CALDERDALE Council should adopt a “safety first” policy towards a type of weedkiller and stop using it, say the Liberal Democrat group.

Group leader James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) says concerns about glyphosate herbicides have reached such a level that the council should stop using immediately weedkillers which contain the chemical because of potential harm to humans and nature.

He has submitted a motion calling for the halt for the next full meeting of Calderdale Council, which will be at Halifax Town Hall on Wednesday, July 17 (from 6pm).

Coun Baker’s motion says that debate concerning the possible harmful effects of glysophate continues to take place within organisations, including governmental bodies, across the world.

“We are particularly concerned that the World Health Organisation has concluded that glyphosates probably cause cancer in humans and that other studies have suggested links with liver diseases and a correlation with neurological conditions.

“Other studies have suggested that there may also be a harmful effect on bees, which are vital for pollination of many plants,” he said.

Coun Baker said that while his group accepted that glysophate-based weedkillers were licensed for use in the United Kingdom and were both widely used and effective, the council should call on the Cabinet to adopt a “safety first” approach to residents’, employees’ and wildlife’s welfare by ceasing to use them.

“Alternative weed treatments are available and these should be used – as they are in other councils and in other countries,” he added.

Coun Baker’s motion also asks the council to note that there were studies suggesting links between glyphosate and certain liver diseases and a high correlation between use of the chemical and a range of neurological conditions, with evidence used in recent successful U.S. court cases.

A non-binding European Parliament vote to restrict its use in member states had been passed urging it be banned from 2022 and numerous governmental bodies had stopped or restricted using glysophate, it argues.