AN ALIEN invader is being battled in the gardens of local homes.
There were calls for urgent action this week to tackle an outbreak of the potentially devastating plant known as Japanese Knotweed.
Clusters of the invasive weed have been found in the Chryston and Stepps areas.
MSP John Wilson has raised the matter with North Lanarkshire Council after receiving a number of complaints from concerned residents about the weed, which can cause damage to foundations and buildings.
He said: “Japanese Knotweed poses a major threat to properties, with the potential to cause serious structural damage.
“It spreads easily and can become very difficult to control.
“It’s therefore essential that local authorities act quickly and decisively to identify and tackle problem areas.
“On investigating this matter I have identified that surrounding local authorities have developed strategies for dealing with Japanese Knotweed, but North Lanarkshire Council appears to be out of step.
“I would call on the council to take immediate steps to deal with the spread of Japanese Knotweed in the area and encourage them to work with others to ensure the threat is dealt with appropriately.”
Gordon Douglas, an assistant business manager with the council, said: “North Lanarkshire Council keeps an ‘invasive weeds register’, which maps all the known locations of Japanese Knotweed on council land and records when and how it has been treated.
“The register is updated as necessary and provides a clear indication of where the problem is and how it’s being dealt with.
“Where Japanese Knotweed is growing on our land, including garden grounds in council rental properties, we will treat it.
“Members of the public can help us keep this register up-to-date by reporting infestations to Northline, our customer contact centre on 01698 403 110.
“We would ask, however, that people remember this weed is incredibly difficult to get rid of, and spreads and regenerates very easily.”
He added: “It may be the case, therefore, that we are already aware of infestations and are actively treating them, but that it’s simply taking time to eradicate it fully.”
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CAUSE FOR CONCERN: MSP John Wilson and Chryston resident Deborah Baird, who has raised concerns about Japanese Knotweed growing close to her garden. (K11334a)