SCHOOLGIRLS across Clydebank are set to receive free sanitary products.

Councillors voted unanimously to offer the items to all primary, secondary and ASN schools across West Dunbartonshire in a bid to end period poverty throughout the area.

The move to end period poverty was approved after a report from council bosses that it would cost an estimated £96,000, drawn from reserves.

It is thought the Scottish Government may decide to subsidise some of the project after a consultation on the proposed Ending Period Poverty Bill.

Councillor Gail Casey told the council: "I very much welcome this report. I'm convinced it will help eradicate the stigma."

Cllr Karen Conaghan added she was happy to support the motion over what is a "basic need".

The decision, at the December 20 full council meeting, follows a motion that was approved in October.

The motion stated: “This council recognises the struggles faced by many in our West Dunbartonshire communities as a consequence of continuing austerity and benefit reform.

“Council further recognises that many women face additional hardship and stigma due to so called period poverty.

“Council notes that sanitary protection is a necessity and not a choice and welcomes Scottish Government’s announcement to provide free sanitary protection in educational establishments from August 2018.

“Council accepts the need to act now to provide access to free sanitary products in our schools to help our young women and girls overcome period poverty and the embarrassment and stigma associated with this situation.”

Currently pupils can receive free sanitary products from a school if a request is made to the school office or pastoral care teacher. But the report before councillors stated: “This means that the pupil has to actively seek out assistance leading to possible embarrassment or stigma.”

West Dunbartonshire Council is following the example of the Welsh Government’s good practice guides for school bathrooms, which would see each set of bathrooms in a secondary school, and at least one in a primary school, equipped with a sanitary product dispenser, with only towels available to primary pupils.