FEARS modern day slavery is going on “under our noses” has prompted an official call to Tendring Council to adopt a new charter to protect workers.

Harwich councillor, and Tendring’s Labour group leader, Ivan Henderson tweeted at Tendring Council and Essex County Council about the issue last week.

He urged both authorities to commit to the Co-operative Party’s charter as soon as possible, and is now set to table a written question on the charter to Tendring’s next full council meeting next month.

Mr Henderson said: “It proactively commits them to vet their own supply chains to drive out modern slavery.

“It’s making profit out of people’s misery. “We would probably be surprised - it’s happening under our noses.

“If the council adopts this charter it sends a clear message to anyone in Tendring or working for Tendring Council that it will not be tolerated.”

The 10-point charter asks authorities to train staff on modern slavery, require contractors to comply with the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 and to adopt a whistle-blowing system, and challenge abnormally low-cost tenders.

The Co-operative Party says modern slavery includes sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour and criminal exploitation and can take place anywhere including nail bars, car washes, farms, factories and restaurants.

A spokesman for Tendring Council said: “Mr Henderson’s question will be considered with all others on September 11 at the meeting.”

Essex County Council is working on its own modern slavery charter.

A spokesman said: “We recognise our responsibility in taking a robust approach to eliminating modern slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain. “

“Our commitment to this is set out in our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.”