Northern Amenity Forum to promote best pesticide use

Sharing best practice in pesticide use in amenity areas is one of the key aims of a new regional group.

The Northern Amenity Forum has been formed from a group of local authorities including Calderdale, Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Kirklees, North Lincolnshire, Oldham and Wakefield.

The group will hold local meetings to discuss specific topics relevant to the area and will have representatives on the national Amenity Forum to work closely with other members.

Amenity Forum chairman Jon Allbutt said the new group was a "key development" in the drive to achieve best practice in pesticide use across the local authority sector.

Oldham council's parks manager Steve Smith said he welcomed the idea: "We are definitely keen to share best practice because the removal of chemicals from our armoury will have a massive impact on council budgets."

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council's support services manager Mark Dempsey added that the forum was a good way of exchanging ideas with other local authorities. "It is a positive step in focusing on pesticide legislation, standard setting, training issues and improving the public perception of pesticide application."

The Amenity Forum has also sent a brief to all UK MEPs to ensure they are aware of the role of pesticides in the management of urban streets, landscape, sport, leisure, highways and rail infrastructure.

The European Parliament is currently working on a proposed new EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides.

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