A local authority ban on the use of chemical-based weed killers in public places could cost the tax payer nearly £230m, new figures reveal.
Around 30 councils are contemplating stopping the use of weed killers containing glyphosate, which some say is carcinogenic, and replacing them with non-chemical alternatives.
However, research by Oxford Economics has revealed that local authorities would have to increase council tax to pay for the alternatives. The most expensive of which (foam) would add £228m to the UK’s annual council tax bill.
‘Weed killers used in the amenity sector have been proven time and time again to be safe – no less than 28 independent global regulators and thousands of scientific studies over 40 years back this up,’ said Amenity Forum chairman, Professor John Moverley.
‘They are used across the diverse and important amenity sector as part of an integrated approach, keeping our railways running, maintaining our world class sports surfaces, for woodlands and much more.
‘This research has just highlighted the costs of keeping pavements weed free. The total amenity cost would be substantially more.’