Plymouth City Council commits to tackling modern slavery

Plymouth City Council has committed today to tackle modern slavery.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Co-operative Development signed the Charter Against Modern Slavery on behalf of Plymouth City Council at the Cabinet meeting today.

Is it estimated that there are 13,000 people affected by slavery though trafficking and exploitation each year. The Charter has been created to ensure that council supply chains, which account for £50bn of spending annually in the UK, don’t support organisations that profit from modern slavery. This will be done by training procurement teams to recognise and challenge signs that contractors may be using modern slaves.

Councillor Penberthy said “It is a sad fact that slavery still affects so many individuals in the UK in 2018 and Plymouth City Council is determined to do its part to eradicate it. Today we are making it clear that we will require our contractors and supply chains to fully comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and any unusually low-cost tenders will be confronted by our officers.”

Alongside the charter Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet Member for Customer Focus and Community Safety, announced that the Council will be supporting Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October. One of the key tools to reporting suspected modern day slavery available to the public is the Safe Car Wash app.

Councillor Haydon said “We know, unfortunately, that many different kinds of industries benefit from the suffering of people in communities across the UK including fisheries, beauty and farming. The Safe Car Wash app is a free tool that I’d encourage anyone who uses hand-car washes to download and use. By answering a few simple questions about what you see and experience the app assesses the likelihood of modern slavery occurring and asks people to call the Modern Slavery Helpline if necessary.”