Hand car wash firms in Slough accredited for scheme to combat modern slavery

Two hand car washes in Slough have become the first in the country to be accredited in a new Government initiative aimed at combating modern slavery.

The Responsible Car Wash scheme looks to raise standards in the industry and requires the operator to have financial transparency, provide safe and hygienic working conditions, protect the environment and have ethical employment practices to prevent worker exploitation.

Waves Car Wash and Pro Touch Valeting, both in Wellington Street have both received accreditation following a visit in May as part of the Home Office funded pilot. Waves Car Wash in the car park of Tesco, was given the coveted number one accreditation sticker.

Akbar Mirza, the director and a franchisee of nationwide company, said: “This scheme is the right thing to be involved in for our workers and our customers.”

Pro Touch Valeting is a purpose-built site where customers sit in their cars and pass along the sections getting their cars cleaned inside and out.

Manager Deler Jamal said the site had ensured it had the relevant permissions from the council and had a safe site for customers and staff where a lot of the mechanics of the operation was under the floor.

He said: “It shows you can abide by all the rules and have a successful and busy car wash, and we hope more people will be now encouraged to come and use us.”

Councillor Balvinder Bains, lead member for regulation and public protection, said: “Slough is the first in the country to have accredited premises which is good and this is set to grow across the country.

“Those getting a car wash can now think about where they want to use and take this into consideration.

“Slough is leading the way in protecting those who are sometimes in the most vulnerable positions and can be in roles which are exploitative, not a safe workplace and one which can do harm to the environment.”

The Responsible Car Wash Scheme is an initiative by the Home Office in conjunction with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. Businesses complying with labour, environmental and planning laws will be able to display accreditation indicating they are a trusted provider.

The council and scheme partnership is offering an initial period of membership for free to encourage those who obey the rules to get on board. In future the cost to the business will be £250.

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