A campaigner has called on her local councils to stop using a weedkiller that has been linked to cancer.

Belinda Phipps is concerned about the use of Glyphosate - or Roundup - in Abbots Langley - the world's most widely used weedkiller.

The product helps keep weeds under control but manufacturer Monsanto has paid out millions of dollars in the past year after a US court ruled in favour of claimants who said the chemical had caused them to develop cancer.

Germany has confirmed it will phase out the controversial weedkiller by 2023.

Ms Phipps, a former Abbots Langley parish councillor, said: "The truth is we don't know how much Glyphosate being sprayed. It is getting into our water. It is being sprayed where children may not be aware and then they are putting their hands in their mouths.

"On behalf of Abbots Langley in Transition Association, we ask councils to halve its use of the chemical over the coming year and continue to halve it year on year. I understand there may be occasions where it needs to be used but ideally we'd like the use of Glyphosate to be stopped altogether."

Watford Observer:

Belinda Phipps

Ms Phipps' latest campaign led her to submit a Freedom of Information request to Abbots Langley Parish Council regarding the use of Roundup.

The FoI was discussed at the parish council's leisure committee meeting in August.

A spokesperson for the parish council said: "The parish council used 6.4 litres of Glyphosate in the past year, mainly to control weed growth that causes damage to footpaths. The committee will continue to monitor use and also consider any best practice advice or further scientific reports that are published. All staff that use any chemicals receive appropriate training."

Three Rivers District Council and Hertfordshire County Council both use Glyphosate to tackle Japanese Knotweed in particular, but both said it will also look at ways it can reduce the amount of Glyphosate it uses.

A county council spokesperson added: "Glyphosate is used sparingly across our highways. Our contractors ensure that whenever this chemical is used, it is applied by a certified operative in a controlled environment. We currently use other methods of weed control such as shrub beds and borders where feasible.

Three Rivers council leader Cllr Sara Bedford said: "We have been reducing use of Glyphosate over a number of years. The council uses very little Glyphosate on its own land. We are looking for better solutions to this limited use, but this has not proved simple.

“Glyphosate is used as part of a contract between us and the county council at their request. We are currently reviewing whether we are prepared to continue with this contract in its current form."