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Motion seeks support to provide free sanitary products at council-owned toilets in Newry district

'It should be the norm in schools, universities colleges, workplaces, football grounds, concert venues for free access to sanitary product provision'

Free sanitary items could be provided at toilet facilities owned and operated by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council if a notice of motion wins support next week.

The motion – to be brought by Sinn Fein Councillor Oonagh Hanlon – is aimed at signing up to and backing what is termed the ‘Period Poverty’ campaign.

Councillor Halon is seeking council’s support for the campaign and charities such as the Homeless Period and Red Box Project.

According to the motion, “the aim of these are to highlight the issue that sanitary products are not affordable for all females”.

The motion advocated that as an initial step, the council should look at a feasibility of the introduction of free sanitary products in all council public conveniences.

And it adds: “We should strive to proactively help efforts to tackle period poverty and be part of bringing about such positive change.

“It should be the norm in schools, universities colleges, workplaces, football grounds, concert venues for free access to sanitary product provision.

“We as a council will also write to the to the relevant ministers to ask for an update on the introduction of free sanitary products in schools and education facilities. Currently the North is the only area of the UK where free products are not provided to those in need.”

The notice of motion is due to be debated at Monday’s July sitting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

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