THE county council has defended its record after claims the city is being overrun by weeds.
As these pictures show, once smart residential areas of Exeter are becoming engulfed in an unsightly covering of green growth. But the authority claims it has spent thousands tackling the problem.
Two years ago councillors were inundated with complaints from residents about weeds after Devon County Council slashed its weed-spraying budget to save cash.
Exeter's nine county councillors agreed to pay for dealing with the weeds from their discretionary funds following the cost-cutting measure.
Now the same thing seems to be happening again – despite the county council claiming it has already spent £25,000 on a weed spray this year.
The authority said the cash had been spent on a single spray on the city's main roads. Some have claimed residents should take matters into their own hands if they want to stop Exeter looking scruffy.
Resident Jane Trevett said: "It may be too obvious, but why don't the householders spray a bit of weed killer? Or is it health and safety gone mad again?"
Another resident, Lucy Branch, said: "The more plants the better – they eat carbon dioxide and produce oxygen."
A spokeswoman for the county council said: "We have spent £25,000 on weed spraying in Exeter this financial year already, which has funded one spray on principal roads throughout the city.
"County councillors have a £10,000 locality budget each, and for the last few years an extra £1 per elector has been devolved to parish and town councils.
"This means the Exeter Board – which is a joint Devon County Council and Exeter City Council committee – has some £200,000 to spend on local priorities.
"Last year the board decided to use some of this money for weed spraying, which can do again this year should they wish to."
The Echo understands that a decision on how weed spraying will be funded in the future has yet to be finalised.
Is your street overrun with weeds? Send pictures to echonews@expressan decho.co.uk or contact Anne Byrne on 01392 442233.