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Aberdeenshire Opposition Councillors Renew Calls for Free Sanitary Products

>> 13 January 2018

Opposition Councillors at Aberdeenshire Council have today expressed concern that the administration are dragging their heels with plans to provide sanitary products at no cost to all school pupils.

The provision was agreed at a meeting of the Education and Children’s Services Committee on the 31st August 2017, however despite there being two further Committee meetings since, no definite plans are yet in place.

Following continued pressure from Opposition Councillors, costings have been provided which, following investigations across Scotland, would appear to be over-inflated.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Cllr Alison Evison said:

“We raised the issue of period poverty in Aberdeenshire because we wanted to remove all barriers to pupil attainment and to maintain the dignity of all girls. The slow rate of progress by the Administration is therefore very disappointing.

“We seem to be having endless delays with this vital project, which is having a real impact on pupils across our schools. What should be a relatively simple scheme to implement is being over complicated leading to unnecessary delays.

“We have asked officers to make contact with other local authorities who are already implementing this scheme to find out how they are doing so at a much lesser cost.”

SNP Cllr Victoria Harper added:

“From August 2018, a Scottish Government scheme will ensure that sanitary products are provided free of charge in all schools, colleges and universities.

“All we are asking is that support is given from now until August. Girls in our schools deserve to have free and easy access to sanitary products, and it’s very disappointing that we are nearly four months on from the original decision, and obstacles are still being put in the way.”

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said:

“The North East has led the way in the past year, using Scottish Government funding to create a pilot project led by C-Fine on period poverty.

“Local authorities such as North Lanarkshire have also shown brilliant initiative in providing sanitary products in schools costing around £25,000.

“I am disappointed that Aberdeenshire Council has been dragging their feet on this issue, particularly at a time when people in the North East have been struggling. Many mothers have admitted going without, just to afford tampons and sanitary towels.

“Aberdeenshire Council could be a leading example of support for girls and young women. This delay must not go any further.”

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