The Executive considered and approved the proposed chemical reduction measures in 2022 as set out in Appendix 6 of the report and to commit the Council to working with Surrey County Council (SCC) in developing a joint pesticide policy.
To implement the resolution as agreed by the Council at its meeting on 7 December 2021
Other options considered and rejected by the Executive:
Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:
On 4 August 2021, an e-petition was launched on the Council’s website requesting the Council to make Guildford pesticide-free.
The e-petition and supporting paper petition attracted over 500 signatures and in accordance with the council’s procedure rules was debated by full Council on 7 December 2021. Following the debate, the Council resolved: “That the Executive be requested to urgently consider and approve the proposed chemical reduction measures in 2022 set out in Appendix 6 to the report submitted to the Council, and to commit the Council to working with Surrey County Council in developing a joint pesticide policy.”
The Lead Councillor for Environment introduced the item and set out the proposals in the report.
It was noted that during clearing of a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) in the borough pesticides were used. It was noted such activities were not always within the control of the council but there would be engagement and partnership work to reduce usage as set out in the appendices. The Leader agreed to explore the possibility of imposing conditions with regards to the use of pesticide at planning application stage.
There were legal restrictions on the use of pesticides as set out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and in certain areas the council had stewardship arrangements with Defra that jointly agreed the best management approach.
It was acknowledged that the council was legally required to record the detail of the use of Glyphosate. It was suggested that the record should be in the public domain and easily accessible.
There was an endorsement of developing a close partnership with Waverley Borough Council and the Pesticide Action Network and it was noted that a meeting organised by Surrey Wildlife Trust would shortly be held involving all key partners and all other local authorities in Surrey. On agreement of the recommendations this would become an ongoing event.
The Leader thanked the members of the public that had raised the petition and brought the matter to the attention of councillors. A copy of the report would be emailed to the organisers for their information.
To approve the proposed chemical reduction measures in 2022 as set out in Appendix 6 of the report and to commit the Council to working with Surrey County Council (SCC) in developing a joint pesticide policy.
To implement the resolution as agreed by the Council at its meeting on 7 December 2021.