Meeting documents

  • Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 4th June 2019 10.00 am (Item 8.)

Members will review and assess the progress made towards implementation of the Committee’s Modern Slavery Inquiry recommendations, as agreed by Cabinet in April 2018.



Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing

Faye Blunstone, Communities Project Manager


The Chairman welcomed the new Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Mr Gareth Williams and his officers to the Committee and invited the Cabinet Member to summarise key points from the 12 month recommendation update.


The Cabinet Member, Mr Williams introduced the item and highlighted the following:

·         The significant number of people who had been trained under the modern slavery training strategy. 840 professionals had been trained, 150 were BCC officers.

·         The multi-agency training approach had proved to be very successful. There were a number of further sessions scheduled and training would continue, further increasing the number of trained professionals.The success of the multi-agency response to modern slavery in Bucks had recently resulted in the successful police and partnership operation where 8 slaves were rescued, 6 were referred to the national referral mechanism, and arrests were made.

·         It was evident that modern slavery was happening in Bucks, but that the response and partnership approach locally was having a positive impact on addressing this issue.

·         There was a national anti-modern slavery day planned for the 18 October 2019 and the Willow project (the local victim service), would be producing resources to support this. 


The Chairman invited Mrs Blunstone to provide the progress update for each of the recommendations and Members were invited to ask questions following the update for each recommendation.


The full update for each recommendation can be found in the agenda pack.


The Committee agreed the status and raised questions for each recommendation as follows:


Recommendation 1:

  • Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


Members noted that the Modern Slavery Statement was easy to find on the website and asked whether it would be reviewed, particularly in light of the new council. Members were told that it would be reviewed annually and would be reviewed for the new council.


A Member suggested that that the UNSEEN modern slavery App should be promoted internally and on our website.


Recommendation 2:

  • Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


The Inquiry Chairman, Mr Lambert, said that he was very pleased with the progress made with the additions to the business unit plans, which now included modern Slavery within them and the progress made in identifying single points of contact (SPOCS) within Children and Adult’s Social Care. He was reassured with the progress as it demonstrated that service areas had responded to how important this issue was.


Recommendation 3:

·         Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


The following points were raised through Member questions and observations:

·         The Willow Project were the supplier of the Modern Slavery, multi-agency training.

·         Mr Lambert said that the training was inspirational and eye opening and that more Members should attend. Members agreed that the future dates needed to be promoted to Members.

·         The session which had been scheduled for 17 May for Children’s Social Services had been rescheduled for July. The session was set up specifically for Children’s Social Care to improve SPOC representation from that service.

·         A Member asked how all the project work, operations and other activity across the various agencies was joined up. They heard that work was coordinated through the partnership boards.

·         Modern slavery training was a topic that all Members should be trained on and aware of.


Action 1: Ms Wager – To ensure that future training dates are promoted in Member News.


Recommendation 4:

·         Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


Members heard that the Willow Project would be producing awareness raising materials for the Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October. These would promote the service more widely, both internally and externally.


Recommendation 5:

  • Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


Members were pleased to hear that details of SPOCs were available on the intranet and that the number of SPOCS was increasing.  A Member suggested having an email address rather than individual officer names in case someone left the organisation and the details were not updated.


Members were told that the service would look into having a central email, but that the individual names served a wider purpose around people being able to refer and contact them directly.


A Member suggested having a very brief summary for Members at a full council meeting or FAQ on modern slavery and the upcoming dates of training sessions.


Action 2: Mrs Edwards, to develop a 1 side flyer key information and training dates and liaise with Ms Wager to arrange promoting this with Members.


Recommendation 6:

·         Members agreed that this recommendation was complete and ongoing.


Members heard that the SPOC training had been progressing well. Adult Social Care was complete and a new additional session for Children’s Social Care would be rescheduled for in July. The service would then systematically identify SPOCs for other departments.


Members heard that the referral process for SPOCS to use had been approved by the Head of First Response and the Head of Safeguarding.  Members were reassured that the SPOCs were approved at a senior level and that there was the appropriate level of buy in of the process, ownership and approval.


Recommendation 7:

  • Members agreed that this recommendation was complete.


Members heard that all processes for internal monitoring were in place. See detail within the report. 


A Member asked how adults and children’s social services cross referenced and linked cases together, particularly around families, to ensure victims didn’t slip through the net.


Members were told that the Social Service leads would need to provide a response to that question.


Action 3: Ms Wager to ask the relevant officer to provide a response for the Committee.


Recommendation 8:

  • Members agreed that this recommendation was on track.


Members heard that there were no set plans for the PCC to evaluate the victim service. However, Members also heard of the significant number of referrals the service had received and the significantly positive impact it had had in the local area. It was also instrumental to the success of police operations. Members were reassured that the service had monthly meetings with the PCC to review and monitor the service. Members felt it was important to review the service as it would help demonstrate the need for the service post March 2020 when the current funding would come to an end.


Members agreed that they would like to invite the Willow Project to their next meeting, by which point they would have been in operation for a year. This would provide Members with an opportunity to speak with them directly to understand the impact of the service, the level of referrals, the types of victims etc. to help build a better understanding of prevalence in Buckinghamshire.


The Committee thanked the officers for their hard work and dedication and recognised the successful implementation of the Committee’s recommendations.

Supporting documents: