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Council team begins removing weed growth

The council has begun an extensive weed removal programme after pledging to become a pesticide-free city.

A team of eight will join existing staff who are already touring the city to remove weeds by hand and with tools as the council reduces the use of toxic herbicide Glyphosate and explores new weed control technology.

The council has been aware of the amount of weeds in the city, but has waited until the growth has developed before taking steps.

The team has already cleared the Bristol Estate, Brighton, of weeds and well as deep cleaning the pavements, and have moved onto other areas in the city.

A major step forward to becoming pesticide-free

Cllr Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) committee, said: “Stopping the use of glyphosate is a major step forward in making sure the city, its residents, wildlife and environment are all pesticide-free.

“It will always be the case that stopping the use of pesticides will mean more weeds, but this new team will control growth in the short-term while we investigate the use of new technologies including hot foam and infra-red technology.”

Council taking expert advice

The council is working closely with the Brighton-based Pesticide Action Network,  experts in how to become pesticide-free.

A plan is being developed to end the use of the toxic weed killer in all the city’s parks, open spaces, pavements, verges and housing land within three years.

Cllr Pissaridou added: “We have already started to reduce the amounts of glyphosate used in city parks, housing land and public highways. However, we believe we can accelerate the reduction in use.” 

The harmful effects of glyphosate 

Glyphosate, commonly known by its original trade name Roundup, is a toxic herbicide and the world's most widely sold weed killer.

But many experts, including Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association, believe it causes cancer in humans while destroying the environment and wildlife.

A report will go to the next ETS committee in October, during which time no glyphosate will be used in the city’s parks while the impact is monitored and alternative solutions are trialled. 

Residents who would like excessive weeds removed from public land can contact Cityclean on 01273 292929 or email cityclean@brighton-hove.gov.uk.