Council to use “all available bye laws” to move soup kitchen

Croydon Council wants to stop a local charity providing a much-needed soup kitchen in Queen’s Gardens to the area’s homeless and poor.

Soup kitchenCroydon Nightwatch, formed in 1976, offers food and assistance to the needy every night of the year out of the back of a couple of cars parked by the open space.

With the on-set of the colder winter weather, and no sign of a real thaw in the grim economic conditions, Croydon Nightwatch’s soup kitchen has been attracting more than 100 people on some nights recently.

Croydon’s Conservative-run council now wants to stop that.

A recent official council report stated the intention to “Give notice of action to stop this activity by utilising all available bye [sic] laws and preventing the use of Queens [sic] Gardens for this activity”.


A case of out of sight and out of mind? The Croydon Nightwatch soup kitchen is certainly an inconvenient truth.

Maybe florid-faced Mike Fisher and other senior members of his spiv administration think that hundreds of hungry people turning up each night in the light cast from the council’s £140 million new offices on Cost Us A Mint Walk might scare off billionaire developers and “investors”.

There is some suggestion that the council’s actions are at the request of the police, who are uncomfortable with there being a group of people in central Croydon each evening.

There is no dispute that the sight of a well-ordered but quietly subdued queue of dozens of people waiting for their only hot meal of the day, all just yards away from the symbol of our council’s self-serving profligacy, is something which ought to shame Croydon, and Britain in 2013.

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4 Responses to Council to use “all available bye laws” to move soup kitchen

  1. davidcallam says:

    There are better places in central Croydon to feed people who live on the street … like the ground floor of the now vacant Taberner House.

  2. Ken Towl says:

    Croydon Council: we knew they were inept (the bridge to nowhere), corrupt (huge expenses, etc etc) and philistine (closing down the David Lean cinema, closing down and knocking down the Warehouse Theatre, selling off the Riesco China). Now we know they are heartless too.

  3. If they park legally on the highway and give food/soup away free (ie not trading) from the vehicles without entering the Queens Gardens then I suspect that the Council may struggle to find an available law. If the needy people then enter the Queens Gardens, providing they behave in a proper manner, then they have as much right to do so as the “general public”.

  4. David Aston says:

    It’s an indictment about the way this Borough has been run for decades that we should even be talking about Soup Kitchens. No new ideas from Croydon’s councillors results in us reverting to the dark days of Charles Dickens. Sadly the existence of a Soup Kitchen in the centre of Croydon remains the tip of a very large iceberg.

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