Barry councillors want ‘baby boxes’ for new mothers

3 February 2017

A group of Barry Town Councillors want all new mothers in Barry to be given free baby boxes.

Plaid Cymru councillor, Ian Johnson, says “Hopefully it will reduce some of the inequalities we see among children.”

The boxes would include clothing, nappies, toys and bedding and would be given to all mothers-to-be in the town.

They can also be used for babies to sleep in like a cot. The idea is to give all newborns an equal start in life, regardless of their background.

The scheme is currently being piloted in Scotland and costs the Scottish Government around £100 per box.

Jan Hughes lives in Barry and has a 19 month-old child. She says “It would put everybody on an equal footing. I think it’s a lovely idea.”

Some mothers in the area thought the boxes should only be given to mothers with the greatest need for them.

“I would use it if I was given one but I think not everyone would get use out of it. There’s so many deprived areas in Barry that it would be amazing for some people,” said local mum, Sian Jones.

The project originally started in Finland and has been running since 1938.

It has been praised as helping Finland get its low infant mortality rate, which is one of the lowest in the World.

Ian Johnson says, “It has been a Plaid Cymru policy in the past, so it’s not a wholly new idea. We look towards Scandinavia for suggestions because we are aware their society has worked towards greater equality over decades.”

Councillor Nic Hodges says it will only happen under certain circumstances.

Plaid Cymru say they’ll propose the idea in the next town council meeting on Monday.

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