At Full Council on 23rd January, Cllr Simon Curry will call on Medway Council to make their herbicides policy consistent and coherent.
Glyphosate, a type of chemical weed killer used by Medway Council, is known to be harmful to biodiversity and research increasingly suggests that the herbicide could be damaging to humans and animals.
Medway Council have recently agreed to stop spraying the chemicals in children’s play areas and around the bases of trees, but this policy does not fully address the issue.
The council have agreed they will stop spraying weed killer in play areas and around the bases of trees, but this isn’t the real commitment to protecting our environment that Medway needs. Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Luton & Wayfield
Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Luton & Wayfield said, ‘I am asking this question at full council because the council’s halfway house policy is contradictory and confusing.
‘The council have agreed they will stop spraying weed killer in play areas and around the bases of trees, but this isn’t the real commitment to protecting our environment that Medway needs.
‘The fact is that the health implications of glyphosate are not fully known, but increasingly there are reports of harm to pets and even humans. Companies in the United States are awarding huge settlements to park staff who have been exposed to high levels of glyphosate, meaning Medway Council could be leaving themselves open to litigation.
‘The impact of glyphosate on marine life is well established so why are, as custodians of the River Medway, allowing it to be polluted by unnecessary chemicals?
‘Why are we encouraging wildflower meadows in order to support bees and other pollinators, whilst simultaneously using weed killers that kill wildflowers and have the potential to harm bees?
‘Our parks and greenspaces are precious resources that contribute to our health and wellbeing, and I encourage any concerned Medway residents to take action. Please download and sign the petition and write to your local councillor to support the campaign to ban the use of weed killers in Medway.’
The petition can be downloaded here: https://mugsforum.org/2019/12/10/use-of-herbicides-in-medway-update-dec-2019/
Cllr Curry’s question to full council reads as follows:
The need to stop the use of herbicides on our greenspaces has now been accepted by the Council following the decision at Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to stop their use in children’s play areas and around trees. This is based upon the understanding that these chemicals are very damaging to biodiversity, the climate, and potentially damaging to domestic pets, wild animals, and public health.
However, this council continues to use herbicides in other public areas and greenspaces which could still have the same outcomes as listed above. In the eyes of many this will be seen as a halfway house policy, will the portfolio holder please explain the Council’s policy on the use of herbicides on our greenspaces?
Companies in the USA have awarded large settlements due to the impact of herbicides on their employees: https://www.roundupsettlements.com/