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Waltham Forest soup kitchen eviction overturned by High Court judge as council 'fails to accord with reality or common sense'

High Court overrules council's bid to banish Christian Kitchen for homeless and vulnerable people to far-off lay-by, saying impact of eviction was not assessed

Callous council plans to evict a London soup kitchen that feeds 80 homeless people every night were overturned yesterday by a High Court judge.

Waltham Forest Council had ordered the Christian Kitchen to move 50 minutes out of town to a lay-by after 25 years of feeding vulnerable local people.

But Ms Justice Simler ruled the council’s decision to revoke the kitchen’s license was unlawful.

The judge said the council had completely failed to take into account the impact their proposed eviction would have on the service’s users.

A recent survey of users had shown over 70 per cent were homeless and unable to access public transport to get to the proposed site.

That showed the council’s plan “fails to accord with reality or common sense,” according to the judge.

Specialist lawyer Alex Rook, who fought the case for free, had argued the council’s decision was in breach of the equalities act because it failed to assess the needs of elderly and disabled people.

And he said: “The soup kitchen is a vital charitable service for the homeless and vulnerable people in the area.

“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.”

The decision was celebrated by volunteers from 30 local churches that staff the soup kitchen and the over 2,000 local people who signed a petition against its removal.

Christian Kitchen trustee Norman Coe said: “We are delighted with the ruling today which has essentially saved the service from closure.

“We are now just looking forward to concentrating on providing hot meals to our users rather than the distractions of fighting to save the service. “

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