Council defends Walthamstow soup kitchen eviction bid ahead of High Court decision

Vulnerable people queue for hot food outside Christian Kitchen

Vulnerable people queue for hot food outside Christian Kitchen

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A soup kitchen should move after 20 years because it is regularly used by disruptive street drinkers, according to police and Waltham Forest Council.

Volunteers and supporters of the Christian Kitchen are at the High Court today to find out if they will be granted a judicial review of a decision to evict the charity from Mission Grove car park in Walthamstow.

The council has said it agrees that the majority of the 50 vulnerable people who rely on the kitchen for free food every night are law-abiding, but says the kitchen has become a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.

A spokeswoman said: "We do not think that it is right that local residents should be made to feel unsafe.

"We have consistently offered an alternative site since discussions with the Soup Kitchen began and that offer remains open."

The alternative site is a council-owned plot in Walthamstow Avenue, off Billet Road Roundabout.

But the charity's chairman, Norman Coe, argues it will be difficult to reach for the people who need the kitchen most.

Police say residents and businesses in and around High Street, Walthamstow, regularly complain about street drinkers in the no-alcohol zone.

They say they have identified 15 “core” offenders who are responsible for offences including, violence against a person, theft and breaches of drinking banning orders.'

Andreas Christodoulou, 34 of Shortlands Road, Leyton, is a fomer volunteer at the soup kitchen and he believes the council and police are ignoring an important issue.

He said: "We saved people's lives, without a doubt. It is absolutely disgusting, and atrocious what the council are seeking to do.

"Wouldn't it make more sense to close the hundreds of chicken shops instead of targeting a charity offering healthy hot food?

"If they're worried out anti-social behaviour, deal with the root problem, homelessness, and put up a shelter.”

The High Court decision is expected after 4pm today.

Comments (7)

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2:28pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Years ago when this was set up, various Councillors and Mayors affiliated themselves to this cause and were regularly posing for photos in this very paper, where are these people now one wonders? Also, many local church groups run it and surely these voices should be respected. The only reason the council want rid of it is because they have had a wake up call as to how trendy the area is becoming and want rid of it as an eyesore to be swept under the carpet in a remote inaccessible location.
Years ago when this was set up, various Councillors and Mayors affiliated themselves to this cause and were regularly posing for photos in this very paper, where are these people now one wonders? Also, many local church groups run it and surely these voices should be respected. The only reason the council want rid of it is because they have had a wake up call as to how trendy the area is becoming and want rid of it as an eyesore to be swept under the carpet in a remote inaccessible location. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -13

6:10pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Helen, Walthamstow says...

In case you are wondering why you have so many thumbs down here and on the previous report, cornbeefur, it is because all regular readers on this site know that you usually criticise the soup kitchen and make disparaging remarks about the users and operators.

Those who have consistently maintained that it should remain on the Mission Grove site take exception to your fake sympathy, which incidentally is typical trolling behaviour.

It is probable that the real reason the council wants the soup kitchen moved is that they want to build more flats on the car park.
In case you are wondering why you have so many thumbs down here and on the previous report, cornbeefur, it is because all regular readers on this site know that you usually criticise the soup kitchen and make disparaging remarks about the users and operators. Those who have consistently maintained that it should remain on the Mission Grove site take exception to your fake sympathy, which incidentally is typical trolling behaviour. It is probable that the real reason the council wants the soup kitchen moved is that they want to build more flats on the car park. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 8

12:49am Thu 27 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
In case you are wondering why you have so many thumbs down here and on the previous report, cornbeefur, it is because all regular readers on this site know that you usually criticise the soup kitchen and make disparaging remarks about the users and operators.

Those who have consistently maintained that it should remain on the Mission Grove site take exception to your fake sympathy, which incidentally is typical trolling behaviour.

It is probable that the real reason the council wants the soup kitchen moved is that they want to build more flats on the car park.
If you think I am Cornbeefurs then you are mistaken. I have always supported this operation, it serves a useful direct purpose delivering to those who need a hot meal. One of the volunteers even told me that if some of the people who use the service visit then they must be in desperation to humbly ask for food. This touched me deeply. As for 'thumbs down' these mean nothing to me. I do not comment for plus votes, I air my views as I feel.
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: In case you are wondering why you have so many thumbs down here and on the previous report, cornbeefur, it is because all regular readers on this site know that you usually criticise the soup kitchen and make disparaging remarks about the users and operators. Those who have consistently maintained that it should remain on the Mission Grove site take exception to your fake sympathy, which incidentally is typical trolling behaviour. It is probable that the real reason the council wants the soup kitchen moved is that they want to build more flats on the car park.[/p][/quote]If you think I am Cornbeefurs then you are mistaken. I have always supported this operation, it serves a useful direct purpose delivering to those who need a hot meal. One of the volunteers even told me that if some of the people who use the service visit then they must be in desperation to humbly ask for food. This touched me deeply. As for 'thumbs down' these mean nothing to me. I do not comment for plus votes, I air my views as I feel. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

11:10am Thu 27 Feb 14

Alan_1976 says...

Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here...

http://www.guardian-
series.co.uk/news/11
033466.Protests_plan
ned_for_Alastair_Cam
pbell_s__curry_spin_
_visit/?ref=mc
Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here... http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/11 033466.Protests_plan ned_for_Alastair_Cam pbell_s__curry_spin_ _visit/?ref=mc Alan_1976
  • Score: 5

11:45am Thu 27 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Alan_1976 wrote:
Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here...

http://www.guardian-

series.co.uk/news/11

033466.Protests_plan

ned_for_Alastair_Cam

pbell_s__curry_spin_

_visit/?ref=mc
Tittle tattle is your one dimensional 'pattern', you believe what you want to believe, you are the wise man of the World, everyone knows this. The Alan Partridge Fountain of Knowledge, Phone a Friend, Quiz Team Bore, goes home with flat cap, long overcoat and carrier bag by bus at the end of the night to count his 'thumbs up' and get rocks off.
[quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here... http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/11 033466.Protests_plan ned_for_Alastair_Cam pbell_s__curry_spin_ _visit/?ref=mc[/p][/quote]Tittle tattle is your one dimensional 'pattern', you believe what you want to believe, you are the wise man of the World, everyone knows this. The Alan Partridge Fountain of Knowledge, Phone a Friend, Quiz Team Bore, goes home with flat cap, long overcoat and carrier bag by bus at the end of the night to count his 'thumbs up' and get rocks off. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -3

4:34pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Garrow says...

Yet another complete Waltham Forest Council mystery. We are used to LBWF being anti-business but to be anti-charity seems to be a new low. Is there any evidence that the alleged anti-social behaviour is in anyway connected with this valuable service, or is it just that they are on a car park that they not paying for? How is this a magnet for problem drinkers, surely it's a magnet for people who need a meal and have no other resource? Or is this Clyde Loakes thinking "there is something happening in the borough that I'm not part of and I'm not earning any money out of, let's put a stop to it". As for the alternative site, the Billet Roundabout is a honeycomb of badly lit walkways and underpasses which is already a magnet for antisocial behaviour and perpetrators of street crime, so how is that improvement? Another brilliant piece of Waltham Forest Council/Clyde Loakes thinking!
Yet another complete Waltham Forest Council mystery. We are used to LBWF being anti-business but to be anti-charity seems to be a new low. Is there any evidence that the alleged anti-social behaviour is in anyway connected with this valuable service, or is it just that they are on a car park that they not paying for? How is this a magnet for problem drinkers, surely it's a magnet for people who need a meal and have no other resource? Or is this Clyde Loakes thinking "there is something happening in the borough that I'm not part of and I'm not earning any money out of, let's put a stop to it". As for the alternative site, the Billet Roundabout is a honeycomb of badly lit walkways and underpasses which is already a magnet for antisocial behaviour and perpetrators of street crime, so how is that improvement? Another brilliant piece of Waltham Forest Council/Clyde Loakes thinking! Garrow
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Alan_1976 says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote: Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here... http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/11 033466.Protests_plan ned_for_Alastair_Cam pbell_s__curry_spin_ _visit/?ref=mc
Tittle tattle is your one dimensional 'pattern', you believe what you want to believe, you are the wise man of the World, everyone knows this. The Alan Partridge Fountain of Knowledge, Phone a Friend, Quiz Team Bore, goes home with flat cap, long overcoat and carrier bag by bus at the end of the night to count his 'thumbs up' and get rocks off.
Take that as a yes then shall we!
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: Unless of course you forget and respond to the name directly as here... http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/11 033466.Protests_plan ned_for_Alastair_Cam pbell_s__curry_spin_ _visit/?ref=mc[/p][/quote]Tittle tattle is your one dimensional 'pattern', you believe what you want to believe, you are the wise man of the World, everyone knows this. The Alan Partridge Fountain of Knowledge, Phone a Friend, Quiz Team Bore, goes home with flat cap, long overcoat and carrier bag by bus at the end of the night to count his 'thumbs up' and get rocks off.[/p][/quote]Take that as a yes then shall we! Alan_1976
  • Score: 2

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