Feast on the Street food group condemns ‘grossly unfair’ decision by The Forum to cancel events over ‘problems with grease and mess’

Feast on the Street, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival 2014 outside the Forum, Norwich.

Feast on the Street, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival 2014 outside the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

A popular street food group has criticised a 'grossly unfair' decision to cancel its events because of 'repeated problems with grease and mess'.

Feast on the Street, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival 2014 outside the Forum, Norwich.

Feast on the Street, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival 2014 outside the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The Forum has told Feast on the Street, a street food collective for Norfolk and Suffolk, that they can no longer hold their twice-monthly events there because of the mess created.

They say they have given the group various warnings and have been left to deep clean the area on multiple occasions.

But Feast on the Street, made up of about 20 traders, says the 'grossly unfair' decision means they are being 'victimised by the mistakes of a small minority'.

In a post on their website, Tony Lacey, director and founder of the social enterprise, said: 'This is a very sad and disappointing decision not just for us but also for our traders who have lost a regular place to trade in the city, and of course for our regular customers many of whom have followed us since we started four years ago.

'Unfortunately accidents sometimes happen and we have complied and implemented all of the Forums recommendations to minimise any spillages. Our traders are made fully aware of the terms under which they trade whilst outside the venue. The reality is that these do happen and when they have we have apologised and paid for a complete clean up.'

He said there had been just four spillages over their four years, for which they had apologised and paid to have cleaned.

Kim Sedgwick, Forum events and hires manager, said they had been delighted to help establish Feast on the Street, but there had been 'repeated problems with grease and mess being left behind by a small minority' of traders.

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She said: 'We've had to deep clean areas repeatedly and given Feast on the Street a number of warnings, including a final warning. We cannot carry on operating in this manner.

'This is a busy multi-use venue and if one hirer repeatedly leaves a mess it can create a hazard to the public and potentially damages the next series of events.'

She said they would consider reinstating the events if Feast on the Street could provide a 'workable solution'.

Mr Lacey said the group is now hunting for a new home, but the 'lack of suitable space in the city' and the slow uptake in the popularity of street food made it difficult.

'It has been well documented that the presence of street food helps footfall in a location and has been known to help regenerate previously unloved areas of a city,' he said.

'Ideally we would like to team up with a private company who has some land, an unused warehouse or area waiting to be developed.'

Feast on the Street will continue to support its trader members and work with event organisers.

What do you think of the decision? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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