Decision details

Notice of Motion: East Sussex County Council's (ESCC) use of Glyphosate based herbicide to control weeds on the Public Highway and on ESCC property

Decision Maker: Lead Member for Transport and Environment

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider the response to the Motion ‘to eliminate use of glyphosate herbicide formulation in ESCC/Highways’ weed control’ and to provide an update on East Sussex County Council’s approach to weed management. 


25.1     The Lead Member considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.




25.2     The Lead Member RESOLVED to recommend that the County Council rejects the Motion for the reasons set out in the report.




25.3     The Council is aware of the concerns about Glyphosate, notes the concerns raised by some councillors and residents and is committed to finding an alternative. Meanwhile we ensure that the authority meets its statutory duties of maintaining a safe and usable highway network. There are also difficulties in implementing a complete ban on the use of herbicides on all Council owned land and land managed by the County Council as set out in the report.


25.4     Therefore, at present the Council will continue to safely use a Glyphosate based herbicide, until a suitable alternative becomes available, as it is the most effective and efficient weed control method as an approved licenced product applied in accordance with best practice.  Glyphosate is on the list of the Health and Safety Executive’s GB Pesticides Regulation Regime licenced and registered products and ESCC is actively researching alternatives, but at present there is no alternative weed maintenance technique that is economically viable.


25.5     There are proposed trials for alternative weed maintenance techniques in 2022 with the aim of working towards introducing new methods as part of the next highways maintenance contract in 2023. It should also be noted that it may not be possible to eliminate the occasional use of herbicides for non-highways use.


Report author: Rupert Clubb

Publication date: 01/12/2021

Date of decision: 22/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 22/11/2021 - Lead Member for Transport and Environment

Accompanying Documents: