TEMPERS frayed in a heated debate about what should be done with Shirleys dilapidated Powergen site.
At Tuesdays Full Council meeting, councillors from all sides of the chamber said the derelict building was in desperate need of development.
Councillor Simon Slater (Lab, Shirley West) tabled a motion calling for the premises, on the corner of Haslucks Green Road, to receive urgent attention.
At a time of the worst unemployment since the 1980s, bringing this site back into use should be a priority for this council, he said.
Excuses and inaction are no longer an option.
But political parties clashed over who was responsible for the eyesore, which has lain empty for over 15 years.
The ruling Conservative group blamed the Lib Dems for their long-standing opposition to the redevelopment of Shirley town centre.
Coun Ted Richards (Con, Castle Bromwich) said: I dont know how Coun Slater has got the bottle to come forward with this motion.
He used to be a member of a party [the Lib Dems] who totally frustrated the regeneration of Shirley.
Leader of Solihull Council, Coun Ken Meeson, agreed that delays to the Parkgate scheme had prolonged the Powergen situation.
But the opposition parties said it was successive Tory administrations who had failed to put pressure on the buildings lease-holders Asda.
Coun Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) said that the Conservatives had promised to tackle the problem in campaign literature seven years ago.
Theyve done nothing, he said. Theyd rather build homes on Shirley Park than use an empty, brownfield site sensibly.
The majority of Tories voted against Coun Slaters motion, which was defeated by a narrow margin.
However the ruling groups youngest member Hannah Tildesley, who also represents Shirley West, supported it.
This isnt about party politics, she said. Maybe it was once, but we need to move forward.