THE scrapping of a traveller's transit site in Coseley dominated discussions at the Dudley Council's Cabinet meeting last night (February 11).

Leader of the Council Cllr Qadar Zada and leader of the Opposition Cllr Patrick Harley locked horns over the report which recommended the withdrawal of the controversial Budden Road site, and for the council to review the suitability of alternative, smaller sites.

The proposals were passed by the cabinet, amid protests from the opposing Conservatives whose previous administration launched the plan when in power.

Cllr Zada accused the opposition of “peddling a dream that would become a nightmare for residents” and reassured residents across the borough that vulnerable sites would be protected in time for the upcoming traveller's season.

Cllr Zada said: "They [the Conservatives] absolutely must face up to the fact that they oversaw the largest encampments this borough has ever witnessed and therefore are not in the best position to be advising us on what works and what doesn’t."

The report includes the creation of a borough-wide injunction zone, more enforcement officers with out-of-hour cover and increased security at sites that are vulnerable to incursions.

Cllr Zada continued: "We have listened to local residents who want their parks secured from encampments, they want a borough wide injunction, they want round the clock support and they want a permanent solution and that is what we will deliver.

"They [the Conservatives] can carry on polishing their proposals and roll it in glitter but it won’t change the content of it. I urge them to get behind our proposals which clearly the residents and interestingly some of their own party support and I am happy to work with them on a permanent transit site for the borough, but I’m not prepared to do it at the expense of local residents. Residents will see security measures implement at local parks in the next four weeks.”

The Conservative leader of the Opposition Cllr Harley however defended the original Budden Road site and tore into cabinet's proposals.

Cllr Harley said: “The concerns they have about the cost of a transit site are ill judged. Typical of Labour politicians who throw more money at an issue to save money and then end up spending three times as much. They plan to spend £150,000 on employing more staff, the same amount of concrete bollards and stumps around all our parks and then will have to pay the annual fee of £150,000 to chase them around the borough whilst racking up huge legal and clean-up costs.”

He added: "This summer our residents can look forward to being prevented from enjoying their parks and open spaces while illegal incursions mean they are trashed before their eyes. Conservatives when in control had the solution in a transit site that even neighbouring Labour authorities and their own Police and Crime Commissioner say is the only real deterrent. Our residents deserve better than what is being offered up by Labour in Dudley.”

Work will carried out to install concrete bollards at Brompton Drive in Amblecote 'within weeks'.