Council’s use of potentially harmful Glyphosate falls by 80%

In Feb 2017, The Shepway Vox Team ran the story:

”Probably Carcinogenic to Humans.”

The story was about the use of Glyphosate by Folkestone & Hythe District Council across the land it owned. Just weeks before this we ran the story, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and its scientists, concluded that glyphosate “was probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Two years on, and six months after being elected, Cllr Connor McConville (Lab) (pictured) put a motion to the full Council to ‘phase out‘ the use of Glyphosate weedkiller by Folkestone & Hythe District Council, on the 20 Nov 2019.

The motion granted exceptions to the above ‘phasing out’ regarding the control of Japanese knotweed, or other invasive species, as there are currently no effective mechanical techniques available. For these plants Glyphosate have to be stem-injected, rather than sprayed, so as to reduce its spread across the district environment.

  • Grant an exception on sprays only in relation to Giant Hogweed where it’s not safe to be dug out or safely removed by other means or where invasive plants are too small to be stem injected.

  • It is recognized that herbicides are required for the control of weeds in fine turf such as bowling greens and tennis courts. Any chemical use will be kept to an absolute minimum and alternative methods of control, trialed when and if they become available.

At the end of 2021 the council had used 265 litres of glyphosate, since 2015.

In the last three years 2019/2021, the Council used 42.85 litres and between 2015/18 they used 225 litres. This means there has been a fall of 80% usage of glyphosate by the council over the time compared above.

It is clear from the data since 2019, genuine efforts have been made to use alternative methods. There has been a significant reduction in use for invasive species due to the Council following best practice techniques and heightened awareness within the council. The additional 3.5l used in 2021 can be explained by treating giant hogweed on Princes Parade. This has to be removed to allow the development to progress.

It is clear then the Council ARE making a concerted effort to ‘phase out’ the use of Glyphosate.

The decline in use of this potentially carcinogenic weedkiller is a success story, and Cllr McConville (Lab) should be applauded for putting the motion. The same goes for the Council itself who have abided by the motion. It is good news for residents, and the district environment.

The Shepway Vox Team

The Velvet Voices of Dissent

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1 Comment on Council’s use of potentially harmful Glyphosate falls by 80%

  1. 2020 and 2021 are probably outliers caused by the COVID pandemic.

    Once data for 2022 and 2023 is available the actual impact of the new policy can be confirmed.

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