Sheffield Council tenants will be asked whether poisonous weed killer glyphosate should be banned on their estates
Sheffield Council will roll out a series of trials to stop using a poisonous weed killer on its land but needs to consult with tenants on two housing estates.
Officers originally said there would be trials to stop using glyphosate on council housing land in Longley and Gleadless Valley.
But at a meeting, councillors said they wanted to consult with tenants first before those estates were definitely confirmed.
Separate to the possible trials in Gleadless Valley and Longley, councillors did approve a trial in Brincliffe but officers say it will need support from residents to help manage weeds.
Campaigners have been calling for a ban on glyphosate but the council says alternative products don’t manage weeds as effectively, or cost considerably more to use.
And officers warn people need to be able to move around easily and safely on council owned land, particularly footpaths.
So the council will do a series of trials, listen to residents and officers will report back in a few months on how well the glyphosate ban has worked.
The council’s Executive has agreed to communicate with residents across the city to highlight why the ban is needed and how people can participate.
Council officer Lisa Firth said: “Communication will be undertaken across the city highlighting the importance of these changes.
“We’ll be talking about the nature and ecological emergency and the environment. The consultation will allow residents to share their views because we know that there will be impacts on residents and that those impacts will be different in different areas of the city.”
The parks service will stop using glyphosate in shrub and rose beds, floral displays, hedgerows and planted areas from April 2022.
The council won’t replace it with other herbicides or other methods of weed control but glyphosate will continue to be used on hard surfaces to keep footpaths clear and safe.
Norton and Beighton cemeteries will undertake glyphosate-free trials but there will need to be more strimming to ensure access to burial plots and remembrance areas.
Glyphosate is licenced in for safe use in the UK until the end of 2022.