WREXHAM Council has revealed it has received no proven health complaints about the use of a weedkiller which has been linked to cancer.

It comes amid calls for the local authority to stop using the glyphosate-based product Roundup to tackle weeds in the county following a United States court case.

In August chemical giant Monsanto was ordered to pay £226 million to a man who claimed weedkillers containing glyphosate, including Roundup, caused him to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The council has already made attempts to minimise its use after admitting to spraying it excessively during the summer of 2017, but has ignored calls by Cartrefle councillor Ronnie Prince for an outright ban.

Addressing executive board members today, Cllr Prince said: “A year ago due to the ongoing controversy over glyphosate-based-herbicide, a weed killer, I asked this council to have a moratorium on using this product so as to err on the side of caution in respect of the cancer-causing possibilities of this product.

“Very recently a gardener in America has successfully sued the manufacturers of this product in respect of the cancers he now has and has been awarded over $250 million in compensation.

“I believe the weedkiller he used is the same type of weedkiller that Wrexham Council uses.

“In view of this new revelation regarding this issue I am now calling on the council to refrain from using this product altogether.”

Cllr Prince asked the board a series of questions, including whether any residents had complained to the council about feeling ill from the effects of herbicides sprayed by the council, or if any concerns had been raised by dog owners.

In response, head of environment Lawrence Isted said the council had only received one unproven claim about a dog becoming ill.

He said:  “In terms of the intention to continue using glyphosate, we will be advised by the Health and Safety Executive and Welsh Government as to its continued use.

“With regard to complaints or concerns about ill health to the public, in my tenure as head of planning and environment which is two and a half years, we have not received any complaints on that matter except from yourself.

“With regard to concerns about dogs, that also applies, but I understand there may have been one case three or four years ago where a resident raised concerns that there dog might have been affected, but that was not proven.”

Cllr Prince said he disagreed with the answers given, but was prevented from asking a follow up question by council leader Mark Pritchard.

A more in-depth discussion is set to be held about the use of the weedkiller tomorrow by members of the authority’s homes and environment scrutiny committee.

A report recommends that councillors support the current system of using the ‘minimum amount’ of herbicide to control weeds.

The World Health Organisation has previously said that glyphosate-based weed killers are “probably carcinogenic”, but lead member for environment, Cllr David A Bithell, has highlighted ongoing support from the Welsh Government for its controlled use.