A chemical at the centre of a landmark court ruling earlier this month is used by contractors in Solihull, the council has confirmed.

Amey, the firm contracted to carry out a number of services on behalf of the local authority, currently uses glyphosate weedkiller, which it has been alleged could cause cancer.

The substance hit the headlines in early August, after an American groundskeeper won his case against the agrochemical giant Monsanto.

Jurors in California had concluded that the weedkiller that Dewayne Johnson had used as part of his duties, had contributed "substantially" to his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Monsanto has denied its Round-up weed killer caused cancer

Mr Johnson, who is terminally ill, is now set to receive $289 million in damages , although the firm intends to appeal against the ruling.

The case has reopened debate about the safety of glyphosate, which is also widely used by organisations in the UK .

A Solihull Council spokesman said: "It is the council's preferred weed control agent for our weed control programme [carried out three times a year]."

The local authority has said it is awaiting any new guidance from DEFRA about the use of the substance.

Some countries, including Italy and Portugal, have banned the use of glyphosate in public parks. Although bodies including the European Chemicals Agency have previously ruled out a link between the chemical and cancer in humans.

Sandwell and Dudley councils to continue to use weed killer despite cancer fears

Earlier this year, Monsanto was taken over by the Germany-based firm Bayer.

In a statement, the company said: “Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label.”