Issue details

Response to Referred Notice of Motion from Council Regarding Period Poverty

Cabinet Members response to the referred Notice of Motion from Council on the 5 February
This Council notes that:
• A survey by Plan International UK found that 1 in 10 girls had been unable to afford sanitary products;
• 56% of girls said they would rather be bullied at school than talk to their parents about periods;
• This is particularly problematic for girls from low-income families who see their parents struggling to make ends meet and feel reluctant to ask them to add sanitary products to the weekly shop;
• In many cases, as a result, they may lose a significant number of days of schooling;
• Regrettably, even women in low-income employment are sometimes unable to afford such products when struggling to meet household bills and feed their families;
• Ironically, only female prisoners have a statutory right to access free sanitary products.
Council believes that, in a country as wealthy as Britain, ‘Period Poverty’ is a scandal that should be ended.
Council commends:
• The Scottish Government for its commitment to tackle ‘Period Poverty’ by introducing free sanitary products in all educational establishments, and notes that Scotland was one of the first countries to pilot a scheme to young women and girls in need in Aberdeen; and
• The ‘dignity bags’ scheme established by Chepstow Town Council and the similar work of the Red Box project, especially its volunteers in our borough, where members of the public can donate sanitary products in branded boxes located in prominent places, such as pharmacies and libraries, for re-distribution to women in need.
Council resolves to:
(i) Ask the Children’s Services, Education and
(ii) Ask the relevant Cabinet Member to write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asking the Government to scrap the VAT levied on female hygiene products as soon as is practicable and, in the meantime, to use the VAT collected on these products to fund the provision of free sanitary products for girls and women in need.”

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 28/02/2019

Decision due: 26 Mar 2019 by CPH Children and Education
Reason: Select Decision Making session

Lead member: CPH Children and Education

Lead director: Director of Children's Services & Skills

Department: Children's Services & Skills Directorate

Contact: Phil Leivers Email:, Ian Mather Email: Phil Leivers - 0121 704 8282.

Making Representations: 11 March 2019


Agenda items


  • Response to Referred Notice of Motion from Council Regarding Period Poverty  
  • Response to Referred Notice of Motion from Council Regarding Period Poverty