Last night British National Party activists attended the Billesley ward meeting 29/09/2011. After delivering 5000 leaflets to inform residents, turnout was good. There was approximately 40 British residents and 10 Muslims in the hall.
Unusually for a ward meeting Selly Oak M.P Steve McCabe was in attendance as were the three Billesley Councillors, Chris Jordan (Council representative) and Feizal Hajat (Legal and Democratic services).
Chris Jordan began by giving an update on the illegal Mosque at 713 Yardley Wood Road. He re-iterated that the owners of the building had three choices following the last ward meeting, 1) They could change the use of activities (not use the building as a Mosque), 2) Begin a legal challenge via land tribunal (apply for a reversal of the 1967 Covenant) or 3) Ignore the legal letter in which case the Council would take legal action.
The Mosque owners had instead asked for more time, MR Jordan informed the meeting that this request had been refused. Therefore the 3rd scenario was in effect since 22nd July 2011. MR Jordan continued, "since the 26th of September an Interim Injunction had been put in place and both parties have since attended court".
The Judge has informed both parties that the owners had 28 days to make a decision. The owners have opted to follow legal process. The date for the tribunal is unknown, Chris Jordan stated the likely date for court will be some time in November or December 2011. The Judge will then decide if the covenant can be lifted, in which case the building will be used as a Mosque legally, or the Judge may decide the Covenant stays in place, in which case the owners would be liable if they continued to ignore the law.
Steve McCabe MP stated he would be representing residents at the court and that he believes the Covenant should be respected, he added that no one is above the law and agreed that the owners knew about the Covenant when they purchased the building, he said he was of the opinion that this fact should be taken into consideration and he will let this be known to the Judge when the court date arrives.
Billesley residents voiced their resentment regarding the time this issue has taken and said they felt let down by the Councillors and MP. One lady read out a letter regarding the illegal Mosque. She said she had sent the letter to all three Councillors and Steve McCabe MP. She said she was dissapointed that no one had replied to her. A gentleman who resides in Billesley said that the situation was farcical as the owners of the building were using the building illegally as the ward meeting was going on. He let his views be known that in any other country the building would have been closed down before now.
Several residents had arrived at the meeting after receiving Birmingham British National Party leaflets. They thanked the activists for keeping the issue on the agenda and keeping them informed. The branch will now have to wait until the courts decision is made. Hopefully the outcome will be in the majority of residents favour and the law will be upheld regarding the illegal Mosque.