A NEW group within Caerphilly County Borough Council has been established to investigate the possibility of introducing free female sanitary products in its schools

The task and finish group was created following a motion from Cllr Elaine Forehead, and unanimous support from the cabinet and education for life scrutiny committee.

It could see the products provided at primary schools, post-16 education centres and youth groups.

Cllr Barbara Jones raised concerns about the cost and the number of those affected though.

“Without meaning to seem like a grinch, I don’t believe that all young females suffer period poverty,” said the deputy leader and St James councillor.

“I do believe that obviously we have youngsters in the borough that have experienced period poverty, but I think we need to develop some sort of understanding of numbers really.

“Because £100,000 a year to develop, to provide for every young female in the borough is a lot of money when we are in austerity.”

Cllr Jones added that she has experience of working in an all-girls schools, where sanitary products were available for young women in need. Other schools were using an “ad-hoc” system, she added.

Cllr David Poole, the council leader, said there was “a very strong case for doing something” but was keen to develop a start and finish point for the working group.

“If there is a need out there, we can’t take our time addressing that need,” said the Pengam ward member.

“Whatever they come up with and something that can help the need of these young girls in some way, I think we need to it as quickly as possible.

“Let’s not do the usual local government thing of a report next year,” he added. “We must do something and not pay lip service.”

Cllr Philippa Marsden, the cabinet member for education and working party member, told members the timetable would be considered at the first meeting on Thursday.

“We’ll set out an agenda that will set out exactly what we are going to do following on from those bullet points,” said the Ynysddu councillor.