Medway Councillors discussed banning the use of the chemical weed killer glyphosate in greenspaces at Regeneration, Culture, and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee yesterday.
Cllr Simon Curry, who believes that the council’s recommendation to cease use of herbicides in children’s play areas does not go far enough, proposed two amendments to the proposal.
These amendments gave the council two options, either:
1) Ban the use of glyphosate in all Medway’s greenspaces; or
2) Trial a ban on the use of glyphosate in Medway’s greenspaces for one year and monitor the results
Both of these amendments were voted down by Conservative members.
'We need to take a radical new approach to how we value our public spaces, and why we feel the need for the use of weed killers in the first place.' Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Labour & Co-operative Member of Regeneration, Culture, and Environment Committee
Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Labour & Co-operative Member of Regeneration, Culture, and Environment Committee said, ‘Medway residents are fully supportive of our campaign to ban weed killer in public spaces, so it was really disappointing to see my amendments voted down at scrutiny yesterday. By agreeing to ban these weed killers in children’s play areas the Conservatives are accepting that this weed killer poses a significant risk to our environment and potentially our health.
‘In this light, I can’t understand why the Conservatives do not find it necessary to ban weed killer in all public spaces; children play in all our greenspaces across Medway, not just the playgrounds, and this measure doesn’t begin to address the impact on domestic animals, wildlife, and Medway residents as a whole.
‘We need to take a radical new approach to how we value our public spaces, and why we feel the need for the use of weed killers in the first place. If Medway Council is committed to valuing our wildflowers, birds, and insects – as well as our public health – then we must take steps to preserve our ecosystems by taking a responsible and sustainable approach to maintaining the natural beauty of our greenspaces.’
Cllr Curry’s member’s item can be found here: https://democracy.medway.gov.uk/mgconvert2pdf.aspx?id=50058