A local authority will go “above and beyond” to tackle modern slavery, councillors have agreed.
Members of North Yorkshire County Council have unanimously approved a set of measures to ensure the authority was compliant with the Charter against Modern Slavery and launched further measures to hinder offences such as sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, forced benefit fraud and illegal adoption.
Councils are seen as having a key role to play in tackling modern slavery, including in identifying and supporting victims, community safety services and disruption activities and in ensuring that the supply chains councils procure from are free from modern slavery.
The North Yorkshire authority had already challenged abnormally low-cost tenders and sought explanations from suppliers to justify cost, rejecting those where the evidence supplied does not satisfactorily account for the low level of cost proposed.
Additional measures the council will take include increasing the number of events where suppliers are invited to meet representatives of the council to help them “understand expectations”.
The council has also undertaken to adapt its existing procurement process and train more staff about modern slavery, and in particular those who regularly come into contact with external suppliers.
Stuart Minting, Local Democracy Reporting Service