By Bill Heaney

Car wash sites in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll – that includes Helensburgh, Cardross and Lomond – may soon require to be licensed.
First Minister Humza Yousaf told the Scottish parliament on Thursday that he is looking into a possible Car Wash Licensing Scheme (Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery) Bill.
The subject was raised by Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury, whose constituency is in Lothian.
Mr Choudhury told MSPs: “In February this year, the Minister for Community Safety confirmed that the car wash sector was high risk for labour exploitation.
“The minister also confirmed that 39 premises were attended by police across the country and that a number of offences were detected, and persons safeguarded.

“In light of that, will the First Minister advise whether the Scottish Government would consider implementing a licensing scheme for car washes in Scotland to ensure that practices such as human trafficking and modern slavery are prevented in that trade?”

The First Minister replied: “I thank Foysol Choudhury for raising that incredibly important issue. I know that it is very close to his heart and that he has raised it publicly with this Government on a number of occasions.

“I am pleased to say that I know that all of this Parliament shares our ambition to eradicate human trafficking.

“We will work right across the United Kingdom—including with other Governments where necessary, where some of those powers are reserved—to do what we can to eradicate human trafficking.

“On the very specific issue of looking at a licensing scheme that Foysol Choudhury raised with me, I will take that away and give it the due consideration that he asked me to give it. I will make sure that the appropriate minister writes back to him in due course.”

A typical car wash site in operation in the West of Scotland.

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