Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 4.00pm (Item 3.)
3.1 The Chair provided the following communications:
“As this is my first committee as Chair, I thought it might be useful to set out a few principles and priorities that will underpin my approach:
Co-operation and collaboration rather than competition – especially given the commonalities between the manifestos of Labour and Greens; act first then review – this will mean working with members in all parties and Stakeholder/interest groups but rather than this becoming an entrenched committee which I don’t believe that we have the time for -we can follow the model being set by other cities – like Edinburgh- where they try something and continually stress test with communities.
Broad participation -as our actions will be most impactful if they are designed and delivered with communities across the city, including our children who are claiming their voice.
A 2030 net-zero emission test, as all the actions of this committee will need to help us to achieve our goal. If we are building new homes, we think about passive or net-energy positive homes. If we are managing transport, we see what will reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage non-vehicle transport. If we are looking to manage our land, we think about increasing carbon sequestration.
I am pleased to inform the committee that the council is actively working towards the reduction of the use of pesticides for weed control in the city. I am aware of the cross-party support and growing strength of feeling that residents would like the city to be pesticide free.
Following advice from the Pesticide Action Network officers are developing a 3-year plan with a view to moving towards ending the use of pesticides. I was heartened to discover that the council have already started to reduce the amounts of glyphosate used in city parks, housing land on public highway. However, having discussed this with the Pesticide Action Network and officers we believe that we can accelerate the reduction in use.
Officers will be auditing the use of pesticides by the council over the coming months and I have asked them to bring a report to committee in October with the results of this audit and a proposed policy and action plan to end the use of glyphosate within 3 years. In the meantime, no glyphosate will be used in City Parks while the impact is monitored, and alternative solutions will be trialled. On the public highway and housing land we will reduce weed spraying from 2 per year to one spray this year. We will be limiting the use of glyphosate to lower footfall areas only and using a new technology which uses infra-red technology to ensure the minimum amount of pesticide required is applied. This new technology promises to achieve up to 80% reduction in the amount of glyphosate used. Overall, we should achieve in excess of 95% reduction in the use of glyphosate by the council this year as compared to last year.
In future years we will be aiming to eliminate the use of glyphosate by the council and working with partners and residents to replicate this across the city”.