Survey on the council's use of weedkiller in Old Town

  • Latest update: this survey has now closed and we are reviewing the responses we received

From 3 to 23 September 2019 we carried out a survey to better understand for the views of Old Town residents about what is considered to be an acceptable use of weedkiller in Old Town in the future. 

This survey was intended for residents of Old Town, however residents from other wards in Eastbourne and further afield were welcome to share their views via this survey.

This survey was part of a pilot to inform decisions about Eastbourne Borough Council's approach to weed control in Old Town. We would carry out a wider survey before making any changes to other parts of Eastbourne.  

Background

Eastbourne Borough Council carries out weed control on highways in Eastbourne on behalf of East Sussex County Council. This includes the use of weedkiller (Glyphosate). 

Where possible we avoid the use of weedkiller, however there are some areas where alternative methods are not currently available or effective on a large scale, for example on hard surfaces such as paths, garage blocks and highways.

In the past these hard surfaces were often 'blanket treated', meaning the spray was applied to cover the path, whether weeds were present or not. This is no longer our practice.

When our contractors do use weedkiller they do so in a targeted way to reduce the amount used. This prevents excess herbicide being lost into the environment.

If weeds are not tackled effectively they can present a trip hazard to residents and make effective street cleansing difficult.  

The alternative to using weedkiller is to remove weeds manually. This is a less effective and significantly more costly approach which would not deal with the weed roots and would mean the weeds quickly grow back.

In response to concerns from some residents, we have reduced our spraying of weedkiller in Old Town from three times a year to just once in 2019 as a trial.