Both Councils are required, pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. The following constitutes its joint Statement for the financial year ending 31st March 2021:
What is Slavery?
A brief description is as follows:
- a person holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is held in slavery or servitude, or
- the person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
What is Human Trafficking?
A brief description is as follows:
- a person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view exploiting that person.
- a person is exploited if one or more of the following apply in relation to the person - slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
[the above definitions are those set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015]
What are the Councils doing?
Both Councils are committed to improving its practices to combat slavery and human trafficking. As part of Local Government, it recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. In addition to its responsibility as an employer, it also acknowledges it has a duty as a District Council to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking as introduced by section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Both Councils are absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities and to ensure that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
Malvern Hills District Council has a 5-year plan (2016-2021) which identifies 3 strategic priorities: building stronger and healthier communities; driving economic prosperity and growth; and making the most of our superb environment. Preventing slavery and tackling human trafficking will be tackled in the Council’s implementation of its 5-year plan.
Wychavon District Council’s Strategic Plan (2016-2020) also identifies 3 priorities: People – healthy, happy, active and supported; Place – green, clean and safe with quality, affordable homes; and Prosperity – vibrant communities and quality jobs and skills. Key points that cover the prevention of slavery and tackling human trafficking include but are not limited to: supporting people most in need, improving people’s skills to succeed and supporting & engaging with communities.
Both Councils also puts personal integrity, honesty and respect for others along with recognising the diversity and equality of individuals at the core of its overall values.
Through the above, both Councils firmly puts community leadership at the heart of everything it does and therefore is committed to the various elements supporting this overall vision which would include combating slavery and human trafficking.
This statement covers the full activities of Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and its Organisational Structure.
Our Supply Chains:
As District Councils it purchases goods and services under a robust procurement strategy which includes a commitment to ethical purchasing and equality and diversity in procurement.
The Councils expects all suppliers to adhere to the same principles and would always aim to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in any part of its business.
The Councils recognises that we all have a responsibility to be alert to the risks, however small, in its business and in the wider supply chain.
The Councils has identified the Joint Director of Housing and Communities as the single point of contact for Council Officers to report any concerns or suspicions that may arise as they carry out their day to day activities. The Joint Director of Housing and Communities also has a duty to report relevant matters to the Home Office.
To date we have not identified or been notified of any slavery or human trafficking activities in our supply chain or in any part of the business. If we did become aware of such issues we would act immediately.
Although we have robust processes in place both Councils remain committed to improving all aspects of its business and further actions proposed include:
- The provision of awareness through communication and training – to both Officers and Members
- Ensuring specifications include a commitment from suppliers to support the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
- Not awarding contracts where suppliers do not demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their own business or supply chains.
- An on-going commitment and expectations from Officers to be included in future revisions to the Councils Procurement Strategy
- Protection of whistle blowers.
Cllr. Sarah Rouse
Leader of Council
Malvern Hills District Council
Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils
Cllr. Bradley Thomas
Leader of Council
Wychavon District Council