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Deferred motion for council to provide free sanitary products back on the agenda

PUBLISHED: 16:22 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 11 December 2018

Great Yarmouth Town Hall.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Andy Darnell

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A delayed motion looking to reduce period poverty in the Great Yarmouth borough is to be discussed once more by councillors.

Kerry Robinson-Payne,  deputy mayor of Great Yarmouth Picture: James BassKerry Robinson-Payne, deputy mayor of Great Yarmouth Picture: James Bass

At the November full meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s a motion calling for sanitary products to be provided free of charge in council officers was tabled.

However, after disruption from campaigners against the closing children’s centres saw the public gallery cleared, the item was postponed.

Speaking at the time, Labour councillor Kerry Robinson-Payne called for the motion to be put off until the following meeting.

She said: “This is an important debate which members of the public deserve to hear - however, this opportunity has been taken away from them.”

She then proposed the item be deferred until the next meeting of the council, which is due to take place on Thursday.

The motion is being put forward by members of the Labour group on the borough council and is identical to that tabled last month.

It says: “We call upon this council to provide sanitary products at no charge in toilets on their premises for staff and users, and further call for this council to write to Theresa May, calling on the government to ensure they remove VAT from all sanitary products at the earliest opportunity.”

Speaking ahead of the November meeting, Trevor Wainwright, leader of the group, said: “There has been a lot of publicity recently around period poverty and we think this would come at a relatively small cost, but make a big difference.

“A huge about of people visit council officers, often in difficult circumstances, so something like this would be a benefit.”

Should the motion be agreed, council buildings will join Great Yarmouth library in offering the products free of charge.

This has been the case since May, when the library teamed up with a project called the Tricky Period, which aims to tackle period poverty by providing sanitary products in various locations across the county.

However, while the motion would see council offices providing the service, it would not apply to council-owned public toilets across the borough.

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