BASILDON Council has rejected a “ridiculous” language guide which calls for local authorities to not to call parents “mother” or “father” but “birthing parent”.

The 18-long page guide, which was sent to councils across the country by the Local Government Association (LGA) this week, urges councils to avoid terms such as “disabled”, “second generation”, “economic migrant”, and “homeless,” according to a report in The Sun.

The  Inclusive Language Guide aims to help councils identify and use language which demonstrates "equality, diversity, and inclusion".


Basildon councillor Luke Mackenzie labelled the guide “ridiculous” as he confirmed the authority would be ignoring its suggestions.

The Basildon mayor said: “It’s absurd to suggest the words mother and father can be offensive. Those are identities that most people identify with, and I think we need to stand up for traditional family values.

He added: “The LGA, which is taxpayer funded, has bigger and more important things to be focused on, particularly council budgets, energy bills, and such.
“Their time would be better spent on actual meaningful policy to help councils meet those challenges.”

The guide is not lawful instruction, but a suggestion as to how council communications with the public and members of staff should be handled.

Bosses at Southend Council shied away from declaring if they will follow the guidelines, but councillor Martin Terry, responsible for public protection, says it is a good thing to use “diverse and non-offensive” language.

He said: “A lot of this language at the moment people are deliberately misinterpreting and labelling it as a “woke assault” on society.

“We all need to be respectful to each other’s race, gender and religion and in a modern community it is only beneficial to be aware of those things.”

A Southend Council spokesman said council bosses had not yet had the “opportunity to consider” the guidance, adding: “As with all guidance and best practice support provided from the LGA, we will review and consider its appropriateness for Southend.”

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Councils are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

“This guide is designed to help councils ensure everyone is supported and respected when they look to their local public services for help.”