Stafford council has some pretty dreadfully misleading statments on their website.

They say , " Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is a relative of groundsel and burdock and is highly invasive. Each plant carries up to 250,000 seeds of which 80% are fertile."

This figure for seeds is a gross exaggeration. The plants do not normally produce this number of seeds. See Ragwort Seed Production

They continue "These seeds can stay dormant for twenty years and can be carried on the wind for miles, popping up on disturbed ground and grassland and taking over, destroying grasses, dock, dandelion and rose bay willow herb."

Very few if any seeds would survive for twenty years and the research clearly shows that ragwort seeds are normally carried just for a matter of a few metres. See Ragwort Seed Dispersal

They also say, " While ragwort provides a food source for caterpillars, such as those of the cinnabar moth that feed exclusively on ragwort and groundsel, there is more than enough in our environment to go round.

This is very ignorant of ecology. First of all any reduction in habitat has an effect. Secondly removal of habitat can disrupt a metapopulation over a large area. Thirdly some specialist species require ragwort incertain conditions or habitats, removing it willy nilly just because it grows elsewhere is not a good idea.

And it gets worse. They say,"Recently there has been an explosion in ragwort, probably due to changes in farming and constraints on local authorities who used to spray to control the weed."

There has been no explosion in ragwort. This is a myth. The research shows that if anything it may be decreasing. See Ragwort Myths

"Not only is ragwort poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, deer, goats, pigs and dogs, but also to humans."

To say that it is poisonous to dogs is ridiculous exaggeration. It is poisonous to dolphins too, but they don't eat it either. See the briefing on ragwort and dogs

Even worse they say, "The poisons can be passed along the food chain accumulating to cause liver damage and perhaps even cancer, and they can also be absorbed into the blood through the skin. This is why it is important to wear gloves when ragwort pulling."

This is really very badly ignorant and hysterical. The poisons cannot be passed along the food chain as they do not persist in meat. See Ragwort Meat for a properly researched scientific explanation of why this is impossible.

The skin absorption poisoning story also does not stand up.

This site has several articles on this.

Ragwort poisoning in Humans for a short explanation and Ragwort Humans for a longer one. This is a really common myth that causes lots of problems for people so a simple non-technical explanation of this is available here Ragwort poisoning humans