Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

View Council Agenda

Wednesday, 31st January, 2018
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AU
Peter Bell

Please note: The order of business may be subject to change on the day.

1 Welcome, Evacuation and Recording of the Meeting

2 Apologies for absence

3 Declarations of Interest

4 Minutes

The minutes of the meetings held on Wednesday, 20 December 2017
(Minutes C 88/17 - C 90/17) and (Minutes C 91/17 - C 102/17)

5 Presentation of Posthumous Honorary Alderman Status to Stephen Smailes

6 Public Question Time

Members of the public may ask questions on matters for which the Council has responsibility or which affect the Borough subject to those questions having been submitted in accordance with Rule 10.3 of the Council Procedure Rules

7 Motion

To consider the following motion which has been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.1 by Councillor Di Hewitt:-

There is a rise in the use of food banks across the country, this is linked to welfare reform and the roll out of Universal Credit. The Trussell Trust report that many people are having to choose between buying food or fuel. We know that welfare reform is affecting many people, including people in work and low paid jobs. Austerity is affecting women more and therefore period poverty is a reality and forces many women to choose between putting food on the table and buying sanitary products. This affects both adult women and girls, in a recent survey by Plan International UK, it was found that 10% of 14-24 year olds surveyed had been unable to buy sanitary products and there are girls missing out on their education because they cannot afford sanitary protection. Women and girls do not have a choice whether to have a period or not. For a family where there is a mother and two daughters who have periods, the average cost per month of buying sanitary products is 20. Where women cannot afford sanitary products they are using socks, toilet roll and napkins from fast food restaurants.

Scotland are leading the way and piloting a scheme in Aberdeen, where women can have an S-Card, similar to the C-Card scheme for condoms. The S-card enables a woman to go into a pharmacy and exchange for free sanitary products. Some food banks and community hubs may have sanitary products women can access but these are not open seven days a week. There needs to be a system where women in need can easily access free sanitary products to meet a basic need, maintain dignity and hygiene.

This Council believes:

• that no woman in the Tees Valley should be forced into poverty due to her periods.
• no girl should miss school because of her period
• no woman should miss work or college because of her period:
Stockton Borough Council commits to:

1. To complete a feasibility study into (a) providing sanitary products in schools and colleges and (b) products in mainstream providers such as chemists for targeted groups of women who cannot afford to buy them. This may be a referral system like way people are referred to foodbanks.
2. To write to the relevant Secretary of State to request financial help to alleviate period poverty using the money raised through the tax on sanitary products.
3. To set up pilot areas in the most deprived wards in Stockton, Thornaby and Billingham.

8 Members' Question Time

Councillors may ask questions on matters: In relation to which the Council has powers or duties, or which affect the geographical area of the Council, or which relate to the discharge of the functions of the Police Authority, subject to those questions having been submitted in accordance with Rule 11.4 of the Council Procedure Rules

Question attached

9 Forward Plan and Leader's Statement

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