Bromley Borough Food Bank has been allowed to use a shop rent free for three years as its premises where hard up people come for essential foodstuffs to help them survive.
But the council says from January it must pay rent, thought to be around £8,500 a year, for the property in Cotmandene Crescent, St Paul’s Cray.Let the wailing and rending of garments commence!
Food bank project manager Mary Beckingham said: “I have not found anybody that has not been shocked, surprised and horrified and that’s from people in the street, people from churches and the people that hold our vouchers; it’s across the board.”I'm not any of those things.
“There are still shops empty in the street so what was need for us to have to pay rent?”Because...yours isn't empty.
“I think the council needs to look at its priorities.
“It’s nice to have flowers round the roundabouts but perhaps they should be helping the people and feeding the people.”With flowers? *confused*
And since when was 'feeding the people' considered a vital job of the council?
A Bromley Council spokesman said: “We have supported the Food Bank with a rent free period of three years whilst it has established itself but we cannot go on with this arrangement indefinitely and simply cannot give rent free terms to each and every charity, regardless of how worthy their aims are.
“We are continuing to support the Food Bank which is why we have offered them a lease for premises in Cotmandene Crescent, which is their preferred location and not in our original thinking.
“I should point out businesses are interested in the same premises and that any rental income ultimately helps support the provision of our frontline services which are vital to so many residents, when the council continues to face unprecedented financial budgetary pressures over the coming years.”That's an awful lot of words to say 'The free ride's over' isn't it?