WEEDS are taking over the streets of Brighton and Hove due to a pesticide ban, it has been claimed.

Brighton and Hove City Council decided to stop using harmful pesticides or herbicides in 2019.

However, it is now facing calls from the community to tackle the overgrown “dangerous” vegetation which is “overrunning the pavements”.

Robert Nemeth, a councillor for Wish ward said: 'It's all very well for a trendy city dweller to say, 'let's rewild our pavements' after hearing about the cause for the first time'.

“They probably haven't got any friends who are elderly or disabled, who are most likely to be seriously injured under the current unsatisfactory situation.”

Pictures from across the city show rogue weeds are covering up street signs, coming up between the cracks in pavements and even growing in the middle of the road.

A petition calling for alternative ways to manage the weeds has now been signed by hundreds of residents in the city.

It said: “We petition Brighton and Hove Council to effectively manage the increasing issue of weeds growing from the pavements and walkways causing damage to the pavements that will inadvertently cost the taxpayer and divert future funds for other projects.

“The weeds are dangerous in paces causing trip hazards and they are detrimental to the aesthetics of our city.”

A council spokesman said: “We need to increase biodiversity to combat the ecological emergency in our city.

“Native wildflower species such as Dandelion, Red Clover and Hogweed are incredible for supporting the most pollinating insects. This in turn supports a wider thriving ecology.

“We decided back in 2019 to stop using pesticides or herbicides containing harmful chemicals that damage the environment.

“We knew this would lead to more weeds on paved areas. But many residents have also welcomed the weeds as habitats for insects and bees and complain when we remove them.

“We recruited additional staff to undertake the manual removal of weeds. This worked well until earlier this year.

“Currently we are experiencing exceptional staff shortages due to Covid, and the weather has also encouraged a growth spurt.

“This means it is taking longer for us to remove weeds in all areas of the city.

“We understand the need to make sure our pavements are passable and safe.

"We have appointed a number of extra staff to help deal with this, and are using agency cover as much as we can.

“We are also now seeking contractors who can help us speed up the weed removal programme.”