A Walthamstow charity will find out if they can challenge the eviction bid in mid March

Volunteers and supporters outside the High Court yesterday

Volunteers and supporters outside the High Court yesterday

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A High Court decision on whether a soup kitchen can challenge an eviction bid by Waltham Forest Council is now expected in two weeks.

Charity Christian Kitchen has been providing hot meals to homeless and destitute people from a van based in Mission Grove car park in Walthamstow for 20 years.

Volunteers and supporters of the charity were at the High Court yesterday to find out if they will be granted a judicial review of a decision by the council and the police to evict them.

Both parties have been told the verdict by Judge Simler has been adjourned for her to assess all the evidence presented in court yesterday. 

The charity's chairman Norman Coe remains positive.

He said: "I am glad that our evidence is being considered. We are being taken seriously which is good. I would like to thank everyone for their continued support."

Public lawyers Irvin Mitchell are representing the charity.

"The soup kitchen is a vital charitable service for the homeless and vulnerable people in the area and the organisers and users of the service have been left with no choice but to take legal action to stop the move which they believe would lead to its closure. 

"As austerity bites and the demand for the soup kitchen rises, the last thing the vulnerable homeless people in this region need is to be asked to ‘move along’ to another part of the road network which is difficult for them to access and they believe to be unsafe," said specialist lawyer Alex Rook.

Mr Rook also stated the council has failed in its obligation to serve the elderly and disabled community and says the 'out-of-town' site proposed by the council is an accident blackspot that will not by reached by many of the current users.

The council and police have sought to move the van from the car park as they say the kitchen has become a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.

The volunteer-led service has been asked to move to a space off Billet Road Roundabout, but Mr Coe has said the location is potentially dangerous and will lead to less people being helped.

An online petition, launched last Wednesday, has attracted more than 1,700 signatures, including that of London Assembly member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest Jennette Arnold.

Last week several clergy men and woman across the borough penned an open letter to council leader Chris Robbins urging him to intervene and let the service continue.

An exact date of the judge's decision has not been set.

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