Period poverty action will be investigated by Reading Borough Council (RBC), after the issue was raised at Monday’s Policy committee.

One in ten girls or women aged 14 to 21 in the UK cannot afford sanitary products, while more than 10 per cent have had to use improvised sanitary wear such as a sock or toilet paper because of costs.

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, lead member for Health and Wellbeing, was asked by Ayo Sokale, Reading Labour’s Women’s Officer, if the council would support two campaigns against period poverty: Unite the Union’s period poverty campaign and the Red Box Project.

He said: “As the father of two daughters, I am horrified by the thought that 10 per cent of girls and women aged between 14 and 21 are unable to afford sanitary products.

“It is clearly very important for women’s wellbeing that we create a town where we seek to achieve equality in this area of women’s health.”

Officers will investigate and report back to committee on how RBC can sign up to Unite the Union's Period Dignity campaign ‘through positive practical action’, and how it can support the Red Box project, which provides free menstrual products in school.

Ms Sokale also asked Cllr Hoskin if the council would investigate the possibility of providing free menstrual products in schools and increasing the amount of information it provides residents on reusable menstrual products.

Cllr Hoskin asked officers to consider how the council can address fair access to sanitary products in its role as an employer and community leader and best provide information about reusable menstrual products.

He also highlighted the importance of working with schools and the education community to address period poverty but added that resources are needed from the government to tackle the issue.

Period poverty is having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Last year seven per cent of girls – more than 137,000 – were forced to skip school because of their period.