Agenda item - Pesticide Reduction Plan

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

Pesticide Reduction Plan

Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Decision:

1)            That the Committee agrees to end the use of glyphosate by Brighton & Hove City Council’s City Environmental Management services with immediate effect, other than in exceptional cases to kill invasive plant species, such as Japanese Knotweed or to kill tree stumps.

 

2)            That the Committee agrees that City Environmental Management will not engage with contractors to use glyphosate on any land managed by these departments.

 

3)            That Committee approves to City Environmental Management working with other departments to phase out glyphosate use across the council and to work towards phasing out other pesticide use by 2022.

 

4)            That the Committee notes that the removal of weeds in parks and on hard surfaces will be undertaken manually as an alternative approach to using pesticides.

 

5)            That the Committee agrees that an update report should be brought back to committee in autumn 2020 to update members on progress and the results and to review this approach to weed removal.

Minutes:

48.1      The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that outlined the current position on efforts to reduce the use of pesticides in city parks and open spaces, pavements and highways and sought permission from the committee for City Environmental Management services to phase out most pesticide use by 2022.

 

48.2      Councillor West stated that there was growing evidence that glyphosate was carcinogenic and whilst that evidence was not completely conclusive, it was right to limit it’s use as a precautionary measure. Councillor West highlighted that his Group had been calling for such measures for a number of years and he agreed with a gradual approach of introducing alternative methods of pest control. Councillor West explained that whilst he supported the reduction in the routine use of glyphosate, there would be a need to use chemical treatments in certain situations in a limited way. Councillor West stated that the trial had indicated that manual removal was a feasible alternative however, it would be important to keep that under review to ensure there were no unforeseen impacts such as an increase in trip hazards or damage to the highway.

 

48.3      Councillor Brown stated that the issue was complex as whilst the reduction in the use of pesticides was something to be welcomed, the potential for a dramatic increase in weeds was an issue of concern. Councillor Brown stated the biggest risk was in the outlier areas on the city where there was less routine maintenance and footfall and asked if a comprehensive log of where action had been taken would be kept particularly given most of the work would be undertaken by seasonal workers.

 

48.4      The Assistant Director- City Environment explained that manual weed removal was conducted over a six-week period over the year as a test. Whilst there was no significant impact in weed growth in the areas with high footfall, it had been found that small areas on the outlier areas of the city did experience some problem with weed growth. The Assistant Director- City Environment stated that the manual removal programme has now finished, and weeds typically started to die at this time of year. However, if there were particular problem areas, ward councillors could contact the Cityclean service. The Assistant Director- City Environment added that the information gathered from the six-week test would be used to schedule when and where works would be undertaken in 2020.

 

48.5      In reference to paragraph 5.3, Councillor Wares noted that it was intended to undertake a consultation with residents and asked whether this would be on continuing or stopping the reduction plan or whether the new operation was working effectively.

 

48.6      The Assistant Director- City Environment clarified that the consultation would be focussed on whether residents had found the scheme beneficial and effective and the specific questions could be discussed further with Members.

 

48.7      Councillor Wares stated that the hasty decision made to begin a pesticide reduction in the city had led to a haphazard implementation and he would welcome the opportunity to view the plan for 2020 when it was finalised. Councillor West stated that the report was missing an impact assessment from the Highways service which was important as overgrowing weeds would also impact upon the road surface, possibly creating increased costs in maintaining the pavements and roads.

 

48.8      The Assistant Director- City Environment thanked Councillor Wares for his feedback and provided assurance that a discussion would take place with Highways colleagues and any impact would be included in the proposed review. The Assistant Director- City Environment added that plans for next year could be shared with ward councillors as they were developed, and that plan and information from the trial period would mean the service could take a proactive rather than reactive approach from next year.

 

48.9      Councillor Fowler stated her support for the reduction in pesticides that would have positive impact on biodiversity.

 

48.10   RESOLVED-  

 

1)            That the Committee agrees to end the use of glyphosate by Brighton & Hove City Council’s City Environmental Management services with immediate effect, other than in exceptional cases to kill invasive plant species, such as Japanese Knotweed or to kill tree stumps.

 

2)            That the Committee agrees that City Environmental Management will not engage with contractors to use glyphosate on any land managed by these departments.

 

3)            That Committee approves to City Environmental Management working with other departments to phase out glyphosate use across the council and to work towards phasing out other pesticide use by 2022.

 

4)            That the Committee notes that the removal of weeds in parks and on hard surfaces will be undertaken manually as an alternative approach to using pesticides.

 

5)            That the Committee agrees that an update report should be brought back to committee in autumn 2020 to update members on progress and the results and to review this approach to weed removal.

Supporting documents:

 


Bookmark this page using:

Find out more about social bookmarking

These sites allow you to store, tag and share links across the internet. You can share these links both with friends and people with similar interests. You can also access your links from any computer you happen to be using.

If you come across a page on our site that you find interesting and want to save for future reference or share it with other people, simply click on one of these links to add to your list.

All of these sites are free to use but do require you to register. Once you have registered you can begin bookmarking.

Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: info@brighton-hove.gov.uk | how to find us | comments & complaints