ATTEMPTS to tackle anti-social behaviour at Stourbridge’s Ryemarket car park are being strengthened as Dudley Council aim to introduce a Public Space Protection Order.

Residents and businesses in Stourbridge are now being asked for their views on council plans to control the behaviour which has blighted the town centre car park.

If introduced, the order will prohibit the dealing and use of drugs, illegal highs and alcohol, throwing objects from upper levels of the car park, the use of skateboards, graffiti, and damage of the building.

It will also prohibit under 18’s from entering the council-owned car park unless driving a road legal vehicle or accompanying a responsible adult.

However, to enforce the order, Dudley Council must prove a continued negative impact on the quality of life of those who use the area.

Stourbridge councillor Nic Barlow has welcomed the start of the four-week consultation.

He said: “We are very pleased that the council has been working with other agencies and organisations to get this order established and consultation started. It is long overdue.

“Anti-social behaviour in the car park is an issue that has been going on for too long, so hopefully the order can come into force as soon as possible.

“The order will also give greater powers to those patrolling the car park, so they can do more than just asking the perpetrators to "go away".”

The council is running a public consultation until August 2, which will ask for the opinions of local residents and businesses.

Stourbridge MP Margot James recently criticised the poor state of the car park, saying: "It's almost a cheek to charge people to park there."

Ryemarket Shopping Centre manager Kelley Dyas said if the order received the backing of the public, and the council and police felt it was the right course of action, the centre would give its full support.

She said: “We have ongoing concerns over anti-social behaviour from the council car park, including vandalism and graffiti, and it’s a shame that the actions of a few have caused this course of action to be taken.

“But the car park is there for use by anyone who visits the town and its shops, and many call into the Ryemarket.

“Anything that needs to be done to make it a more pleasant environment can only be for the good of the town.”

If supported, the order would go live within the car park over the summer, with signage installed to inform the public.

Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “When the orders are made, Dudley Council will be working with the police to employ a no tolerance approach to breaches.

“Everyone has the right to be safe and to feel safe and I hope that people take the time to complete the short questionnaire.”

To be part of the consultation, complete the online survey at