Coun­cil in row over weed­killer

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE ROPER

RES­I­DENTS have blasted the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to use weed­killer over health and safety con­cerns while us­ing strim­mers.

Coun­cil staff have been told to use weed­killer in­stead of strim­mers to main­tain the grass around shrubs and benches in urban ar­eas.

But res­i­dent Sean Bag­u­ley, who spot­ted long patches of dead grass at Rainow Vil­lage Green, says the use of weed­killer looks ‘ aw­ful’ and will be more harm­ful to wildlife.

Sean, 58, who lives on Sugar Lane, Rainow, said: “It just looks aw­ful and the weed­killer can’t be good for hedge­hogs and slugs.

“There is a vil­lage green around the back of my house and the weed­killer can’t do the ground any good ei­ther.

“There are just stripes of dead grass ev­ery­where, it looks dread­ful.”

Fa­ther-of-three Sean dis­missed the idea that strim­mers were dan­ger­ous. Sean, who has lived in the house on Sugar Lane with wife Jill for 16 years, said: “That’s rub­bish. Strim­mers are used ev­ery­where, which they wouldn’t be if they were dan­ger­ous. I emailed them but was just told the weed­killer was not dan­ger­ous.”

A spokesper­son from Cheshire East Coun­cil said the de­ci­sion to use weed­killer in­stead of strim­ming the grass had been made for health and safety rea­sons.

The spokesper­son said: “In urban ar­eas, cut­ting grass around trees and street fur­ni­ture on grass verges can present risks such as fly­ing stones and de­bris which could hit our work­force, pedes­tri­ans, parked cars or prop­erty.

“In re­sponse to a num­ber of near misses of this na­ture in the past, we now weed­spray around trees and street fur­ni­ture in­stead of strim­ming, in order to neatly main­tain th­ese very small ar­eas.

“We do try to limit the treat­ment to the im­me­di­ate area around the ob­struc­tion in order to min­imise as much as pos­si­ble the ar­eas of grass af­fected.”

Mac­cles­field gar­dener Jon Til­ley, who runs Drag­on­fly Gar­den De­sign, said: “The use of weed­killer should be kept to a min­i­mum for en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons. Strim­mers are a good tool – but not near gravel as they can flick things around.”

Com­ment­ing on our Face­book page, Jes­sica Ham­mond said: “The weed­killer around the lamp­posts have killed the grass off. It looks a mess.”

Erika Groen­eveld said: “Health and safety over long-term dam­age to our pol­li­na­tors and planet... Ehm.”

Marie Git­tings said: Slowly killing all the hawthorn trees that once flow­ered all along Brock­le­hurst av­enue.”

Denise Cop­pack said: “Surely weed killer is more dan­ger­ous than a strim­mer?”

But Trevor Pren­er­gast seemed happy about the idea.

He said: “Great de­ci­sion. Noisy things.”

●● A patch of dead grass on a verge in Rainow

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