Council officials have written to pay as you feel cafe Armley Junktion threatening the owners with a fine up to £1,000 if the wall isn’t removed. They claim it is an ‘obstruction’ on the pavement.
The wall allows local residents to donate unwanted clothes, books, toys etc. for those who may need them on a ‘take what you need, leave what you don’t!’ ethos.
At the time of writing more than 420 people had signed the petition in less than 24 hours.
Council officials wrote to the cafe saying the wall, which is made up of shelving, ‘could cause injury to pedestrians or disabled persons’.
Adam Smith, of The Real Junk Food Project, said:
“The kindness wall is a collaborative community effort to reduce the amount of unwanted items from becoming waste whilst providing everyone the opportunity to share with their fellow human.
“It represents humanity, caring and consideration in a world where so many people are displaced and go without, and yet so many valuable resources are wasted.”
On social media, both Armley councillor Alison Lowe and Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan have said they will look into the situation, with Cllr Lowe describing the action as ‘over-zealous’.
I will sort, no petitions needed but glad to see the passion for Armley! Keep it tidy though. https://t.co/Y94LKMPTdS
— Alison Lowe (@alison4labour) April 22, 2016
Leeds City Council weren’t immediately available for comment on the issue, but the Dispatch will publish their official response as soon as it’s available.
The reaction on Facebook has largely been one of anger.
Sarah Dowson said:
“Seriously!!! I see no obstruction. Plenty of room to pass with no problems. LCC should be bloody ashamed on [sic] themselves!!!”
But Wayne Bacchus said:
“I think it’s a brilliant idea but the fact is we live in a society where people like to sue and is it really worth it Could they afford the bills if someone decided to seek compensation because of there short sightedness.”
Armley Junktion is the world’s first ‘Pay as you feel’ Café sourced entirely by intercepted food which is destined for waste. It provides the intercepted food for customers who can pay and/or contribute according to what their means will allow.