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‘Drugs, partying and fly-tipping’ – City car park blighted by yobs

New measures are being taken to tackle yobs causing a “nightmare” at a Harborne car park with anti-social behaviour .

Over the summer, residents complained that Queen’s Park car park had become a breeding ground for youngsters who regularly left behind rubbish, empty laughing gas canisters and had also started fires.

Cllr Dominic Stanford (Quinton, Con) even claimed he was hit with a bottle while trying to break up a disturbance on the car park in late July.

Read more:Youths ‘launch objects’ at councillor trying to break up Harborne disturbance

The ‘hellish’ gatherings were said to be taking place late at night because the car park’s gate was “never locked on time”.

The council contracted a third party company to lock the gate at dusk, but locals claimed it was often not shut until the early hours of the morning.

But Cllr Stanford, with the help of Cllr Peter Fowler ( Harborne, Con), believe they have finally found a solution, with the council now sending its own staff to close the car park at 8.15pm every night.

Conservative Cllr Dominic Stanford

Shocked passerby: Cllr Peter Fowler (Harborne) said he was 'horrified' by the graffiti which has appeared on Cornwall Street
Cllr Peter Fowler

“Sadly, during the pandemic we suffered serious anti-social behaviour such as drinking, drug-taking and more recently fly-tipping,” said Cllr Fowler.

“I’m pleased to say that, with Dom and I working with the police and the council, we’ve been able to get the main gate locked at 8.15pm rather than the early hours of the morning – making the park safer.”

Cllr Stanford added: “A sign at the park says the gate is supposed to be locked at dusk. The council used to fulfil that promise.

“Sadly, it decided to contract the locking of the gate to a third party, and under the terms of their contract, they can lock it seemingly any time they like.

“It was occasionally locked at 10pm, if we were lucky. But often it wasn’t getting locked until 2am or even 2.30am, which made it an easy option for fly-tipping and partying.”

On the gate being locked earlier, Cllr Stanford said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. In the last couple of weeks we’ve definitely seen a massive reduction in anti-social behaviour and gatherings in the park.

“But, sadly, the contract is still in place. The council is using its own staff to lock the gate earlier.

“So we’re essentially paying twice, as council tax payers, for that gate to be locked.

“This obviously isn’t on. Peter and I are working with our colleagues to ensure contracts like this are scrutinised.”

Birmingham City Council told BirminghamLive it urges witnesses of criminal activity at the park to contact police.

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