Our statement outlining how the Council will meet its commitment to delivering free period products in East Dunbartonshire as required by the Act.
View our commitment and delivery below.
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 24th November 2020, gained royal assent on 12th January 2021 and came in to force on Monday 15 August 2022. It is the world’s first legislation to support the provision of free products for those who menstruate.
The Act requires local authorities in Scotland to provide period products free of charge to anyone who needs them. There should be a reasonable choice of products which are easily obtained in a way that respects a person’s dignity. Products should be provided in all local authority run education establishments, community venues and in publicly accessible workspaces.
Local authorities are also required by the Act to produce and communicate a Statement on Exercise of Functions, which is a statement to summarise the arrangements in place to meet the legal duties, which includes carrying out public consultation.
This statement sets out East Dunbartonshire Council’s commitment to free period product provision in community facilities and education facilities throughout the Council area.
The Council is committed to the provision of free products for all those who may need to access them. Provision will be made available for all East Dunbartonshire residents and also visitors to the area for work or leisure. Scottish Government funding has been made available to facilitate this provision.
Period products have been available free of charge since 2018 in East Dunbartonshire schools and since 2019 in 13 community locations, including the Council’s Community Hubs, Community Halls, Community Centres and Mugdock Country Park.
As part of our ongoing commitment to free period products we will ensure that:
- All products are free of charge and easy to obtain
- A reasonable choice of both single use and reusable products are offered
- Provision will be available in the community and in Council education establishments
- Consideration is given to respect and dignity in our approach
- Consideration is given to those who may face additional barriers, including those who are BME, LGBTQ, disabled, homeless, victims of domestic abuse etc
- What products are available and where these can be accessed is effectively communicated
- Provision will be regularly monitored and reviewed and will be informed my consultation and engagement.
- Work side by side with community planning partners contributing to the local efforts in eradicating period poverty.
A public consultation was carried out in July 2022. It comprised an online survey which was promoted through the Council’s digital channels (social media and website) and the survey was also available in paper form in our libraries, community Hubs, Community Halls and leisure centres.
The survey was also shared with Community Planning Partners including East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action (EDVA) for onward sharing directly with community groups and organisations
The survey gave people the opportunity to let the Council know:
- what they currently access and where
- views on the range of products that could be made available
- where they could be made available
A total of 316 responses to the survey were received, with a spread across the East Dunbartonshire area but with almost a quarter of responses form Kirkintilloch. Only 16% of respondents currently accessed free provision, with 75% of these accessing provision for themselves. 67% of respondents would access free provision in future.
The results will be analysed in detail, particularly in relation to locations for inclusion in future provision, the range of products and ensuring access to products is available to all. The findings will inform the next phase of community provision in the area and the consultation results will be published on the Council website.
School engagement was carried out following the introduction of free products in schools in 2018 and further consultation is planned for the school session beginning August 2022, which will inform future provision in schools.
The Council is committed to ongoing consultation and engagement activity, to inform developments in free period product provision in community and school establishments throughout the area.
Free period product provision has been established in 14 locations throughout the area. Products available include single use pads and tampons in various sizes/ absorbencies to accommodate differing needs and preferences.
The current locations for free provision are:
Community Hubs (Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch, Lennoxtown)
Community Halls (Bearsden, Milngavie, War Memorial (Bishopbriggs),Westerton)
Community Centres (Auchinairn, Craighead, Hillhead, Milngavie, Torrance)
Mugdock Country Park
Products are available for collection by anyone who needs them, or by anyone collecting on behalf of another person. Products are available within toilet facilities of a building, including the accessible toilet. Those who wish to access products can do so without having to ask a member of staff and in a way that respects their dignity. A person may access as many products as required.
Information on where in East Dunbartonshire free period products are available can be found on the Council website. Information is also available on the national PickUpMyPeriod App which provides details for every area of the country. PickupMyPeriod allows users to enter a postcode or location to see where free period products are available in their area. Users can filter what products are available, check building opening hours and also access a wide range of advice and support on various topics including health and wellbeing, financial support, domestic abuse and addiction support. The app can be downloaded via these links:
Education Facilities Provision
The Council provides free products in all primary and secondary school establishments for which the local authority is the education provider.
In secondary schools, period products are available in the girls’ toilets in a range of locations throughout the school, so they can be accessed without having to ask a teacher or office staff and therefore respecting the dignity of pupils. Primary schools will implement their own arrangements to meet the needs of pupils in their schools who need access to free products.
Pupils will be consulted with on an ongoing basis to ensure the products available are appropriate to their needs and wants. A reasonable choice will be available to pupils to ensure their needs can be adequately met whilst attending school. This will be monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The Council will communicate the provision of free period products on an ongoing basis to inform residents and visitors what products are available and where they are available. Communication will be through a range of communication channels including, but not limited to, social media, website, local press and messaging at the venues where products are available.
The PickUpMyPeriod App will also be promoted to ensure those who need to access free products can quickly find out where their nearest collection point is.
The Council will publish the results of all public consultation in relation to free period product provision and will continue to share future consultation and engagement activity through its defined communication channels. The results of all consultation and engagement activity will continue to inform future developments in provision.
The Council recognises the importance of Period Dignity and is committed to ensuring Period Dignity for all.
The findings from the 2022 consultation activity in communities and schools, summarised in section 3 above, will inform the next phase of free provision in the area. This will include investigating the implementation of an online ordering option, and the provision of environmentally friendly and reusable products. As this next phase is implemented it will be communicated as outlined in section 6 above.
We will continue to review and build on local free period product provision to ensure that East Dunbartonshire is a period friendly area where everyone has access to products appropriate to their needs.
The Council will review and update this Statement of Provision on a regular basis and at least annually.