Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 17:49 UK

Dudley rallies 'cost council an estimated £150,000'

Police lead the EDL rally into Dudley
Police lead the EDL rally into Dudley

Dudley council has estimated that rallies held in the town by the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Fascism cost it more than £150,000.

About 2,000 took part in Saturday's demonstrations in the West Midlands. A total of 12 people were arrested.

Dudley council said the authority would make it clear to the EDL it was not fair to return and "do this again".

The authority said the estimated figure included cleaning-up costs. The EDL has not been available for comment.

The EDL has said it opposes the building of a "mega mosque" in Dudley, which the council rejected on planning grounds but was permitted by the government.

Mosque attacked

There were "brief outbreaks of disorder" with barriers knocked over during the demonstrations.

Some EDL supporters broke away as they were being taken back to coaches but were "quickly contained", police said.

Dudley Central Mosque was attacked.

Ch Insp Mark Payne, from West Midlands Police, said: "We've been and spoken and apologised to the people in the mosque, but generally we're pleased with the policing operation."

Dr Khurshid Ahmed, of Dudley Muslim Association, said: "For the first time in the history of EDL protests we have not had any Muslim youngster being shown to be doing anything wrong."

The market in the town closed and shops were boarded up.

John Polychronakis, chief executive at Dudley council, said: "Our assessment is that in preparing for yesterday [Saturday] and for putting up all the fences and for doing all the cleaning up and the road closures, we've probably had to spend in excess of £150,000."



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SEE ALSO
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Row over clashes during protests
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Government agrees to £18m mosque
17 Jul 08 |  West Midlands
Controversial mosque plan refused
28 Feb 07 |  West Midlands

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