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The Christian Kitchen, a soup run in the London borough of Waltham Forest, which had been asked to move to a new location (see The Pavement March issue), has taken legal advice to force the council into further discussions about the proposed move.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell wrote to Waltham Forest Council, on behalf of users of the Christian Kitchen, stating that if they do not meet again to discuss the proposed move, they will seek a Judicial Review of the decision.
As a result the council has agreed to further discussions. Alex Rook, a public law expert at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The council has not properly consulted with either the organisers Christian Kitchen, or the users of the service. They have not provided any suitable evidence that shows how the soup kitchen is responsible for anti-social behaviour. In fact, a Freedom of Information request proves that the Council has had no direct complaints about the soup kitchen in the past 12 months.
“There are serious concerns that many of the current users of the service simply won’t be able to get to the proposed new site. Its seems strange to force people who can’t afford a hot meal to have to spend money taking a bus or two to get to a meal provided by a charity.”
A spokesperson for Waltham Forest Council told The Pavement: “The Council has been contacted by solicitors acting on behalf of Christian Kitchen seeking a meeting to discuss the moving of the kitchen. “The Council is confident that its decision to relocate the Kitchen was fairly and lawfully made in light of the ongoing problems with anti-social behaviour at the current site at Mission Grove. The Council has already met with the Christian Kitchen about the proposed move but has willingly offered another meeting which is to be arranged for on or around 2 April.
“The Council also put back to the proposed move from 28 March to 5 April to facilitate these discussions and to allow for an amicable resolution.”