A PETITION calling on Torfaen council to use a “safe alternative” to a controversial weedkiller has been signed by more than 200 people.

Torfaen is one of 13 councils in Wales which uses a glyphosate-based product to treat pavements and Japanese Knotweed.

Earlier this year it carried out a review of the weedkiller and concluded it is safe to use if it is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

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But a new petition, signed by 214 people, has called for a rethink on the issue, and urges the local authority to consider an alternative.

It says: “End the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in Torfaen’s publicly owned spaces maintained by the council or their contractors and use a safe alternative such as Foamstream.

“Glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup pose a real risk to the public, our environment and workers.”

The petition has been supported by Independent councillors Elizabeth Haynes, Dave Thomas, Alan Slade, Jason O’Connell and Louise Shepphard.

Glyphosate-based products are legal within the UK and have been approved for continued use on the EU Pesticides Database until December 2022.

But the product has been linked to causing cancer in a court ruling, prompting several councils in the UK to stop using it.

The Welsh Local Government Association has asked all councils in Wales about their use of glyphosate products.

Most of the 13 councils in Wales which use the product have looked at alternatives but have been concerned about the effectiveness of them and additional cost implications.

A spokeswoman for Torfaen council said: “At the moment, the position is we responded to a petition received related to this, and are working in accordance with the response to council, which is primarily still using but looking at alternatives.

“We have not received this latest petition yet, but if it is formally presented to council in due course, we will respond at that time.”