Have some humanity and don't ban rough sleeping and soup runs

This petition made change with 29 supporters!

I was absolutely appalled to read that Westminster Council are planning on banning charities from running soup kitchens for the ­homeless, as explained in this Mirror article. Westminster Council should stop attacking homeless people and abandon this heartless by-law immediately.

As the article says, "Westminster council in Central London also wants to make it an offence to sleep rough – while slashing £5million of funding to hostels.

Astonishingly, town hall chiefs claimed soup kitchens only “encourage” people to sleep on the streets.

Westminster council, one of the richest in the land, wants to bring in a bylaw making it an offence to “give out food for free”, punishable by fines.

And it sparked a storm of ­criticism. Reverend Alison Tomlin of the Methodist church in ­Westminster said: “The proposals are nothing short of disgusting. This bylaw punishes people solely for their misfortune and belongs in a ­Victorian statute book, not the 21st century.

A consultation paper says rough sleeping and soup runs would be banned in the Westminster Cathedral Piazza and surrounding area. Labour said the cruel move comes as the council ­withdraws funding for three hostels in the borough and housing trust."

Alastair Murray of Housing Justice set up the forum for Soup Runs in Central London in 2006. He believes this proposed by-law sets back the progress being made in coordinating the work of the various churches and other groups. “Westminster Council consistently denigrates the work of church volunteers and obstructs the efforts of churches and volunteer led agencies reaching out to homeless and poor people on the streets.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour Group, said: “Nothing illustrates the cold-hearted and callous approach of the Conservatives than this attempt to criminalise those offering help to ­homeless people."

This is an absolute disgrace. These proposals rob people of their dignity. Sign this petition to show Westminster Council that we won't accept them attacking the most vulnerable in our society more than they already have.  

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