Bromley Borough Food Bank 'shocked and horrified' by Bromley Council's rent demands

News Shopper: Anne Ashworth and Martin Tebb at work in the food bank Anne Ashworth and Martin Tebb at work in the food bank

PLANS to make a food bank pay rent have left its supporters and users ‘shocked, surprised and horrified’.

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.

It cannot afford this amount on its own so has had to ask nearby churches to pitch in to pay for it.

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.

“As an organisation we give a lot and we are asking for one shop.

“We have four centres across the borough and only one of them is a shop.

“It’s not as though we are asking for funding for all of them.”

Mrs Beckingham added: “The food bank provides a very important essential service and support with all the problems that there are with unemployment and everything.

“There are still shops empty in the street so what was need for us to have to pay rent?

“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.”

The news about the rent came as a shock to people who have used the food bank, including Mark Thomas, from Orpington.

Mr Thomas says he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder after being discharged from the army and the food bank has been a lifeline for him when there have been benefit payment problems.

The 52-year-old said: “It has meant I can feed myself to be honest, without it I would have gone hungry.

“I understand councils have had their grants cut but for an essential service it seems a desperately unfair decision to make.

“I have emailed my local councillors to say I’m disgusted by the decision.”

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.”

Do you think Bromley Council is right to charge the food bank rent? Have your say below.

 

Comments (24)

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9:07am Mon 30 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

This is perfectly normal in a civilized society. SO I'VE BEEN TOLD!

This is the very definition of normal.
This is perfectly normal in a civilized society. SO I'VE BEEN TOLD! This is the very definition of normal. white rabbit9

9:48am Mon 30 Dec 13

ksc says...

Well done Bromley Council, you picked Christmas to show everyone that councils have just two aims in life, give little and take everything, your comment which goes..." 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". deserves just one response... WHY THE HELL NOT! maybe because without that £8500 a year, Bromley Council will go into receivership, or maybe Councillors expenses might have to drop by a couple of quid, now there's an idea, knock the odd business lunch on the head for a day or two, and hey presto! you've saved eight and a half grand, or continue to show us all that Scrooge isn't a patch on you lot...Merry Christmas you nasty bunch!
Well done Bromley Council, you picked Christmas to show everyone that councils have just two aims in life, give little and take everything, your comment which goes..." 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". deserves just one response... WHY THE HELL NOT! maybe because without that £8500 a year, Bromley Council will go into receivership, or maybe Councillors expenses might have to drop by a couple of quid, now there's an idea, knock the odd business lunch on the head for a day or two, and hey presto! you've saved eight and a half grand, or continue to show us all that Scrooge isn't a patch on you lot...Merry Christmas you nasty bunch! ksc

10:28am Mon 30 Dec 13

KaiMummy12 says...

seems like the only reason they are now picking on them is because and I Quote "I should point out businesses are interested in the same premises". If it wasn't for these businesses taking an interest you would have left them alone, Shame on you Bromley Council.
seems like the only reason they are now picking on them is because and I Quote "I should point out businesses are interested in the same premises". If it wasn't for these businesses taking an interest you would have left them alone, Shame on you Bromley Council. KaiMummy12

12:18pm Mon 30 Dec 13

mouthalmighty says...

Disgraceful. This is not a charity shop making money, but an essential service run by volunteers to help those in Dire need, many rhrough no fault of their own.
Disgraceful. This is not a charity shop making money, but an essential service run by volunteers to help those in Dire need, many rhrough no fault of their own. mouthalmighty

12:21pm Mon 30 Dec 13

brommum3 says...

It's just not the borough for that.
You have to live or work in Lewisham or Southwark to get all the freebies or help.
It's just not the borough for that. You have to live or work in Lewisham or Southwark to get all the freebies or help. brommum3

12:27pm Mon 30 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up?
I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up? PaulErith

2:00pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Toolbox69 says...

Aside from the rights or wrongs of charging for the premises, did Bromley Council inform the food bank that it would charge rent after three rent free years?
Aside from the rights or wrongs of charging for the premises, did Bromley Council inform the food bank that it would charge rent after three rent free years? Toolbox69

2:15pm Mon 30 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

PaulErith wrote:
I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up?
What planet is this person from? The high streets are dead, the small parade of shops are dieing off as they can't complete with big business.

How evil and inhumane can you get?
[quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up?[/p][/quote]What planet is this person from? The high streets are dead, the small parade of shops are dieing off as they can't complete with big business. How evil and inhumane can you get? white rabbit9

2:19pm Mon 30 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

Toolbox69 wrote:
Aside from the rights or wrongs of charging for the premises, did Bromley Council inform the food bank that it would charge rent after three rent free years?
I can answer that, I doubt it. If everything goes private like America and we are like 5- 10 years behind America, look at America now. People are being imprisoned for giving charity to the homeless. It's coming here as we copying everything America/israel's bit** does. I am talking about ZIonism not judaism, their is a difference.
[quote][p][bold]Toolbox69[/bold] wrote: Aside from the rights or wrongs of charging for the premises, did Bromley Council inform the food bank that it would charge rent after three rent free years?[/p][/quote]I can answer that, I doubt it. If everything goes private like America and we are like 5- 10 years behind America, look at America now. People are being imprisoned for giving charity to the homeless. It's coming here as we copying everything America/israel's bit** does. I am talking about ZIonism not judaism, their is a difference. white rabbit9

2:44pm Mon 30 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
PaulErith wrote: I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up?
What planet is this person from? The high streets are dead, the small parade of shops are dieing off as they can't complete with big business. How evil and inhumane can you get?
Indeed a lot of small parades of shops are dieing off. That's exactly why if there's the opportunity to rent one out to a business, the council need to grab it with both hands. As I said before, I'm not saying the food bank should be kicked into touch. Merely that the council could suggest other community places for them to run their charity. Everyone wins then.
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: I know that people will have a go at the council and I understand that. However,charity shops in general do have to pay rent and rates (albeit with some discounts). Maybe the issue is that a shop is not the best place to run this kind of charity. It's a commercial property and another business is interested in it. Perhaps a community hall or council owned property would be a better place for the food bank to be set up?[/p][/quote]What planet is this person from? The high streets are dead, the small parade of shops are dieing off as they can't complete with big business. How evil and inhumane can you get?[/p][/quote]Indeed a lot of small parades of shops are dieing off. That's exactly why if there's the opportunity to rent one out to a business, the council need to grab it with both hands. As I said before, I'm not saying the food bank should be kicked into touch. Merely that the council could suggest other community places for them to run their charity. Everyone wins then. PaulErith

3:57pm Mon 30 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

What's wrong with using a church hall or equivalent? I don't know of any charity that works from shop premises that does not pay rent and rates to council, if this charity (which is for the good of the people I know) cannot afford rent, then perhaps the good Christian and other faith churches should help out and do their bit, after all, these are God's people that the government are starving to death.
What's wrong with using a church hall or equivalent? I don't know of any charity that works from shop premises that does not pay rent and rates to council, if this charity (which is for the good of the people I know) cannot afford rent, then perhaps the good Christian and other faith churches should help out and do their bit, after all, these are God's people that the government are starving to death. sarfflondonbird

4:13pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Biffo. says...

I just gota make a New Year resolution to knock the magic mushrooms on the head, I keep seeing a white rabbit.

Strange, very strange !
I just gota make a New Year resolution to knock the magic mushrooms on the head, I keep seeing a white rabbit. Strange, very strange ! Biffo.

7:05pm Mon 30 Dec 13

jasonp says...

The postmen and women at Orpington managed to raise £390 for the food bank before xmas ....and will continue to raise what we can .....
We all need to get on to the Council about this, it is a total disgrace !
What is £8,500 to the the Bromley Council ....1 month expenses for 1 Councillor !
The postmen and women at Orpington managed to raise £390 for the food bank before xmas ....and will continue to raise what we can ..... We all need to get on to the Council about this, it is a total disgrace ! What is £8,500 to the the Bromley Council ....1 month expenses for 1 Councillor ! jasonp

11:07am Tue 31 Dec 13

cookster says...

Anyone care to do an FOI on Bromley Council and find out the most frivolous thing they've spent ten grand on this year? I bet there are a few contenders.
Anyone care to do an FOI on Bromley Council and find out the most frivolous thing they've spent ten grand on this year? I bet there are a few contenders. cookster

12:29pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Dr. Nick says...

cookster wrote:
Anyone care to do an FOI on Bromley Council and find out the most frivolous thing they've spent ten grand on this year? I bet there are a few contenders.
If you do all you will find is that Bromley BC spend their biggest slice of their budget on "Parks & Recreation" - this includes spending on hanging baskets and plants in high street areas. Their reason for this high spend on P&R is due to having Crystal Palace Park as part of Bromley. CPP was fully acquired by Bromley in 1986 when the GLC was broken up. If I remember correctly it was 'swapped' for some other site within Bromley as upkeep was seen as cheaper; though I can't remember at the moment which site.

So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. This would also explain why Bromley BC are adamant they have no street homeless... they just ship them off into other boroughs (i.e. Southwark). Nice. Well done Bromley. What a caring borough *sigh*
[quote][p][bold]cookster[/bold] wrote: Anyone care to do an FOI on Bromley Council and find out the most frivolous thing they've spent ten grand on this year? I bet there are a few contenders.[/p][/quote]If you do all you will find is that Bromley BC spend their biggest slice of their budget on "Parks & Recreation" - this includes spending on hanging baskets and plants in high street areas. Their reason for this high spend on P&R is due to having Crystal Palace Park as part of Bromley. CPP was fully acquired by Bromley in 1986 when the GLC was broken up. If I remember correctly it was 'swapped' for some other site within Bromley as upkeep was seen as cheaper; though I can't remember at the moment which site. So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. This would also explain why Bromley BC are adamant they have no street homeless... they just ship them off into other boroughs (i.e. Southwark). Nice. Well done Bromley. What a caring borough *sigh* Dr. Nick

12:46pm Tue 31 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it.

Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY!

But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :(
So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY! But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :( white rabbit9

4:19pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Biffo. says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it.

Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY!

But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :(
"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water."


Interesting ha.

Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly.

Priceless !
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY! But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :([/p][/quote]"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water." Interesting ha. Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly. Priceless ! Biffo.

11:53pm Tue 31 Dec 13

mouthalmighty says...

A church in central bromley procides meals for the homeless on a regular basis. They wouldn't do this if it wasn't a well used and needed service.

As for the foodbank: location, location, location! Cotmandene is served by buses nearby and a little furrther down the hill. Also the community shop and family centre are nearby too.
A church in central bromley procides meals for the homeless on a regular basis. They wouldn't do this if it wasn't a well used and needed service. As for the foodbank: location, location, location! Cotmandene is served by buses nearby and a little furrther down the hill. Also the community shop and family centre are nearby too. mouthalmighty

6:35pm Wed 1 Jan 14

white rabbit9 says...

Biffo. wrote:
white rabbit9 wrote:
So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it.

Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY!

But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :(
"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water."


Interesting ha.

Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly.

Priceless !
who are you, Jeremy kyle!
[quote][p][bold]Biffo.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY! But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :([/p][/quote]"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water." Interesting ha. Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly. Priceless ![/p][/quote]who are you, Jeremy kyle! white rabbit9

10:11pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Biffo. says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
Biffo. wrote:
white rabbit9 wrote:
So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it.

Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY!

But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :(
"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water."


Interesting ha.

Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly.

Priceless !
who are you, Jeremy kyle!
Ask your Mum who I am.
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Biffo.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY! But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :([/p][/quote]"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water." Interesting ha. Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly. Priceless ![/p][/quote]who are you, Jeremy kyle![/p][/quote]Ask your Mum who I am. Biffo.

10:53pm Wed 1 Jan 14

flea_in_ear says...

Just one thing. If the food bank is not paying rent, effectively everyone who pays council tax is paying that rent instead. Whilst £8,500 may not be a vast sum of money in the grand scheme of things, if the council gives way on this, why should other equally deserving charities not put this forward as a precedent?

It seems the food bank is getting the support it needs from elsewhere.

So without taking sides on this, just pointing out that it is taxpayers' money that the council spends or saves on issues such as this one, not the councillors' personal pocket money. Effectively councils, and the government, have no money. It is taxpayers' money (which most of the time some of them manage to blow in spectacular style).
Just one thing. If the food bank is not paying rent, effectively everyone who pays council tax is paying that rent instead. Whilst £8,500 may not be a vast sum of money in the grand scheme of things, if the council gives way on this, why should other equally deserving charities not put this forward as a precedent? It seems the food bank is getting the support it needs from elsewhere. So without taking sides on this, just pointing out that it is taxpayers' money that the council spends or saves on issues such as this one, not the councillors' personal pocket money. Effectively councils, and the government, have no money. It is taxpayers' money (which most of the time some of them manage to blow in spectacular style). flea_in_ear

12:23am Thu 2 Jan 14

white rabbit9 says...

Biffo. wrote:
white rabbit9 wrote:
Biffo. wrote:
white rabbit9 wrote:
So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it.

Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY!

But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :(
"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water."


Interesting ha.

Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly.

Priceless !
who are you, Jeremy kyle!
Ask your Mum who I am.
I did, you never paid child maintenance, typical shag and leave. You're the reason why I have to go onto Jeremy kyle for my heroin habit.
[quote][p][bold]Biffo.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Biffo.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: So there you are, Bromley care more about the look of the place than the people in it. Psychopaths are in charge. Only psychopaths look after themselves and mistreat everyone else. No EMPATHY! But to some this is common sense and, how a dam society operates. :([/p][/quote]"A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water." Interesting ha. Giving it the large on the internet when you can't even spell properly. Priceless ![/p][/quote]who are you, Jeremy kyle![/p][/quote]Ask your Mum who I am.[/p][/quote]I did, you never paid child maintenance, typical shag and leave. You're the reason why I have to go onto Jeremy kyle for my heroin habit. white rabbit9

12:27pm Sat 4 Jan 14

the narkybadger says...

food banks for british people while others are giving everything these days typical!
food banks for british people while others are giving everything these days typical! the narkybadger

10:30pm Sat 4 Jan 14

white rabbit9 says...

the narkybadger wrote:
food banks for british people while others are giving everything these days typical!
it's almost as if someone is trying to make us fight. Divide and conquer keeps them in power and we fight for scraps. Lets get rid of them and live in peace!
[quote][p][bold]the narkybadger[/bold] wrote: food banks for british people while others are giving everything these days typical![/p][/quote]it's almost as if someone is trying to make us fight. Divide and conquer keeps them in power and we fight for scraps. Lets get rid of them and live in peace! white rabbit9

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