The Head of Community Development and Leisure presented the report on behalf of the Lead Democratic Services and Improvement Officer, previously circulated to Members. He stated that the purpose of the report was to seek Members’ views on and approval for the proposals in respect of combating period poverty.
He stated that further information regarding initiatives had been received from the providers of free sanitary products and once the details were finalised a more comprehensive report would be brought to a future Committee meeting which would also include the outcome of the pilot programme.
Councillor Duffy expressed her gratitude to the Lead Democratic Services and Improvement Officer and her team on their work and paid tribute to other community facilities and businesses in the Derry area who had taken action to provide free period products in their facilities which is a great step forward. She stated that concern had been expressed that the system may be abused, however the feedback received from those involved in the scheme had been positive. She proposed that the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium be included in the Pilot Scheme as Celtic Stadium in Scotland had been the first to introduce the programme with approximately 50 Scottish Stadia also taking part. She stated that she looked forward to the programme being rolled out across the city and district and that Derry City and Strabane District Council was leading the way by being the first in Ireland to implement such a scheme.
Alderman McClintock concurred with the previous speaker and thanked officers for moving on it so quickly. She then seconded the proposal from Councillor Duffy to have the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium included in the pilot programme.
In response to a query by Alderman Hussey the Head of Community Development and Leisure informed him that Foyle Arena, Templemore Sports Complex and Riversdale Leisure Centre were the three leisure centres involved in the pilot scheme.
Alderman Hussey felt that Melvin and Derg Valley Leisure Centres should also be included alongside the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
In response, the Head of Community Development and Leisure stated that at the recent meeting of the Western Area Outcomes Group discussions had taken place regarding the inclusion of sporting grounds and Tier 2 leisure centres onto the programme and this would be considered going forward.
Recommended That (i) There is an intial three month pilot incorporating 3 leisure centres (excluding pavilions), and the Guildhall starting February/March 2019, (ii) that the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium is included in the three month pilot scheme, (iii) Officers from the community development section liaise with the management of council owned community facilities to secure external funding and deliver collaborative approaches to provide free sanitary products for issue within these premises and (iv) Officers bring back a report to review the results of the pilot, including progress/options in respect of community facilities and the anticipated costs of the implementation of the Period Poverty Initiative.