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Agenda item

Modern Slavery Update and Transparency Statement 2019-20

Report of the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment

 

Recommendations:-

 

1.    That the progress against commitments made be noted.

 

2.    That the refreshed Transparency Statement be approved for publication.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which provided an update in relation to the activity of the Council and its partners, in seeking to both address and prevent modern slavery. The report focussed specifically on actions following the resolution passed by Council to adopt the Co-operative Party Charter against Modern Slavery on the 25th July, 2018.

 

It highlighted key achievements, such as work alongside suppliers to increase compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which had seen an increase in verified compliance.

 

The Council initially identified seventeen suppliers that were required to comply with the Modern Slavery Act, but where compliance, in particular publication of a transparency statement, could not be verified. The Council identified eight of those were current suppliers. Contact was made with all eight suppliers to inform them of their obligations and to ask for an update in relation to compliance. This led to all eight companies becoming compliant.

 

There were also issues around support for victims and the referral mechanism only gave a victim forty-five days of support.  The Council were fully supportive of a national campaign to make this a year long level of support to overcome the trauma of what they had been through and give them time to stabilise their lives through housing and employment.

 

Cabinet Members paid tribute to the Cabinet Member and officers involved in this Statement and expressed the need for more work with community and the voluntary sector to raise awareness and progress.  The local Modern Slavery Partnership had also been launched and Councillor Short was thanked for his support, input and his challenge.

 

The report also introduced a refreshed transparency statement for the period 2019 to 2020 for approval.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the progress against commitments made be noted.

 

(2)  That the refreshed Transparency Statement be approved for publication.

Supporting documents: