Congleton councillor in fight to ban herbicide

By Alex Greensmith

2nd Mar 2022 | Opinion

Congleton East Ward Cllr Robert Douglas (Liberal Democrat) is campaigning to ban glyphosate. (Image - © Copyright Glyn Baker CC 2.0 Unchanged bit.ly/35Gs7j7)
Congleton East Ward Cllr Robert Douglas (Liberal Democrat) is campaigning to ban glyphosate. (Image - © Copyright Glyn Baker CC 2.0 Unchanged bit.ly/35Gs7j7)

A Congleton councillor has released a statement, following a council meeting where he raised the issue of the herbicide glyphosate.

Congleton East Councillor Robert Douglas issues the following day after Thursday 24 February's full council meeting.

"This afternoon, I exercised my democratic rights and raised a question during the Public Speaking session of Cheshire East Council's full Council meeting.

"My question asked Cheshire East Council to authorise its Environment and Communities Committee to investigate how Cheshire East Council can adopt the excellent policy of Congleton Town Council and completely ban the use of glyphosate.

"I also noted that in May of last year under this Administration, Cheshire East Council had changed the rules so that I was not able to raise this question at the relevant committee.

"I, therefore, asked that for the sake of our Democracy, would Cheshire East Council revert back to the previous rules and once again allow residents to raise questions at any committee meeting on issues that fall within the remit of that committee.

"Unfortunately, the Chair of the Environment and Communities Committee, Councillor Warren, advised that he is not prepared to let this committee consider the issue of glyphosate.

"The Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Corcoran, stated that he had raised the very same issue of glyphosate some years ago.

"It is with regret that I have to advise that Councillor Corcoran then challenged my right to ask this question given I came eighth in the Cheshire East Council elections of May 2019 on the basis that such matters should be determined by those who had been elected.

"Councillor Corcoran then began to continue at which point, the Mayor of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Pochin told Councillor Corcoran to stop his political speech.

"I would like to formally thank the Mayor of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Pochin for stepping in when she did.

"In May 2019, the residents of Congleton East Ward elected ten Town councillors, of which I was one, with the fifth highest vote. I am, therefore, entitled to ask questions during the public speaking sessions of Cheshire East Council's full Council meetings on issues that are of concern to many of the residents who

elected me. "I am concerned that the events of this afternoon will deter members of the public raising questions on valid and serious issues that concern them at Cheshire East council meetings. "Despite the events that occurred earlier today, I sincerely trust that my fellow Congleton councillors and our residents will not be deterred from raising questions at Cheshire East Council's full council meetings on issues that cause our community concern." In 2015, Glastonbury Town Council in Somerset became the first in the UK to ban glyphosate. Since, over 40 places in the UK have banned the herbicide. As well as damage to plant and natural life, in 2013 the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment toxicology review in 2013 found positive correlations between exposure to glyphosate formulations and risk of various cancers. Now, Congleton Town Council's Streetscape team will no longer use glyphosate. But of course, ecosystems do not care about borders. Would you support a wider ban across Cheshire? Congleton: Do you support the ban of glyphosate? Join in the conversation on our social media. Congleton: Have you signed up for our Friday weekly newsletter? It contains each week's top 10 Congleton news stories, and one FREE exclusive article? 3700 of you have signed up already. Simply enter your email address in the shaded box below or on this link. Free from pop-up ads, or unwanted surveys, Congleton Nub News is a quality online newspaper which produces 15-20 stories a week for our town. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

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