IT took some political horse-trading but Swindon Borough councillors were eventually able to agree on a resolution to try to combat modern slavery.

A motion had been brought to the meeting of the full council on Thursday by Labour group deputy leader Steve Allsopp with 10 points of action

They included having a whistle-blowing plan for any staff who were concerned about the issue, and requiring companies which wanted council contracts to have a similar policy allowing staff to speak up.

It also instructed council officers to be wary of and to challenge any abnormally low tenders for council work to ensure that contractors were not exploiting their staff.

After a passionate speech by Coun Allsopp where he urged councillors to unite as “the powerful speaking up for the powerless, the strong looking out for the weak” Conservative members proposed an amendment to the resolution.

It would have deleted all of the original resolution and replaced it with words describing what the council was already doing - including being the only council outside London to be invited to a conference on best practice - and requesting the leader and cabinet member keep the matter under review.

After a debate where councillors from both parties all condemned the phenomenon of modern slavery, there was a brief adjournment during which members of both groups worked out an altered amendment which changed the preamble, but kept Coun Allsopp’s motion substantially the same.

It was passed unanimously when the vote was taken.