A Dudley councillor has called for plans to create a Muslim village in the town centre to be conducted more openly after it was revealed that the contoversial project will receive £150,000 funding from taxpayers.
Liberal Democrat leader Dave Tyler said he wants to see everything about the £15 million Pride of Dudley project out in the open.
Councillor Tyler said: “People are very agitated at the prospect of having a large mosque on their doorsteps.
“The problem we’ve got is we do not know enough about this—it was sprung on us as a community and the public are wary.
“We have been talking about the Unitary Development Plan for years, then all of a sudden this Pride of Dudley project appeared from no-where.
“People should remember it could be years away before anything is started—the project still has to go through all of the planning stages.”
He added: “We have to look at this objectively. I want to see everything out in the open and up front—all the finances, building works and planning.”
His comments came after revelations this week that the project from Dudley’s Muslim Association will receive £150,000 of taxpayers money despite assurances all funding would come from the Muslim community.
Dudley Council confirmed the project, which includes a large Mosque, sports halls, fitness room, health clinic and IT centres, would receive the funding over a two year period from the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.
The grant, awarded by Dudley Community Project, will be used to appoint staff who will put together bids to secure other funding to push the project, in Hall Street and Oakywell Street, forward.