Demonstration over use of weedkiller spraying quad bikes

On Saturday, Councillors and local residents gathered to demonstrate against the use of harmful weedkillers in Dudley Borough and the recent purchase of quad bikes to spray them.

More than 25 attended the demonstration in Mary Stevens Park carrying home-made signs which called for an end to the use of pesticides by Dudley Council and criticised the decision to buy the weedkiller-spraying quad bikes. Ros Partridge, Stourbridge resident and member of Friends of Earth said:

“In 2020 Dudley Council declared a Climate Emergency which hopefully they are serious about because the planet is at a critical stage right now.

“Herbicides such as glyphosate are harmful to our environment. It kills bees on which we depend for our food supply, it destroys wildlife in the soil, streams, ponds and rivers so using it is actually contributing to the Climate Emergency. The World Health Organisation have designated glyphosate as a probable cause of cancer and a threat to human health.

“Spraying must be phased out by Dudley Council rather than increased by using quad bikes to spread it.”

Campaigners are concerned that use of pesticides could have detrimental effects on the health of people, pets and wildlife. Cllr Cat Eccles added: “I have been campaigning against the use of glyphosate and other harmful pesticides in our borough for many years now. This is something which residents raise with me time and time again. 

“I am frustrated that Dudley Council, under the control of the Conservatives, is not listening or acting like they care about the local environment.”

In June, Dudley Council announced it would be deploying three 50cc Yamaha quad bikes fitted with device to spray weedkiller in ‘parks, streets and other high-profile places. The vehicles could cost up to £6,000 a year according to the council’s website. Labour Cllr, Andrew Tromans, who was elected to represent Wollaston and Stourbridge Town this May said:

“The decision to purchase these quad bike is an outrageous use of public money. It was not brought to the Climate Change Select Committee for pre-decision scrutiny and moreover it sends the wrong message about how we should be looking after our local environment. 

“Instead of spraying harmful chemicals all over our parks and streets, I believe that Dudley should be joining 48 other local authorities across the UK who are banning or phasing out the use of pesticides in the areas they maintain.”

At the most recent meeting of Dudley Council’s Climate Change Select Committee held on July 24, Cllr Tromans made a recommendation that the quad bikes were not used in parks, open spaces or near schools.


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