The issue of Period Poverty and how it can best be addressed
Decision Maker: Health Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
This report as requested by Full Council
provides an outline of the issue of period poverty.
Andrea Smith, Public Health Specialist presented a report, providing an outline of the issue of period poverty and how engagement with the national government taskforce would further support a collaborative approach across Lancashire.
It was explained that the council were currently awaiting the outcome of the government taskforce recommendations before formulating its response.
In response to questions it was confirmed that:
- It was not clear if the Council's Corporate Communications Group had been requested to carry out a campaign regarding period poverty or if Lancashire Youth Zone had been asked to assist in any campaigns or education programmes. However it was likely that both service areas would be involved in taking forward the outcome of the government's taskforce recommendations and a further update would be provided.
- It would be beneficial to have a collaborative approach with district councils and other partners such as the providers of school nursing to the task force recommendations.
Members made the following observations:
- The link between period poverty and pupils in receipt of free school meals was highlighted and a member shared their experience in a school working with students on formulating a plan on how best to address the issue. It was suggested that as central government had pledged funding for both primary and secondary schools an action plan could be presented to the Schools Forum.
- With regard to addressing the stigma of period poverty, this should be with regard to people of all ages and gender.
- Members requested more specific detail and information to enable measurement of success. It was confirmed that there was a link within the report for UK data and that the council would link with other counties to understand the issues around stigma and lack of knowledge. The positive work done in local business and groups to raise awareness was also referenced.
- The Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Members for 'Health and Wellbeing' and 'Children, Young People and Skills' give consideration to implement an education programme and campaign to address the issue of period poverty across all schools in Lancashire in partnership with Lancashire YouthZone, Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust and VirginCare.
2. CC Hennessy be appointed as rapporteur to report to the Health Scrutiny Committee on the activities of the Government's joint taskforce on period poverty in the UK.
Report author: Gary Halsall
Date of decision: 14/05/2019
Decided at meeting: 14/05/2019 - Health Scrutiny Committee