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Budget Proposal 2024/25: Reduce weed spraying treatment

Have your say.

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2023-11-27
End date: 2024-01-11
Results 2024-02-29

Activity closed. Results published.

Balanced scales


West Berkshire Council currently undertakes two rounds of weed spraying along sections of the public highway throughout the district on an annual basis. The areas sprayed includes town centres, residential areas and roads with a kerb and selected rural roads. Our waste contractor, Veolia, is responsible for this service, which is usually provided by a sub-contractor. 

Legislation Requirements

There are no legal requirements to spray and remove weeds.

What we are proposing

To reduce the weed spraying treatment from two applications per year to one application per year during the summer months. The council has recently enhanced our Climate Emergency declaration to include an Ecological Emergency. It is anticipated that reduced weed spraying can help improve local biodiversity and the abundance of wildlife.

The proposed change would also result in an annual saving of up to £20,000.

What we think the impact will be

We think that this proposal will have the following impact:

  • a reduced use of chemical weed spray agent glyphosate by approximately 150 litres (50%) per annum - this change will be beneficial for bees, other pollinators and wildlife, and can help improve biodiversity within the district; this is consistent with the council's recent declaration of an Ecological Emergency
  • the amount of weeds on public highways will increase during spring and the beginning of summer - this may also have an adverse effect on the quality of pavements and kerbs which may lead to an increased cost to repair and replace damaged pavements and kerbs over time

Icon for pdf Please refer to the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more details. [33KB]

What else we have considered before arriving at our proposal

To provide no weed spraying at all. Removing this service would result in a bigger savings annually and remove all use of glyphosate. This has not been recommended due to the damage this would cause to the highway network. It would also adversely impact the visual amenity of our residential neighbourhoods.

Why we want your views

We would like to know how this proposal might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change, if the decision is taken to proceed with it. We would also welcome your views on areas of the district which you believe don't need to be sprayed at all.

How to take part

If you'd like to comment on this proposal, please complete our survey by midnight on Thursday, 11 January 2024. It should take about 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email

For general information about parks and countryside, please visit our webpage.

You can report problems on a road or pavement, or in parks, countryside and open space, including fly tipping, potholes and broken streetlights on our website.

What happens next

All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration, and a final decision whether to proceed with this proposal will be made by elected Members at the Full Council Meeting to be held in early 2024

If the decision is made to proceed with this proposal the change will be implemented from 1 April 2024. 


Back to the main Budget Proposal page

What you told us

In total, 136 responses were received via the online survey.

We also received 3 separate written responses from the Labour Party, Basildon Parish and Tilehurst Parish Council.

A summary of the responses received is included in the agenda papers for each public meeting.

What we did

The budget for 2024/25 will be considered by councillors at the Executive meeting on Thursday, 8 February 2024, and then by Full Council on Thursday, 29 February 2024. It will also be discussed by members of the Special Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday, 6 February 2024.

All meetings will be open to the public and residents can attend either in person at the Market Street Offices or virtually.

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