It was agreed at a meeting on Monday (22 September) between representatives of Devon County Council and Exeter City Council that a more joined-up approach was needed to address the issue.
Devon County Council (DCC) is responsible for the upkeep of highways in the city, including the treatment of weeds. For a number of years, Exeter City Council has been commissioned to carry out the spraying of weeds on behalf of DCC.
Unfortunately this year, because the work was delayed, the weeds had grown too large and woody for any weed spraying to be effective.
Devon County Councillor, Cllr Jill Owen, Chair of the Exeter Highways Committee, said: “Although both councils find themselves in extremely challenging times when it comes to funding services, it is simply not acceptable to allow the weeds problem to continue. As a result of our meeting there will be a co-ordinated approach and we will be ensure that the available money will be well spent.
It was agreed that additional work would start immediately – both spraying and where appropriate pulling weeds up along the city’s main routes. This will be supplemented by a further spraying regime towards the beginning of next spring and additional use of Community Payback (the Probation Service) to pull weeds in the worst affected residential areas.
Cllr Keith Owen, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, said: “We can’t allow what has happened this year to happen again and we will be closely monitoring the situation over the coming months to ensure that it doesn’t.”