Vote on Guildhall and Brandywell tampons

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Derry City & Strabane District Council will vote on Thursday on whether or not to take steps to introduce free tampons and sanitary towels in the Guildhall, the Council offices and the Brandywell.

The initiative is being proposed by Sinn Féin Coincillor, Sandra Duffy, who wants Derry and Strabane to become the first Council in the North to endorse a high profile campaign to end ‘period poverty’ by making sanitary products freely available in public spaces.

The ‘On the Ball’ #FreePeriod drive has already seen Celtic Football Club of Glasgow provide free sanitary products at its ground, Celtic Park.

Colr. Duffy believes DC&SDC should follow suit.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ prior to Thursday’s full Council meeting, she said: “I have been campaigning on this issue locally for some time now and felt the next logical step was for our Council to become the first in the North to embrace the ‘On the Ball’ campaign to help prevent ‘period poverty’.

“I have been inspired over recent months by the success of the campaign spearheaded by Orlaith Duffy, Erin Slaven, Mikaela McKinley to get free sanitary products into Celtic Park football ground in Glasgow.

“The ‘On the Ball’ campaign has grown considerably with clubs right across Scotland and England now coming on board.”

Colr. Duffy has tabled a motion calling on the local authority to look at the feasibility of introducing free products at “the Guildhall, the Council offices in both Derry and Strabane, and in keeping with the ‘On The Ball’ campaign we also look at the feasibility of providing free sanitary products in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium”.

“I totally understand trying to bring in any new scheme that there will always be teething problems and working out the practicalities but I think it’s important locally we are looking at solutions not putting up barriers otherwise we will be left behind,” said Colr. Duffy.