New team to weed out problems

A new team is helping to stamp out the growing problems of weeds in the borough.

North Tyneside Council has been recruiting a 24-strong environment team following requests from residents.

The new weed busting team – joining the authority for three months – has been tasked with blitzing the borough, freeing it of the excessive growth and improving the appearance of footpath and pavements.

While their main focus will be on eliminating weeds, the team will also be on hand to remove other overgrown vegetation from walls, fences and shrub borders, which were missed due to the weather.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We pride ourselves on being a council that really listens to the concerns of our communities, and acting on any issues that may impact on where they live.

“Residents have told me that dealing with the unsightly weeds is something they want the council to prioritise.

“In response, we are employing these seasonal workers, who will supplement the existing and ongoing work carried out by our existing teams to keep North Tyneside clean, tidy and well-maintained.

“I would like to thank residents for their patience as we work hard to restore the high environmental standards usually found across the borough.”

As well as the weather conditions contributing to weed growth, there has been a change in legislation for herbicide use.

Residual herbicide can no longer be applied, meaning weeds have to be visible before they can be sprayed so weeds may be more noticeable than they were in previous years.

The council has also identified biodiversity areas across the borough – including the Killingworth East West connector, Sandy Lane, a number of roundabouts and Station Road – as part of its approach to balancing the number of biodiversity sites against formally maintained areas.