Councils have warned that any attempt to licence hand car washes must be fully funded by license fees.
Matthew Taylor, the interim director of Labour Market Enforcement, has called for tougher regulations for hand car washes to protect workers from modern slavery.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said that while councils support measures to identify ‘ruthless profiteers’ and protect victims of modern slavery, any new regulations must be fully funded.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: ‘Council regulatory and planning services have suffered significantly as a result of central government funding reductions which constrain councils’ ability to proactively focus on the enforcement and regulation of car washes.
'If hand car washing is to be licensed, there must be a proper debate about where the responsibility most appropriately fits and it needs to be fully funded by licence fees – another underfunded regulatory framework will not effectively protect people.'