LGA responds to call to license hand car washes

“Modern slavery is a despicable crime and a rising threat to our communities. We are working with councils to increase awareness and understanding of modern slavery, to help them identify these ruthless profiteers and rescue their victims from lives of servitude, including those working at hand car washes for little or no pay."


Hand car wash

Responding to a call by Matthew Taylor, interim Director of Labour Market Enforcement, to license hand car washes to protect workers from modern slavery, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Modern slavery is a despicable crime and a rising threat to our communities. We are working with councils to increase awareness and understanding of modern slavery, to help them identify these ruthless profiteers and rescue their victims from lives of servitude, including those working at hand car washes for little or no pay.

“Council regulatory and planning services have suffered significantly as a result of central government funding reductions which constrain councils’ ability to proactively focus on the enforcement and regulation of car washes.

“If hand car washing is to be licensed, there must be a proper debate about where the responsibility most appropriately fits and it needs to be fully funded by licence fees – another underfunded regulatory framework will not effectively protect people.

“In the meantime, we encourage people using hand car washes to use the Safe Car Wash app and report any suspicions of modern slavery.”

Notes to editors

  1. The LGA has published a joint guide for councils, in conjunction with the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s office, which includes advice on disruption, focusing on the use of regulatory and other powers to tackle modern slavery.
  2. Matthew Taylor made his comments during a speech to the Resolution Foundation this morning.