Councillor calls for halt in use of harmful weedkiller in Fife parks

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A Fife councillor has called for the parks service to stop using a harmful weed killer.

Tay Bridgehead Liberal Democrat Councillor Jonny Tepp wants Fife Council to stop using glyphosate – and explore alternatives after concerns were raised over its use.

Cllr Johnny Tepp

Cllr Johnny Tepp

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the chemical as “probably carcinogenic in humans”, meaning that there is an increased risk of the chemical spray causing cancer.

It is also found to negatively impact the population of honey bees.

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The European Union is expected to refuse a renewal of its license for use in 2022, but until then, Cllr Tepp wants Fife Council to explore other options in ground maintenance.

While Fife Council has reduced its use of the chemical – from 838 5L bottles in 2016/17 to 600 in 2018/19 – this has been for budgetary, rather than environmental concerns, according to service managers.

Cllr Tepp said: “I am seeking reassurance that our use is in line with current government guidelines, asking whether our current use can be reviewed regardless in order that alternative methods of control can be explored.

“My understanding is that there are alternative methods. I recognise that there is a trade-off between effectiveness and cost that needs to be considered but the case for precautionary measures and urgent is beginning to look overwhelming to me.”