Modern slavery transparency statement

The Local Authorities of Cheshire West, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington all support the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This statement sets out the actions we will take to understand potential risks and ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking either in our own businesses or within our supply chains.

Our approach

Our Councils provide a wide range of statutory and discretionary services for residents, visitors, businesses and other stakeholders, and consequently purchase a wide range of goods and services from third party suppliers.

As such, we recognise that we each have a responsibility to take a robust approach to the identification and elimination of modern slavery and human trafficking throughout the course of our business.

In addition to our responsibilities as employers, providers and commissioners, we also acknowledge our duty to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking as introduced by s52 of the Modern Slavery Act.

What is modern slavery?

Modern Slavery is a crime resulting in an abhorrent abuse of human rights. It is constituted in the 2015 Act by the offences of ‘slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour’ and ‘human trafficking’.

This includes:

  • Forced labour

Forced work, against a victim’s will, for little or no pay, often in dire conditions and under threat of verbal or physical threats of violence.

  • Debt bondage

Victims forced to work to pay off debts with no realistic chance that this will ever be possible.

  • Sexual exploitation

Victims forced to perform non-consensual or abuse sexual acts, through coercion or threats of harm, including; prostitution, escort work and pornography.

  • Criminal exploitation

Victims forced into crimes against their will for the material gain of others.

  • Domestic servitude

Victims forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households, for little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time, and minimal privacy or facilities.

  • Human trafficking

Involving the transportation, recruitment, receipt or harbouring of people for the purposes of exploitation - as, but not limited to, the above.

Our Councils are absolutely committed to preventing all of the above in the course of our corporate activities, and ensuring that our supply chains are free from the same.

Modern slavery strategy 2017-19

In 2017, a new pan-Cheshire Modern Slavery Strategy was ratified by Cheshire Police and our four local Councils.

The purpose of this document is to set out our strategic approach in how we intend to continue to develop the good work already happening locally. It will help us to work collectively and collaboratively to prevent, identify, disrupt, stop and permanently eradicate modern slavery in all its forms, and will result in our boroughs being an even safer and happier place to live.

Within that document, and the Action Plan that underpins it, the steps that we will take include the following:

  • Maximising links between the policies and strategies that deal with exploitation, homelessness and other relevant issues
  • Ensuring that information is shared, both locally and nationally, for effective co-ordination and services
  • Raising awareness across our communities, and faith and voluntary sectors, to help them identify where there might be issues and ensure that they know how to report
  • and making comprehensive training about modern slavery and human trafficking available to all of our staff

Additional measures

Along with the above, a number of measures exist to ensure the safety and prosperity of everyone who lives and works within our boroughs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Council / Corporate Plans with Outcomes relating to the protection of vulnerable individuals
  • Council Recruitment Policies
  • Employee Codes of Conduct
  • Agency Worker Policies
  • Whistleblowing Policies
  • Social Value Policies
  • Contract Management and Procurement Policies and Procedures
  • Supplier Questionnaires

All of the documents and commitments above are subject to robust inquiry within their specific local authority safeguarding and broader scrutiny arrangements

Agreed by:

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Cheshire East Council

Halton Borough Council

Warrington Borough Council