CALLS for Bracknell Forest to become a pesticide-free town have been knocked back after concerns were raised by a councillor.

Mary Temperton, Labour ward member for Great Hollands North, highlighted research linking the use of pesticides to illnesses at a meeting last week (Wednesday, November 27).

READ MORE: Five stories you may have missed this week

Glyphosate is a herbicide used in weed-killing products such as Roundup and has been found to be toxic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), chronic exposure to ‘highly hazardous pesticides’ can result in effects on the skin, nervous system and can cause cancer.

Local Berkshire:

The WHO also suggests children are more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides.

READ MORE: Burglars raid Crown Wood convenience store

Cllr Temperton said: “Hopefully, there is someone in the council reviewing this scientific research to see which pesticides should be used.

“There are also many towns within Britain which are pesticide-free town and I would like to ask in the future if Bracknell Forest could become in the future a pesticide-free borough?”

READ MORE: SWR issues update ahead of strike

Bracknell Forest Council’s (BFC) environment boss Cllr John Harrison (Conservative, Binfield with Warfield) assured Cllr Temperton all pesticide use is in line with EU legislation and biodiversity policies.

All decisions made to apply pesticides or herbicides are made by BFC or its sub-contractors.

Local Berkshire:

He added: “I think it would be very impractical of us to abandon weed killers altogether because of the need to protect our infrastructure.

“The use of herbicides and pesticides by other bodies other than the council is not something we have control over.

“But everything is done in line with EU guidelines and legislation in this country. If we want legislation to ban the use of pesticides it will be down to the UK government in the future.”

Local Berkshire:

Cllr Harrison also said herbicides are used for weed prevention and stopping breakouts on pathways.

BFC’s grounds maintenance team uses herbicides around the town centre and in the crematorium and cemetery.