DUDLEY North MP Marco Longhi has urged people to continue to raise concerns about goings on at The Crooked House site after another day of high tensions at the scene.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi swung into action and attended the scene where campaigners had mounted a sit-in protest on Monday (August 21) as contractors were seen working at the site where just rubble remains after the pub was demolished on August 7 two days after a severe fire.

Tensions were running high as locals began to worry about heavy machinery moving on site and police and council officials were called to the scene.

Halesowen News: Police and council officials attended the scene as residents raised concerns about work being carried out at site of The Crooked HousePolice and council officials attended the scene as residents raised concerns about work being carried out at site of The Crooked House (Image: Cllr Bryn Challenor)

The MP he said he “witnessed a very tense atmosphere between local people and the contractor” when he arrived at the site at Himley where he claims he was stopped by police and the contractor as he attempted to make his way down a public right of way.

Mr Longhi later moved to reassure pub campaigners that no debris had been removed from the site and no further work occurred yesterday.

But he said it was right that people were questioning the legality of works taking place at the site of the beloved pub, which locals want to see fully restored.

Mr Longhi, who last week organised a public meeting at Himley Hall to debate what happens next in the saga of The Crooked House, said after the drama on Monday: “People remain very anxious about anything that might happen at what used to be The Crooked House pub.

“This is very understandable as like them I too feel very angry at what has happened.

“My office started to receive concerns about activity on site involving heavy machinery which allegedly was causing further damage by its activity on site.

“We know that foundations are still in situ, we know that there are cellars and we know that there is plenty of brickwork that could potentially be used one day.

“Therefore, people were rightly questioning the need for such heavy equipment working in such a heavy-handed way.

“As soon as I was physically able to attend the site I did so, and I witnessed a very tense atmosphere between local people and the contractor.”

He thanked residents for keeping him informed and the district council’s enforcement officer for attending the site and he confirmed that no material was removed by the contractor and no further works took place yesterday.

He added: “What is clear to me is that the council and the police are acutely aware of how local people feel about the site and what has happened.”

He urged people to keep him informed of any further developments by emailing marco.longhi.mp@parliament.uk Police said they had attended the site “as a precaution and to reassure the community” following what they described as a small protest earlier on Monday.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “At 1.26pm, we received reports that a group of protestors had turned up at the site.

“We recognise the strength of local feeling following the loss of a significant cultural landmark.”

The force said the police investigation into the fire at The Crooked House continues and that officers have been trawling CCTV as well as working through witness accounts and with forensics to try to piece together the circumstances that led up to the fire.

Anyone with information that could help the police investigation is urged to contact police via 101 or by using the Live Chat feature on the force website, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.