A LOCAL authority has been asked to toughen up its policies on combatting 'modern slavery'.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough's full Council Forum tomorrow night will debate a motion calling for action to ensure all its contractors do not make use of any form of forced labour.

It has been moved by executive board member for neighbourhoods and prevention Cllr Shaukat Hussain and seconded by his Bastwell and Daisyfield ward colleague Parwaiz Akhtar.

The motion calls on the council to train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery and require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.

It wants the borough's procurement staff to challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure as far as possible they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

The motion calls for an improved whistle-blowing system for town hall staff and require its tendered contractors to adopt a similar policy which enables their employees to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

It also urged the council to review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

The motion also calls on the borough to refer any suspected cases of modern slavery for investigation by the National Crime Agency.