Introduction from Councillor Riley Leader of the Council and Isaacs, neighbourhoods, safer communities
The Council is committed to improving its practices to combat slavery and human trafficking.
This Statement sets out Castle Point Borough Council’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking on its own business and its supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.
As part of Local Government, the Council recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. In addition to the Council’s responsibility as an employer, it also acknowledges its duty as a Borough 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.
The Council is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
Castle Point Borough Council is a local authority which provides a wide range of statutory and discretionary services for its residents, businesses, visitors and partners. Its structure is shown on the Council’s website: https://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/council-structure
The Council’s Corporate Business Plan 2016-2018 includes supporting our residents, businesses and staff.
“To help reduce social inequality, improve the health of our communities and develop the economy by working closely in partnership with other agencies. We want to improve the wellbeing of our community with clean streets, pleasant open spaces and good quality housing. We will nurture community resilience and work closely with our partners to help the community help itself and to enable greater participation in decision making.”
Our values influence everything that we do and how we interact and shape our community. They impact on our priorities and focus for the future and help form our key targets for improvement.
Our values demonstrate that how we work to deliver our priorities is important to us and that in everything we do - we all work to the same framework of values:
Equality: fair treatment for all
Respect: respect each other
Integrity: integrity in all of the work we do
Caring: listening and acting on staff, Councillor and customer needs
Innovation: seeking new, improved and sustainable ways of working
Teamwork: valuing everyone’s contribution
Accountability: We will be open and accountable to our residents, customers, partners, Councillors and staff.
All tender processes will require bidders to provide confirmation that they are compliant with the Act. In addition, before being added to the finance system, all new suppliers will have provided confirmation of compliance.
The Council reviews its policies and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure they remain compliant and fit for purpose. The following policies and procedures are considered to be key in meeting the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Safeguarding: The Council embraces its responsibility to develop, implement and monitor policies and procedures to safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults The Council has a comprehensive Safeguarding Policy which all staff and councillors are expected to read and work with. The Council works with multi-agency partnerships to protect and safeguard people.
Recruitment: The Council’s recruitment processes are transparent and reviewed regularly. They include robust procedures for vetting new employees which ensures they are able to confirm their identities and qualifications, and they are paid directly into an appropriate personal bank account. To comply with the Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Act 2006, all prospective employees are asked to supply evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK. References are also requested and followed up.
Agency Workers: The Council uses only reputable employment agencies to source labour and verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.
Pay: The Council ensures that all employees are paid fairly and equitably. As part of its commitment to being a good employer, the Council pays the National Living Wage or more to its employees.
Employee Code of Conduct: The Council’s Employee Code of Conduct makes clear to employees the actions and behaviours expected of them when representing the Council. The Council strives to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour and breaches are investigated.
Whistleblowing: The Council encourages all its employees, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities or the supply chains of the Council. The Council’s whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for employees to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.
Members’ Code of Conduct: The Council expects all Councillors to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct and behaviour. All Councillors are required to abide by a formal Code of Conduct. Breaches are investigated by the Monitoring Officer.
Councillors’ Declarations of Interest: The Council requires all Councillors to record and declare disclosable pecuniary interests and personal interests.
The Council works in partnership with a wide range of agencies to prevent abuse and neglect, to detect and report occurrences and to support victims. This includes Essex Police, Essex County Council and the Safeguarding Boards. The Council is a statutory member of the Community Safety Partnership, which has protecting vulnerable people as a priority. Audits are carried out for the Essex Safeguarding Children Board and Essex Safeguarding Adults Board on a bi annual basis. This includes appropriate reference to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
The Council requires its key contractors to have safeguarding policies, procedures and training in place in addition to providing confirmation of compliance with the Act.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we provide training to our staff.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 2017.