Councillors are calling on the English Defence League (EDL) to scrap a planned protest in Dudley town centre. The proposed demonstration is set for Saturday July 17 and the authority has no powers in law to ban the event which it branded “a pointless waste of taxpayers’ money”.
A previous protest by the group in the town last April cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds for a massive operation involving large numbers of police officers and council workers. Dudley traders also paid a high price in lost business after Dudley town centre was closed for the day, which ended with ugly scenes when EDL marchers clashed with cops after breaking out of their designated protest area on Flood Street car park.
A council spokesperson said: “The EDL has opposed the former proposal for a mosque but the council has reiterated the fact that the authority and the Dudley Muslim Association have agreed to pursue an alternative site, making the EDL’s visit pointless. Council bosses have made it clear outside extremists can make no contribution to local decisions and reminded the EDL that the plans for a mosque on Hall Street are not currently being pursued.”