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Agenda item

Notices of motion - Labour motion 1


The motion was moved by Councillor Mundy and seconded by Councillor Henry.


The Conservative amendment as set out in agenda item 23 was moved by Councillor McLean and seconded by Councillor Ormrod.


The Conservative amendment was put to a vote and fell – votes in favour: 24, votes against: 33, abstentions: 0.


The Liberal Democrat amendment as set out in agenda item 24 was moved by Councillor Bokhari and seconded by Councillor Fairclough.


The Liberal Democrat amendment was put to a vote and fell – votes in favour: 24, votes against: 33, abstentions: 0.


The original motion was then put to a vote and was carried.




The council notes:

1.    Though slavery was abolished in the UK in 1833, there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggest that there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery across the world, with nearly 25 million held in forced labour.

2.    There were 3,805 victims of modern slavery identified in the UK in 2016. A rising number but still well below the 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims estimated by the Home Office.

3.    Modern slavery is happening nationwide. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. This can include sexual and criminal exploitation.


The council believes:

a. That action needs to be taken to raise awareness of modern slavery and the fact that it is happening all over the UK.

b. That the current support for victims is not sufficient and needs to go

beyond the 45 days they are currently given by the government.

c. That councils have an important role to play in ensuring their contracts and supplies don’t contribute to modern day slavery and exploitation.

d. An important step is adoption of the Co-operative Party’s Charter Against Modern Slavery which states:

The council will:

1.    Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

2.    Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.

3.    Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

4.    Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

5.    Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

6.    Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

7.    Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

8.    Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

9.    Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

10.Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.


The council calls on cabinet:

1.    To adopt the Co-operative Party’s Charter against modern slavery to ensure our procurement practices do not support slavery.

2.    To consider the wider impact of modern slavery on the borough, and work to ensure that all forms of modern slavery are eliminated in Merton.


Supporting documents: