Norfolk council period poverty project set for expansion
Women will soon be able to collect free sanitary products from three more sites in Lynn as part of the expansion of a county-wide initiative.
In a bid to tackle period poverty, Norfolk County Council has agreed to make the essentials readily available at dozens of new locations, including museums, council offices and youth centres.
The decision comes as an extension of the council’s successful partnership with the Tricky Period project, which has made sanitary goods readily available in all 47 of Norfolk’s libraries.
But, while the service relies on people making donations, members of the council’s corporate select committee have agreed to provide the costs of supplies in the 27 new locations.
The list, which was confirmed at a meeting on Tuesday, includes Priory House in Austin Street, the Town House Museum in Queen Street and 1 Birch Tree Close.
Given the option of extending the donation service, installing reasonably priced vending machines or supplying the products outright, the committee opted to commit to spending up to £3,125 a year to purchase the supplies.
This would be on top of a one-off cost of £5,000 to bring in the measure, which has been recommended to cabinet to rubber stamp.
It follows a motion which was brought before the council in April by Labour councillor Colleen Walker, amended by Conservative councillor Penny Carpenter and passed.
Sandra Squire, independent councillor for Marshland North, was keen to support the option of the council paying outright for the products.
She said: “Periods turn up whenever they feel like it so when you are not prepared it can be devastating – so whatever distance you have to travel to get them is too far when dignity is at stake.”
Labour’s Chris Jones said they had already arranged for some to be supplied at County Hall and had experienced a demand, so welcomed the report.
He said: “There is definitely a demand for this that can be filled at what is a relatively low cost.”
Among the locations will be all 10 of the museums under Norfolk County Council control, along with council-owned buildings in Norwich, Lynn and Yarmouth.
Alongside the council’s 47 libraries, this will see free sanitary products made available at 74 locations across the county.
Committee chairman Karen Vincent said: “This is a very positive step and in terms of the big picture is at a low cost.”