Harrow councillors came together to recognise the need to tighten up its modern slavery checks.

They unanimously approved a motion at last night’s full council meeting, which will place greater scrutiny on its procurement process.

It is hoped that the measures will completely ensure the council does not give money to firms behind modern slavery.

Cllr Jeff Anderson, who brought the motion, said: “It is important that we recognise there is modern slavery in Harrow and that we will not stand for it.”

His speech, which documented cases of human trafficking and exploitation, was roundly applauded, with one councillor saying it “almost moved her to tears”.

He mentioned that, in 2013, as many as 42 children were trafficked into Harrow, “providing large revenues for streams of criminal gangs”.

There has been a clear campaign to help tackle modern slavery in the UK, and several councillors praised the Government’s commitment to removing this “scourge”.

Cllr Krishna Suresh, responsible for crime and community cohesion at Harrow Council, said it is a “hidden problem” in society that must be targeted.

“We, as a council, have a duty to ensure that frontline staff can spot and report cases of modern slavery,” he said.

And Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, pointed out that it was particularly pleasing to have a motion brought that will involve genuine action.

While not diminishing the importance of contacting government ministers, he said it was good to see council processes changing due to conversations among locally-elected representatives.

“Modern slavery is a massive problem and it’s fantastic to see the prime minister take an interest in fighting it – that’s something we’re very proud of,” he said.

“It’s sad that this motion is necessary – it seemed obvious that this should be part of the procurement process.

“But it’s important that it is changed, and we are more than happy to support it.”

By passing the motion, the council will check up on companies who put in low tenders – something which could be a sign of modern slavery.

It will also implement more training and will immediately cancel any work found to be in violation of modern slavery laws.