The money schools get from the Department of Education to provide free period products has been cut by more than 40%.
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) had previously generated a six month pilot scheme to address local community period poverty in June 2022, with free sanitary products in eight of its community and activity centres.
A LCCC spokesperson said: “Pending further guidance from The Executive Office (TEO), Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council continues to provide free hygiene products across the eight centres that were part of its pilot project. “This is subject to available funding.
“Those centres are our community centres at Moneyreagh, Enler, Ballyoran and the Bridge, our activity centres at Glenmore, Grove and Kilmakee as well as Lough Moss Leisure Centre.”
The LCCC website adds: “The council will use its networking capabilities and influence to lobby the Assembly on behalf of food banks, churches, charities and other related groups to introduce a national programme to combat period poverty.”
However, concerns have been raised over council finances potentially being used to balance any Stormont budget cuts.
Lisburn South Alliance candidate, Amanda Grehan said: “It is not financially viable for council to use ratepayers money to fill the gap left by the cuts from the Department of Education.
“The decision by the Department of Education to cut funding for free period products is a further sign that we need a working Executive formed immediately.
“As usual, when budget cuts are made it is the most vulnerable who suffer first.”