A petition to persuade Cambridgeshire County Council to restart weedkilling is falling well short of its target despite a promising start.
The Conservative Party organised petition needs 3,000 signatures to force a debate at the Cambridgeshire County Council meeting on October 17.
But, as of today, the petition is yet to obtain a third of that figure.
Latest tally on the online petition shows only 924 have signed since it was launched by Tory district councillor Charlie Marks on August 19. Immediately after the launch – as reported by CambsNews – 100 people a day were signing.
That figure is now drifting away.
Cllr Steve Count, leader of the Conservative opposition group on the county council, says: “We need weedkilling to restart; CCC made a terrible decision to stop.
“Help reverse by signing this petition https://shorturl.at/dkFTZ
“Please sign and share, we need 3,000 signatures to force a debate at Cambridgeshire County Council.”
One resident of his home town of March was amazed it needed a petition to have it debated.
“The apocalyptic looking scenes aren’t enough for a debate; you need 3000 online signatures instead?” he posted to a local Facebook group.
“This is why nothing gets done anymore, the system is nonsensical.”
Cllr Count says: “The current people in charge Labour, Liberal Democrats, and Independents chose to stop weedkilling to increase bio diversity.
“We need the weight of the masses to help our motion to show just how poor that decision of theirs is and to get them to change their minds.”
The petition calls on the county council to “reverse the Liberal Democrat, Labour, and Independents (the Joint Administration) decision to only kill common weeds, when they become injurious to health.
“We want them to agree to reintroduce the weedkilling regime they had before, using approved chemicals.”
Letters published on social media from county council officials confirm the current policy.
One, from Steve Nicholson, local highways manager north, explained to Manea district councillor Charlies Marks that “this year Cambridgeshire County Council are not carrying out any programmed weed killing treatment.
“The intention is to stop where we can the application of chemical weedkiller in our cyclic weed removal programmes. The intention is not to stop chemical weed treatment where it is part of a process i.e., as preparation prior to a footway slurry seal or a carriageway surface treatment.”
Mr Nicholson quotes the county council’s highway operational standards document, which is council policy, and states: “We will apply weed killer to highway areas – standard – apply weed killer targeted approach at agreed locations identified on risk-based approach.”
He said: “The wording allows us to use chemical weedkiller where it is still the best option to meet the need to manage a risk.”
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