The role of local government has recently come under debate, in the context of state retrenchment, public sector cuts and the marketisation of welfare. Recent discussions have centred on local authorities as leaders, on enterprise and on democracy, but there has been little discussion of local authorities in relation to equalities issues and minority groups. This article examines the role of local government in relation to one minority grouping, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people, drawing on empirical material gathered from 2007 to 2010 as part of a large Economic and Social Research Council research project. It describes the importance of equalities legislation and related implementation mechanisms in driving forward the LGB equalities agenda, explores aspects of welfare delivery to LGB people and addresses democratic processes. The article suggests that a collision of different forces is currently taking place: the legislation supports the protection of the LGB communities, but this support is undermined by the recession-related and ideologically driven public sector cuts. In addition, aggregate approaches to local democracy may override the interests of minority groups such as LGB people.