Brent Council urged to offer free sanitary products

Sanitary products should be made available for free at Brent Civic Centre to help tackle period poverty, councillors have said.

Cllr Erica Gbajumo, who represents Brondesbury Park ward, called on Brent Council to examine gender issues as part of its latest action plan on reducing poverty in the borough.

She explained that making sanitary products free in the council’s flagship building would be an important step and would “hopefully encourage businesses [in Brent] to follow suit”.

It comes as the council approved a delivery plan based on findings from a poverty commission, chaired by Lord Richard Best, that were published this year.

This covered a variety of key themes, including housing, employment, benefits, and the wider economy.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, who is responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, acknowledged that “a number of issues have since come up that haven’t been covered”.

She explained that a consultative group, tasked with monitoring the delivery of the action plan, has been made aware of outstanding issues, including gender poverty, and will look to address these.

Cllr Southwood said: “I absolutely can commit to looking into gender-based poverty, and specifically the issue of period poverty, which I know many young women in our borough are struggling with.

“I know community groups and teachers are supporting these young women who absolutely have the right to the dignity of being able to access what they need.”

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