Weedkiller use to resume despite protest petition

Weeds appearing through a crack in the pavement
The petition which was presented to full council had been signed by 7,000 people [Getty Images]

The weedkiller glyphosate will be used in Brighton and Hove again despite a petition signed by more than 7,000 people objecting to the decision.

Elspeth Broady presented the petition to the city council weeks after members decided to use a “controlled droplet” approach to rid the streets of weeds.

The council previously scrapped the use of glyphosate in 2019, an approach which has been blamed for rampant weed growth, particularly in the suburbs, in the years since.

The petition was presented to the full council on 28 March, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Ms Broady said: “Glyphosate, indeed any weedkiller, has many negative effects on the environment.

"It’s not selective, killing all plants that come into contact with it, which means fewer wildflowers and habitats, with a reduction in insects and other food sources for wildlife.”

Ms Broady urged the council to find an organic solution.

Labour councillor Tim Rowkins said the council would look to phase out glyphosate again in the future, once the controlled droplet approach had tackled the “five full years of unchecked growth”.

Contractors would be expected to use a “controlled droplet” approach, with the herbicide suspended in an oil-based solution and applied to individual weeds rather than sprayed as previously.

A bee pollinating a flower
Campaigners say glyphosates have been linked to a decline in pollinating insects [Getty Images]

Green councillor Kerry Pickett asked for a report on the return of glyphosate, a clear plan for a review of the herbicide’s use and detailed options for an opt-out scheme for residents.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said that the council would not be the first to reverse a ban on glyphosate, citing Isle of Wight and North Lanarkshire councils.

Follow BBC Sussex on Facebook, on X, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk or WhatsApp us on 08081 002250.

Related stories

Related internet links