction."

A spokesperson for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council responded: "The council will carefully consider the Equality Commission's recommendations and will take the necessary steps required as part of this ongoing work."

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