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Date issued: 21 November 2019
Colchester Borough Council’s Cabinet last night (20 November) committed the council to end the use of potentially harmful glyphosate weed killer.
The decision followed a recommendation from the council’s Environmental Sustainability Task and Finish Group, who advised Cabinet that the change would encourage biodiversity and reduce environmental impact.
The recommendation, agreed unanimously by Cabinet, pushes for phasing out the use of glyphosate herbicides as soon as is practically possible, by exploring appropriate alternative methods to weed control.
The council will also work with other organisations who use glyphosate herbicides within the borough, to encourage them to stop using them as well.
Councillor Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said, “I have been aware of the harmful effects of glyphosates for some time now and have been determined to get the council to end its use. Many residents have raised this issue and spoken passionately at Cabinet meetings about banning glyphosates. I have listened and I promised we would look into it and take action.
“Since we set up the Environmental Task and Finish Group and declared the Climate Emergency in July, we have been working on a number of projects to improve biodiversity. This is one major step. I thank the members of the Task and Finish Group for their support on the glyphosate issue.
“The decision commits clearly to ending the use of glyphosates and we are exploring the best possible alternatives. Whilst there is a cost involved, the environmental benefits for everyone are invaluable and we will look at several options to ensure we get the best possible value. In some places people may want to see re-wilding of green areas and embrace weeds, rather than always having to kill them. We will look at a range of solutions to either tackle weeds without glyphosates or agree places where residents decide locally how to approach weeds.”
Alongside this major environmental step, this weekend sees the first planting for the Colchester Woodland Project. The council-run project will see over 200,000 trees planted in the borough over the next few years. For further details visit Colchester Woodland Project on Colchester Borough Council’s website.
Back in September, Colchester Borough Council was ranked joint third in the country, by Friends of the Earth, for its environmental commitments and carbon reduction improvements.
Further details of last night’s cabinet meeting can be found on Colchester Borough Council’s website.